Saturday 11 May
The day began with a stroll through the HUGE market at the wharf to catch the boat to our favourite Nuku’alofa escape of Atata Island. Because it was Mother’s Day weekend the place was crazy with traffic banked up for blocks. In Tonga everyone always likes to park right in front of where they need to go. How wonderful to step onto Atata and discover we again had the place to ourselves.Mum quickly became enthralled with her new home and we settled in. Fish and rum bananas for dinner followed by the regular serenading from village musicians and good a nice sleep with waves lapping outside was bliss after a crazy friday at College with functions,cooking classes, fundraisers and general chaos that often occurs.
Sunday 12 May
Mum wanted to experience church so off we strolled to the island village… After two hours we quietly snuck out… Mum having felt she got the drift! For all we know they could still be going! After some spectacular fish snorkelling and lunch we travelled back to our little home in Fasi to be greeted by Saane and a tray of dinner: stuffed chicken, ota ika (tongan marinated fish), clams and yams. A mothers day weekend to remember.
Monday 13 May
Tongan young women’s leadership program to kick off today. I was to be picked up at 8.30am, attend the opening and run the first session from 10.30-12.30. Hah! This is Tonga!
Bale who was picking me up arrived extremely apologetic after 11.00am having had a flat tyre in the van and no credit on her phone to let me know what was happening (I had sent messages and wondered why I had no response!)
After trawling around Nuku’alofa to collect two more young women we finally made it to the out-of-town soccer camp venue around midday. I walked in and was handed the reins.
We workshopped until 2.30pm doing a range of activities such as getting to know you, learning about leadership and teamwork and talking in front of a group. I am hoping they learned something!! I was driven home with my lunch of chicken and yam in a takeaway container… A most interesting Monday!
Tuesday 14 May
I treated mum and my landlady Saane to a very enjoyable 4 hr lunch at the lovely Cafe Escape. Saane had never been before.
Wednesday 15 May
Mum had a massage with magic finger Mike the Chinese masseuse and we had cooking classes again tonight… Scones three ways and minestrone. It was extra hot that day so everyone laughed about this winter warmer dish as perspiration poured from their brows! They seem to love whatever we do. Thank you again Don Burrowes, your fail-safe scone recipe has been embraced by Tonga!
Thursday 16 May
Our wedding experience!
Friday 17 May
Cooking class tonight included fish mornay (a client request), coconut bread and an apple and banana jam gallette. Sister Keome had given us the school van for the night so I drove home being the only one with a Tongan license.
Saturday 18 May
Off to FaFa island for Mum’s last weekend treat. This time we stayed in Polynesian style bungalow… All magic just like at Easter. The peak tourist season starts very soon and we can already feel the energy start to pick up.