Met with the new Consul at the Australian High Comm last week and looks like we now have all the paperwork we need for the citizenship document required for Kotoni’s new passport :-). Our current guest Vicki will sign Kotoni’s photos and citizenship forms and post the documents to Canberra when she returns to Australia. Mum will bring all our final original documents with her in December and then hopefully we can get the new passports before the year is out! To celebrate we swung by the Curry Hut for a quick bite and home.
9 Novema Tokanacki
Wet morning so no tennis. Wandered through the mud at the Saturday fair and did some Christmas shopping for the ‘Ahopanilolo end of year party.
Settled in to watch an episode of Game of Thrones only to find it was in Portuguese!!! The video shop didn’t have series three but our viewing crisis was averted as Haylee – another volunteer had a copy on her hard drive. The dialogue is so important for the complex plot so even though we tried to get the gist watching it in a foreign language we found we really needed English to follow what was happening north of the Wall and at Winterfell or who was currently making a claim to the iron throne. As you can see we are very into it!
10 Novema Sapate
A stroll to download the program found us also down at the ferry wharf near the fish market as there was free wifi in certain parts of town for the weekend. So we sat under a tree for an hour or so Face-timing Kotoni’s parents in Scotland and my sister Tania in Australia. We nearly felt technologically normal… But no Gina the NBN has not arrived in Tonga and the internet is still inconsistent.
11 Novema Monite
Helping with the final lead up to graduation ball continues. A box full of gold, silver and white decorations is growing in the staff room. I shall be intrigued to see how the evening unfolds. There is so much effort going into it. School is very quiet as everyone is whispering as names are tossed around about who is receiving which award and prize. Students receive donated prizes (from a boxed knife set for the student dux to smaller tokens such as books or equipment for other prize recipients) as well as certificates indicating their level of achievement as a 2, 3 or 4 level.
The past week has seen some students in tears as they did not achieve their expected level. Some had to redo their practical cooking exams to try to get over the line. In fact Kotoni and I had to assess two such borderline students on Friday… One will pass even though he had a love affair with salt… but the other student really had no idea how to present food and seemed to be in love with tomato sauce which covered most of his entrée and main course. You will pleased to know I did not bother to document those delightful dishes!
Vicki returned from her diving trip to Ha’apai. After a ‘pili colada’ (made with the newly discovered Tongan coconut vodka) and catch up chat around the table we headed down town for another art exhibition opening. We have only been to four the whole time we have been here and she scored two in a week! Dined on Japanese at the top bar at Reload and flopped into bed after a pleasant walk home being caressed by the cool tropical breeze.
12 Novema Tuesite
Left Vicki to slumber at home while we spent the morning at school in the final countdown to the graduation. We had rehearsals, did last-minute gift wrapping and tweaking of speeches. Kotoni spent some more time at the Australian High Comm again checking his citizenship paperwork.
After a very late lunch we headed out to Keleti beach for a swim and coffee as Lee from the rental company gave me a car for an extra day with no charge. I love random acts of kindness and in Tonga there are lots. The tide was high so no snorkelling as waves came crashing over the reef… But it was most refreshing as Vicki and I jumped in bobbing around in the cooling waters.
I made an evening dash back to school to help Sr Kieoma with her annual report/speech. This ‘short’ task provided Kotoni and Vicki with hours of talk time as I didn’t get back until about 11.00 pm… So it was a very late dinner before everyone flopped into bed around midnight. I believe many at ‘Ahopanilolo did an all nighter or were up til the wee hours. We have come expect this last-minute burst of energy before events.