31 Tisema Tuesite
I think it took about five minutes to settle into Fafa island… Our wee home for the next few days.
As many would know Kotoni and I love a good fancy dress and so we were thrilled that Fafa had a jungle themed NYE and getting geared up was encouraged. Green light to comb the marketi stalls and endless Chinese shops across Nuku’alofa looking for inspiration!!!
Blowing up the truly tacky plastic tiger and lion props took some effort but they worked so beautifully with our tasteful matching his and hers jungle book curtain outfits we found at the Saturday fair for $10TOP. Mum had brought a sarong tying book with her so we had some fun getting our garment ‘rigging’ right!
Mum and Emily got into the groove too and I am thrilled to say I won the best dressed woman guest although staff member Lisa stole the show in her Leopard ‘disguise’ in my humble opinion.
The evening began ocean-side with water lapping under our feet. We were served dainty little nibbles and a pineapple juice with lots of ‘punch’ that got everyone in the mood (I must confess we had already downed a bottle of lovely French champagne on our fale verandah during the afternoon so we didn’t need too much encouragement).
A magnificent buffet dinner provided everyone with a huge range of Tongan as well as international cuisine served in the restaurant area which had been transformed into an exotic tropical jungle. It looked truly magic and most people really got into the theme…especially the Fafa staff.
I love the fact that everything is homemade… A necessity… As no-one has much spare cash… So many of the props were tigers, elephants, monkeys etc drawn on cardboard box bits and cut out. Nothing was to scale but it looked pretty awesome.
After a little while as the night descended the sounds of ukelele, guitar and gorgeous harmonies drew us into another area of the restaurant where a kava circle was in full swing. The melodies were spine tinglingly beautiful and mum was in heaven as love songs wafted through the air with an occasional country and western tune thrown in.
Things got a bit quirky after that… We watched a powerpoint photo collage to music of images of Fafa activities for the past year … Peoples weddings, birthdays as well as a First Aid workshop and a funeral??!! and then there was a floor show MCed by Villi the head bar man who got progressively less coherent as he succumbed to the after effects of a little too much punch. There were a number of dancing ‘items’ which were all performed by staff and included traditional as well as fun and funny.
Some raucous disco dancing filled in the lead up to the witching hour.
To see the final year out we all grabbed a glass of champagne and headed to the beach for fireworks, a blazing 2014 sculpture and a Viennese waltz on the sand to classical music… Just as one would expect in Tonga!?
We all agreed it will not be a NYE that will ‘merge’ into our memories but stand out as a very unique and special event.