Tuesday 16 July
We left Mr Costeau to sleep in dreaming of Nemo and headed into town to try and get online to do a few jobs… like remotely erasing our ipad data. After 4 hours I am pleased to say we were able to set this up and it will happen as soon as whoever has our ipad tries to go online. We doubt it will ever be recovered so thought this was the best option and has made us feel a little less exposed.
Another random act of kindness happened at the internet shop when one of the employees spontaneously offered to give us his computer dongle for the week which will allow us (in theory) to at least access emails at home. He didn’t even want a deposit! Things like this are restoring our faith in human kindness and remind us that stuff is not that important.
Wednesday 17 July
Hmmm woke up to an overcast and a tad coolish day. We walked to college to give Timm the guided tour and introduce him to college and our fellow staff. While there, Sister Keoma recruited me to help write a grant application before a plate of sandwiches and a fruit platter arrived to ensure we did not leave hungry!
Timm wanted to cook dinner so we trawled the town market and a few random shops to get his curry ingredients and headed home to throw it together before Harri arrived for his next scanner and photoshop lesson. Timm is a very patient teacher and Harri is lapping everything up!
Thursday 18 July
On our walk to the wharf this morning we were kindly offered a lift from a Tongan local bloke driving what can only be described as a transportation device loosely resembling a car. Kotoni sat in the boot replacing the whipper snipper which was popped on the roof and held in place by said bloke’s right hand as we motored off. On arrival at our destination he enquired as to our religion and leapt into missionary mode keen to convert us to the Church of the Latter Day Saints… he is a Mormon and hadn’t filled his weekly quota of recruits. Timm, cleverly owned up to being a Catholic so did not become a conversion target. I think we may be getting a visit from some tie wearing boys next week. We are hoping Tin Tin who has been set up as our front porch bouncer dog will act as a formidable deterrent.
I wanted to paint a gorgeous south pacific island scene but it doesn’t quite fit with the reality. We are sitting inside ‘looking’ outside. Timm is at a table writing an enrolment app and calendar program for Áhopanilolo, Kotoni is wearing a stunning floral bathrobe (note: this is not woollen) reading on the alcove day bed and I have donned the two tops I brought on to stay warm. I have the mini laptop perched on my knees while reclining on pillows under the blankets. The earlier turquoise ocean is looking a bit grey and the wind is gusty. The snorkels and reef shoes have stayed in the plastic bag. It is not the idyll we had planned for our guest.
The trip over provided an occasional splash from an errant wave that luckily drenched those sitting on the starboard side. We, the experienced sailors had chosen the port side so could watch and snigger at the ‘tourists’. Kotoni maintained a healthy pink glow with no tinges of green. I think Tania’s seasickness bands, pills, capsules and positive therapy session is delivering an outcome. The rest of the boat people were unaware of how lucky they were to avoid a repeat performance of ‘the crossing’ which was previously blogged.
The evening program looks like featuring 25 reruns of Timm’s Istanbul trip 4am call to prayer recording (once was enough) or his Ipad Marilyn Manson post industrial grunge video clips. I think it will be lights out at 7.32pm or we may need to hit the cocktail list at 5pm and work our way backwards through the menu.
My plans to update the blog after lunch has proved mega frustrating as the wifi signal kept breaking off. Ahhhhh… gotta love Tonga. This IT situation did not improve all week.
Friday 19 July
No snorkeling for us today… again. It is just too blustery… and to top everything off the internet is still down so not able to access emails or update the blog etc. Kotoni has taken triple strength seasickness tablets for the boat trip home. Timm has been working like a Trojan writing a computer-based enrolment and calendar app for Áhopanilolo while Kotoni and I lazed around and read books eating dried mango slices.’
Saturday 20 July
Saturday flea market was a bit dismal. It was so windy many stalls had not set up. Picked up hire car and zipped around doing jobbies. A little sun this afternoon for which we are grateful as it means we will have hot water. This morning the solar heating was one step below tepid. A concrete reminder that Tonga is a third world country.
I still haven’t caught the bloody little mouse either. His latest meal was to break into the peanut tin by chewing through the plastic top. I had seen what looked like coconut on the floor and thought it a bit odd… ha! It wasn’t coconut but chewed plastic bits. The trap has been moved but I reckon he has read the instructions and knows not to walk on it.
BIG news of the week: To cheer ourselves up we bought a second hand moped ($2,150 TOP) from an American palangi heading to NZ. We decided that we were better to spend our money before anything else gets stolen. I’ve always kinda wanted one and Tonga should be the perfect place to give it a trial as everyone drives very slow. It will mean Kotoni and I can go a little further afield than our walking radius. I haven’t replaced the pushie yet. We still feel a bit flat and are not in any great hurry to replace stuff in case we get a repeat visit from our mystery burglars. Kotoni thought he saw my bicycle today while we were sitting having a coffee… so he raced up the street following the guy on foot… but alas it was not mine.
Sunday 21 July
What a wild storm we had last night… lightening, thunder and buckets of rain. Timm reckoned he was a drought breaker and we are now true believers. A dash down to Cowley’s bakery to forage for some consoling breakfast treats delivered sausage rolls for the boys and croissants. Tummies full has made us all feel a bit better as we peer out through the curtains. Although the evangelists have fired up the amplifiers next door and we think we may need to brave the elements just for some aural relief.
Popped out to blow holes, a drink at Fisherman’s Club and a Chinese.
Mouse is history… got the little bugger at last!
Monday 22 July
First day back at College. Timm has been hard at work training some staff how to use the new program he developed. They are really fast learners. I spent time trying to change internet passwords and catch up on a few emails while I had at least some internet access… but it is so sssssslowwwwww.
Timm’s last night included a moonlight walk and dinner in town.