Thursday 18 April
Last night, while Kotoni’s heroine Margaret Thatcher was given a royal farewell, we were performing dismally at a Palangi (westerner) quiz night at the Bill Fish bar. The money raised will help a swimming group. Although Tongans do swim kind of… there is not a public pool apart from a cordoned area along the waterfront which isn’t much chop for anyone with more serious ambitions.
Walked home by moonlight to find the back porch was crunchy underfoot with hundreds of millipedes… Shudder shudder… But only about seven managed to make it inside. My war on slinkies is starting to work…
Today I spent an hour counselling a young 15 year-old student who has gone off the rails and been suspended for a week of ‘hard labour’ doing housework, gardening and cleaning around the college. Now I am no psychologist but offered to talk to her if she wanted someone neutral. I kept thinking… what would my counsellor friend Kathy McRae do?
We ended up agreeing to develop a contract with her mum and Aunty around some changes to put in place which hopefully all parties will agree too. I will continue to mentor her over the next three months. As like any such situation the issues are complex and involve family tensions… but here’s hoping we can get something positive happening as she is basically a good student who has been lead astray. Sister Anuncia is very student focused and we are on the same page… which is certainly a good start.
We also had a volunteer’s lunch at the Pot Luck Restaurant today which is a monthly catch up. Malakai, Kotoni and their team did a great spread as usual. $15TOP gave you salad with either spinach and beef lasagne or fish and caper mash. Hard to believe we were in Tonga…very simple yet sophisticated presentation and yummy flavours. The fish had been swimming earlier that day!
Kotoni also secured help from another Aussie volunteer Sean who is an IT expert. He is helping tidy up the college computers which will also free up some space in the staff room when we get rid of the IT junk that no longer works or is not worth getting fixed.
Thursday 18 April