You can’t stop the music in Tonga


Kotoni tackling the uke!
Kotoni tackling the uke!

9 Tisema Monite
Another week flips over on the calendar edging us closer to the end of 2013. We said our merry christmases to Sister Kieoma who is off to NZ for a couple of weeks. Our friend Timm called to discuss transportation of a suitcase full of bits and bobs he is gathering together for Mum to bring over. Watched a terrific film called Flight starring Denzel Washington… A bit of a risqué start but well worth watching for the strong messages.

10 Tisema Tuesite
An auspicious day with Kotoni’s very first birthday ukulele lesson… He is now competent at cords C, G & F … The Pili pentecostal church band next door had better watch out!!!
While I drove two friends Tristan and Amanda to the airport (we are house sitting their high comm residence) Kotoni entertained Rotary as their end of year guest speaker… As usual it was the highlight of their speaker’s calendar. Maybe his Scottish accent, tartan tupenu, very loud Hawaiian shirt and ability to strum a C cord on his bright green ukelele made all the difference??
I know it has been blogged before… but Tonga is a very noisy place!
The image of a sleepy dot in the Pacific is shattered every night.
Intermingled with the cacophony of Tin Tin, Mullet and Noodle joining with ALL the neighbourhood barking dogs ALL NIGHT, we have Russell the pig next door rooting around in the undergrowth under our window. Then there are the insomniac roosters singing all night cock a doodle rounds punctuated by church bells going off in the early hours of the morning. And how could I forget the hypo evangelical minister who has become an intimate part of our daily life allowing us to experience church without having to leave the comfort of our bed, bathroom or backyard. The source, beat and equipment used to fill in any silence gaps varies, depending on the time and day of the week.
Our typical day kicks off with church choirs at 5.00am. now these performances range from beautiful well-rehearsed heavenly voices to a shocking attempt at musical mayhem from the Pentecostals next to our house.
Now that we are awake we transpose to locals walking to work holding their blaring mobile phones that produce a curious combination of Rastafarian and elevator music, via the am radio station, that most of the island appears to enjoy.
Taxis are next to add to the symphony… blasting out uptempo beats that one can hear from two blocks away, this sound is carried further due to many vehicles being a couple of windows shy of a full car body.
Morning TV news that we can plug into comes from a China CNN clone with resonating drum sounds accompanying the adverts and program jingles.
Our school does a magnificent job of singing their anthem, complete with choir master and guitars every morning at assembly which takes us up to 9am by which time I am ready for a little quiet and escape to the staff room where mobile phones again are ramping up with Dolly Parton, humming and teacher sing-a-longs…. Ahh gotta love this MTV tropical paradise…and now Kotoni has a ukelele…??!!

3 thoughts on “You can’t stop the music in Tonga

  1. Well if my son in law cannot serenade me with bag pipes – ukulele will be fine…xx

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    1. Be careful what you wish for mum!!!

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  2. Ohhh how hilarious I am chuckling away HA HA HA Beautifully written. I just love your stories XXX TT

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