Kotoni was presented with the ‘Ahopanilolo Teacher of the Year Award this week… This ‘trophy’ was a beautifully carved and engraved wooden traditional Tongan ‘drum’. It is a really lovely piece and he felt very honoured to be elected by his peers for this in-house award.
20 Novema Pulelulu
Kotoni did a little cleaning up of the stores at school while I did jobs. Had lunch at the new pop-up cafe in the park with free wifi set up until Christmas. Very pleasant under the trees and chatting to others who came and went. Had drinks and dinner with a volunteer back visiting her Tongan boyfriend. After a BIG tropical downpour I came home very damp after sitting under a large drip in Marco’s Pizza garden but as not cold who cares!
21 Novema Tu’apulelu
Cruisy day with not much happening. We had a drink at Reload and ran into half the town… As one always does in Tonga!
I was overjoyed when Kate an Australian woman opened a little healthy food shop just after we arrived. She has since closed but does orders and deliveries when she has stock. Today she dropped off some pepitas, brazil nuts and sultanas to school. We got talking… and discovered she met her Tongan husband in Orange and grew up in Condobolin!
22 Novema Falaite
Kotoni not too well after spending the early hours with his head in the toilet bowl. A day spent in bed was on the cards as I was also feeling a little fragile.
It is the day of our staff christmas party which was to be held at a beach on the west coast. We thought it would be cancelled as it was pouring with rain for most of the day but we still went. Tongans do love the rain and even better swimming when the heavens leak!
Kotoni managed to put in an appearance and come to school with me to say hello before everyone took off for the coast.
The christmas party was also a time to exchange gifts in a chris-kringle where we were all given someone to buy for. I had fun sourcing an array of jewellery for the two female teachers Malatina & Atu for whom we had to buy gifts.
Kotoni received some beautifully carved wooden Tongan fishing hooks and wall plaque and I received a sweet little Tonga woven and tapa handbag, fan and some lovely local jewellery.
The beach party featured all the usual foods including a couple of pigs, yams, chicken, watermelon and I think because of our influence also some lovely coleslaw!
We were undercover at a now defunct ‘resort’ so the rain did not really matter and actually cleared up later in the evening so I did manage a stroll along the shore to collect a few shells. I flopped into bed at 7pm and Kotoni was right behind me… hoping a good nights rest would purge the bugs.