Friday 21 June
Helping one of the teachers with a diploma assignment on marketing. Cynna where are you when I need you!!!! I am finding I have a growing repertoire of skills and am asked todo all sorts of things which is making the time at ‘Ahopanilolo most interesting!
Last cooking class tonight. Yahoo… Even though it has been fun, and the students are super appreciative… doing the split shifts and having to drag ourselves back in the evenings has sometimes been a challenge. Tonight we are doing marinated fish parcels on crunchy quinoa slaw, thai chicken curry and profiteroles with chocolate sauce.
Saturday 22 June
A memorable shortest day of winter was spent doing a little volunteer moonlighting to help a friend and train a few locals at White Sands Resort on the west coast. We had made contact with Gloria the NZ owner at a Pot Luck dinner when we first arrived and she had invited us out to give the staff some tips. It ended up being a very enjoyable afternoon helping four very keen novices looking beautiful in their bright vermillion traditional Tongan pule taha uniforms. After three attempts with a very dodgy oven we managed to making some reasonable profiteroles. Kotoni and I shared the important role of nestling up to the oven door with our knee to try and keep the hot air from escaping… but it didn’t really work that well. It was all a little amusing and a bit of a pointless exercise at one stage when the gas went out. Profiteroles a la gas was not exactly what we had in mind. Later in the evening we sat under the coconut thatched fale by the ocean with a couple of ‘guinea pig’ Palangi guests visiting from Chinchilla and were served dinner by our maiden crew. Everyone seemed to be happy with the workshop outcomes. I shall be counting heads at breakfast just to make sure!
Sunday 23 June
We stayed the night in one of the guest rooms which are spacious and quite well equipped apart from no hot water. The cacophony of city noises we have become used to … the crowing roosters and barking dogs were replaced by an endless pounding of mega waves on the reef which felt like sleeping in a washing machine at times.The west coast is half an hours drive from Nuku’alofa so having a car is essential. Tongan live-wire and White Sands resident – Priscilla arrived on our doorstep with a MASSIVE serving of 4 huge pancakes each… she said it was ‘Tongan portions’… not like our dinner last night which she thought was very palangi-portioned (ie read here normal!)
A morning spent beach combing the little cove in front of the resort provided opportunities to observe busy hermit crabs jostling for shells and watch the water leaking out of emerging rock pools as the tide receded. We both even got wet, the water was warm but the wind a little chilly… i had my first goose bumps in Tonga! Back home and had drinks with our neighbour Sally at the elusive Nuku’alofa fisherman’s club to watch the sun set and the full moon rise topped off a grand day. It is a shipping container converted into a bar hidden on a wharf so only locals could ever find it.
Monday 24 June
Car returned and off for a massage and some reflexology with Mike and magic masseuse. OMG it ins a bit like torture but the aftereffects are like floating on air… As they say no pain no gain! A no need to attend school has been declared today as most teachers are working from home. Kotoni has a pile of exam papers to mark. He is just now off for a shave and hair cut. I am still going for the mad Palangi of Tonga look… especially wild after Mike has been ruffling his finger through my scalp!!! No pictures are allowed… I look like some kind of crazy witch doctor… But hey this is Tonga so no-one really bothers too much about how you look as long as those knees are covered – it can be quite refreshing to be a little anonymous now and again… But I guarantee today I will run into EVERYONE I know! Yep it has happened already.