Pastor to prison & a sleepy Sunday in Nuku’alofa


16 Fepueli Sapate
Saane came over Friday night to tell us that her court case had been heard and was all over in three minutes as the Pastor had been sent to prison for 14 days for not paying his fine. I guess that is some kind of an outcome but not what we had expected. For those who have not been following the story…
We live next door to a Pentecostal church that is over the top LOUD… think amplifiers, drum kits electric guitars teamed with screaming hallelujahs, really bad singing and people talking in tongues and you would have the picture. The whole neighbourhood has been up in arms for the past three years and Saane has been leading the charge as it has been extremely difficult to rent the house we live in due to the church. We were advocating that they just give the police the power to remove the amplifier which would make everything easily tolerable as the sound level is then fine (only ever about 20 people in the church but with the amps it feels like 100!). Because your right to follow your religion is enshrined in the constitution it has been a real battle but this latest turn was a big step and not expected. I suspect the judge and the legal teams involved are so over this guy who has evaded all calls to be reasonable.
Monday I spent the day at ‘Ahopanilolo reviewing their commercial cookery document. This was a lengthy process as there were over 80 pages and funny little typos like… The students will study Stocks, sauces and soaps… I am sure it is supposed to be ‘soup’. Anyway I have been working on it for a few days so good to finally get it edited and passed over as Broni our last guest arrives tonight on the 2am flight and I wanted to have some time off.
After four days of not leaving the house I thought it was time I got back into ‘circulation’ even though my mouth is still very ‘crusty’ and I don’t feel very attractive so yesterday afternoon I coerced Kotoni to go for a walk.
Sundays in Tonga are very quiet, not much traffic, nothing open and generally a relaxed atmosphere. I thought it was a good time to take a few classic Tongan shots to share so you would get a picture of some of the things we see if we take the 15 minute walk to the town waterfront. So off we go…

Out the door with our escort 'Tin Tin'. Dogs don't seem to stray too far from their own patch so he didn't join us for long.
Out the door with our escort ‘Tin Tin’. Dogs don’t seem to stray too far from their own patch so he didn’t join us for long.
Saane and her son Poko's building project next door is progressing very fast. There are two houses going up and both will be rented.
Saane and her son Poko’s building project next door is progressing very fast. There are two houses going up and both will be rented.
You see all 'sorts' of canines here in Tonga!
You see all ‘sorts’ of canines here in Tonga!
Everyone has a 'fruit shop' in their yard
Everyone has a ‘fruit shop’ in their yard
Breadfruit grows everywhere... it has a floury texture and makes yummy chips.
Breadfruit grows everywhere… it has a floury texture and makes yummy chips.
No, this is not my stolen bike... but he perhaps needs to get one a little bigger?
No, this is not my stolen bike… but he perhaps needs to get one a little bigger?
So we are now on the main road heading to the waterfront. As you can see virtually NO cars on a Sunday
So we are now on the main road heading to the waterfront. As you can see virtually NO cars on a Sunday
Kava is only drunk by men in Tonga and kava clubs are everywhere. They often sit around drinking and singing ALL night. The powder is mixed with water and strained. (An acquired taste!)
Kava is only drunk by men in Tonga and kava clubs are everywhere. They often sit around drinking and singing ALL night. The powder is mixed with water and strained. (An acquired taste!)
Waiting for mum and dad o come out of church... ute and truck riding is a common sight.
Waiting for mum and dad o come out of church… ute and truck riding is a common sight although vehicles are usually not as in good nick as this one.
The American Peace Corp has a strong presence here. All PC in Tonga are teachers and most live in outer villages or islands. It is a two year gig.
The American Peace Corp has a strong presence here. All PC in Tonga are teachers and most live in outer villages or islands. It is a two-year gig.
Molisi is the closest thing we have here to a supermarket... a bit like an outback IGA but not bad.
Molisi is the closest thing we have here to a supermarket… a bit like an outback IGA but not bad.
China has funded lots of infrastructure like roads, drainage the new cruise ship wharf.
China has funded lots of infrastructure like roads, drainage the new cruise ship wharf.
Louvres are the go here for most houses
Louvres are the go here for most houses
The really older places have push out wooden 'windows'
The really older places have push out wooden ‘windows’
The waterfront is not particularly picturesque. People swim off the wharf (fully clothed) but NEVER on a Sunday. The large European Digicel Company is one of the two phone/internet providers  here.
The waterfront is not particularly picturesque. People swim off the wharf (fully clothed) but NEVER on a Sunday. The large European Digicel Company is one of the two phone/internet providers here.
Nothing gets wasted. I love this 'royal' door
Nothing gets wasted. I love this ‘royal’ door
Full circle... back home. Looking through a guava tree at our front gate.
Full circle… back home. Looking through a guava tree at our front gate.

6 thoughts on “Pastor to prison & a sleepy Sunday in Nuku’alofa

  1. Just got around to reading this one – very good
    pictures of your stroll.

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  2. Hallelujah….2 quiet weeks! They are not a very Christian church to my way of thinking…They certainly don’t love thy neighbour. Saane’s housing project is looking good. Just a bare block of ground when I was there. G Sent from my iPad

    >

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  3. Wow! Enjoy the couple of peaceful Sundays! I really don’t miss that noise…
    I love your photographic walk down to the wharf – walk down memory lane.
    I’m really going to miss your blog when you return home. Maybe I’ll have to find a new volunteer who can keep up to date?
    Saane building new houses – have you hinted to her that you must be paying her too much rent??? heee hee
    Thanks Donna.

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  4. Goodness, I wonder does the church operate when he is away( That is the preacher) ???
    Love the walk n talk pictures. I’m amazed at Saanes progress with House construction. Looks so different. WOW
    Goodness time is getting V Close now. I’m sure you are busy getting all “dots and crosses” done and hopefully lapping up your last few weeks
    Sending lots of love, With you in spirirt XXX TT

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  5. Be careful not to get into debt with anyone as the punishment is usually advertised in the local paper and then off to gaol for a short period. There are no such things as three or four paper warnings.
    looking forward to seeing you.

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  6. Thank you for the stroll through your town…the return of many happy memories, for me…xxx

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