27 years with a surprise potluck twist

The art room tour. As you can see ... not much there.
Meeting Harri the art teacher on the Áhopanilolo tour

2 ‘Okatopa Pulelulu

After a tour of Áhopanilolo the girls and a band of french dignitaries were treated to a special Potluck lunch  (plus Saane… our landlady who had never been before also came along as a guest paid for by the girls) .

It was very emotional – as part of the proceedings included a presentation of a large heart-shaped 27th wedding anniversary cake and speech by Saluni one of the students. The tears flowed freely with humbleness and happiness. We continue to feel so grateful for our placement at ‘Ahopanilolo and were thrilled to have our friends join in the event as the fashion students also showcased stunning garments made of Tongan natural fibres.

Kotoni and I were trying to applaud and dance at the same time
Sally brought me the lovely aloha dress… bought on the Gold Coast, made it Tonga! Fits perfectly.


Two words: simply superb
Two words for these Áhopanilolo creations: simply superb

Catherine and her two boys headed back to Australia and our Pili guest house started to feel a little empty.

3 ‘Okatopa Tu’apulelulu
I spent a pleasant morning doing a last-minute coffee and shopping trawl with the Tracey, Sally and Lisa before my eyes spilled with tears and we shared hugs as they were bundled into a taxi. Then it was off to school for the 3rd First Aid session then down town for a meeting about a community art project we are trying to get happening. Kotoni and I flopped on the lounge munching on toast and cheese reminiscing on a fabulous week with some of our favourite people. The house suddenly feels big and empty but the cupboards and fridge are full of wine, twisties, nuts, juices, chocolate, vegemite, tea, towels, sheets, pillows, lotions and so many other goodies. There is also a new coconut broom, a fancy spotted umbrella and even a new purple toilet brush! The girls also let a little wad of Tonga pananga on their stripped forlorn beds which we shall donate to ‘Ahopanilolo for the graduation prize giving ceremony coming up in November. I reckon they have left their mark here in more ways than 10!
I had a meeting in town late in the afternoon and with great embarrassment rode done one of the one way streets on Bas the trusty moped near the marketi the wrong way …in front of a policeman! He very kindly accepted my apologies and I was on my way. Another precious Tongan moment?!

2 thoughts on “27 years with a surprise potluck twist

  1. So glad the policeman was a kind hearted fellow. Yikes, I bet your heart was beating faster.
    Did he say “Sonia…….., can you do me a favour…………………???
    (inside joke).
    Did we mention that James our taxi driver had the sensual voice of Barry White. He was so friendly and made the journey an interesting one with stories and insights into his culture.WE just loved Tonga all the way to the last few mins at the airport. missing you 2 . xxxx TT


  2. Veronica pansaru October 6, 2013 — 6:13 am

    What a memorable anniversary and just beyond belief celebration….words cannot describe how touched i am by the treatment (well deserved) you both are rewarded!!xx


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