10 Fepueli Monite
I love this Tongan proverb… And we have seen it in action while we have been here.
We went fishing, didn’t catch any fish but had a great day out.
It is the first ‘real’ working day of the academic year and we are starting with a jump into the deep end. A fundraiser dinner will be held tonight at the Potluck dinner and we are also selling vouchers for takeaway two course Tongan style dinners for $20TOP. There is also an eat-in option that is more palangi-style and $30TOP including entertainment.
People are scurrying this way and that and have been preparing all weekend.
To compound things we also have the Tongan Training Board coming to do a site inspection so there is extra work to be done as this will need to be passed if we are to be accredited for another two or three years. Kotoni did a terrific job ‘trimming’ (government speak for ‘filing’) paperwork and organising it into a secure mouse and bug-proof room which is important as this is a key requirement of the TNQAB (Tongan National Qualifications Accreditation Board).
You can feel the excitement in the air… I say ‘excitement’ as it is my observation that Tongans don’t really get stressed. They just plod along and seem to cope well with change.
Luckily I have a Tongan license so can drive the manual van around when needed. For example… I had three van trips to the marketi this morning (one after the other) to buy vegetables and chicken for tonight’s fundraiser. Oh and then a dash downtown on the moped to buy tin foil.
The menu just keeps changing according to what was available and everyone just goes with the flow. I think Tongans are very used to the fact that a recipe asks for something and you go looking for it and they are not shocked if they return empty-handed. On the positive side… this is a great skill for a catering environment where it is often in a constant state of change with numbers going up and down… staff and menu changes etc.
I had to give first aid to a student with an infected toe… He didn’t seem to get my humour when I ask for a machete and signaled we would lop his leg off. I need a bit of first aid myself. After the big day on the water yesterday I am feeling a bit like Angelina Jolie with a very wind lashed botox bulging bottom lip! Have been lathering myself in carmex all day so hopefully it will soothe the tingling.