11 Okatopa Falaite
Woke up this morning surrounded by massive puddles or small lakes. The rain teemed down last night, we had a blackout and got a real taste of tropical weather. By early morning the skies cleared and thankfully the sun stayed away so we didn’t have to contend with humidity.
Today at school I received a lovely kahoa kakala (fresh floral garland) from Larnie the sewing teacher. It smells divine! These are given to you as a special mark of respect… always an honour to wear one and I was delighted.
Alliance Francaise had a special free screening tonight of a Tongan documentary called Tongan Ark. It is the inspirational story of Futa, my language teacher’s uncle who started a secular university here called Atenisi (Athens in Tongan). At its zenith over 100 students studied a range of subjects… From philosophy, history to music and even opera! Futa only died a few years ago but lived long enough to see the prodemocracy movement take a leap forward after the 2006 riots. Atenis itself is a crumble of buildings but the love for its history and Futa’s vision is still palpable.
My friend Sally brought over some costume jewellery to give out. What fun the teachers had choosing from the array of studs… Even the blokes got into the groove and wanted a pair so everyone benefited from this kind donation.
12 Okatopa Tokonaki
A trip to the Saturday Fair this morning resulted in some great buys. Kotoni got a pair of bright orange shoes and a terrific shirt to go with it … This will hopefully form the bones of his graduation ball outfit. Nothing like standing out!!!
While trawling the stalls we were treated to two parades. Tongans do love a good float and a chance to honk their horns (they never do at any other time… been here six months and have not witnessed one instance of road rage!).
The first parade was to celebrate the Tongan Rugby league team who are in town for a few days followed by a Catholic children’s event which saw hundreds of youngsters marching in their predominantly white best church outfits carrying various symbols from bible stories. A lovely spectacle.
Returning to Bas (parked in our school grounds) we happened upon a couple of grey nomad water yachties in town. An art teacher and ex navy bloke from the UK who will now be joining us at the Pot Luck for dinner in Monday night… It is so inspiring to meet people choosing the road less travelled. (Tracey take note… She is a print maker and even has a wee studio on the boat!!!)
Shopping done for the week we had a bento box lunch, failed to get the internet going so came home to relax and I sipped a glass of NZ sauv blanc while reading the girlie magazines left by our guests which will be passed onto school on Monday. I know the fashion students will love Marie Claire and the Leitis the Woman’s Day with all the Kim Kardashian goss!!