21 August Pulelulu (Wed)
Thought I would start to get you educated in Tongan language starting with the days of the week…
After chatting to mum I arrived at school for mufti day running into Rabi who today is wearing 6 inch size 13 bright blue lady gaga heels. LOVE it! Tajeen one of the Aussie volunteers came for a school tour today and joined us for a Korean lunch. Cooking class: coconut bread, slow roasted tomatoes, honey soy fish and pawpaw gallette.
22 August Tu’apulelulu (Thurs)
Tres bien… brushed up on my French culinary terms this morning helping Kina with his class.
23 August Falaite (Fri) coffee date!!
Pouring with rain but still warm so we are not complaining.
Sister Keoma must be smiling. Just this week she had made and announcement at assembly that the school tanks had run dry and everyone had to be extra careful… So again God works in mysterious ways and her tanks are being filled.
Thank goodness for my Inca Trail Peru poncho we threw in at the last moment. It is perfect for Bas and I arrived at language class nice and dry. Although there was a wee drama before I left… a mulacow (sp?? giant centipede) waddled onto Bas… and was heading for the luggage compartment I had just opened under my seat. My screeching brought Kotoni off his sick bed … and also Sally and the boys next door came running over to see what all the excitement was about. Both Kotoni and I are hopeless when it comes to bugs of any size shape or form. We stunned it with a spray of mortein and I had the kettle boiling ready for the follow up extermination treatment.
Latou – Sal’s Tongan farming friend promptly held it down with the broom handle, pulled off the evil pincers and then let it crawl over his arm and hand like some kind of cozy bizarre pet! Thank goodness it was discovered at home and not as I was scootering along the road… I would surely have abandoned ship and fallen off.
After class I detoured home via the chemist to grab some cold drugs for Kotoni, a couple of videos and a sausage roll for his lunch… His appetite is fine so I am certain he will pull through.
At 3pm I headed out again for my Coffee Post ‘date’. This was a school staff team-building activity. Despite the rain, we all sat outside under umbrellas in huddles of two, three or four staff randomly thrown together via a simple number selecting exercise and proceeded to interact according to instructions left on our tables. After introductions and sharing stories of our past we worked through moral dilemmas using cards from the game of ‘scruples’.
It was such fun learning what each would do if confronted with an interesting scenario often involving spouse fidelity. The laughing was palpable as many of the situations were so far out of the realms of reality due to age and church vocations! Everyone was in great form and I do love the generous sense of humour Tongans exude.
Our coffee was complemented with huge slabs of a chocolate, banana, custard and coffee torte… and garlic bread we had brought from school?! It always has to involve food.
I was teamed with Ofa, Harri and Sister Keoma. It was interesting to learn more about their backgrounds and hear more about their everyday challenges especially where family lives overseas. (One teacher had not seen his father since he emigrated to America over 20 years ago. Saving for airfares is not an easy goal to achieve when wages are so low and even though his mum also moved there in 2000 I was glad to hear they are in regular contact. We have so much to be grateful for yet again and these overseas separation stories are quite common.)