101 (wearable) uses for a coconut palm


7 Sepitema Tokonaki
Car back, lunch in town, not much internet (‘high speed’ s coming the signs keep taunting us!) had a lovely impromptu pizza evening with five other volunteers at our house. We were going to watch the election unfold but alas the TV failed to produce a channel apart from those in Tongan language or espousing religious fervour. I spent the afternoon blu-tacing heaps of photos onto our bare grey walls. Mum had sent over one thousands photos printed and ready for action!!!

8 Sepitema Sapate
Kotoni made some of his famous pancakes which we ferried across the yard to team with  Sally’s fruit salad and pots of our banana jam – she has Aussie visitors and we all had breakfast together.
They headed to church and we had a little  laze around trying to process the Australian election news of a new conservative government… Kotoni hoping for a redundancy… I keep saying be careful what you wish for…look what happened when he wanted them to keep our passports! Still waiting on birth certificates etc… Oh learned that the 2020 Olympics will be in Tokyo. That is current affairs sorted for the week courtesy of our little Tongan TV.
We then threw together a batch of windmill pastries and headed over to Polly’s for another Tongan feast… this time to celebrate Rei’s acceptance to the legal bar ( see earlier post).

9 Sepitema Monite
Lesley and Stewart arrived back in Ha’apai just in time to enjoy the evening events and get a taste of our ‘workplace’.

Coconuts are ubiquitous across the Pacific – swaying in the breeze and making every vista look suitably tropical. They are also used for eating, shelter, mats, brooms and a myriad of amazing practical things. Tonight at the Potluck dinner we were treated to a fashion parade of ‘island creations’ constructed from niu (coconut), pandanus,  fau (beach hibiscus), shells, seeds and fetaáki (we know it as tapa which is decorated mulberry bark cloth) – all made by the Fashion and Design students. They did a couple of all nighters to get these done.

As well as the evening gowns students made some beautiful dance costumes again from natural materials.


The young models (students as well) looked superb and the parade was complemented with the usual singing and a couple of interesting items – one being two teachers performing a lovely little number in one costume before ripping these off for the next.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA




Lesley placing money on Malakai's shiny coconut oil torso.
Lesley placing money on Malakai’s shiny coconut oil torso.

Another leiti student Rabi performed the theme from James Bond’s Goldfinger then swept Tajeen (volunteer) up and carried her into the middle of the floor to present her with a bouquet of flowers as it was her birthday. Our little ‘Ahopanilolo ‘family’  is constantly full of delightful surprises. The dinner was scrumptious: homemade gnocchi in a tomato sauce, grilled fish with tempura vegetables followed by pawpaw mousse and birthday cake.

10 Sepitema Tuesite
A busy day at school helping Steve rejig the hospitality accreditation documentation and assisting a student with a business presentation. Met Lesley and Stewart at the Reload bar for a drink and some internet time before dinner at one of our favourite restaurants-the Frangipani run by Kim and Lee a lovely Korean couple .  Tevita, one of our students driving in between cleaning jobs, spied us walking home and kindly gave us a lift to our front gate.


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