The flight from Sydney to Tonga was only 20 minutes late arriving at 2.20am December 9. Our four pieces of luggage, two laptops (thank you Gina) 20 blocks of chocolate all arrived with us so we knew we were off to a great start for our two week return visit after a year volunteering in 2013-14.
Ebonie, the daughter of the Tongan guy we are renting our house from was there to collect us. As there are no addresses in Nuku’alofa we really needed her to pick us up and show us where we would be living.
The house is near the hospital which we hope we won’t be needing. It is typically Tongan but very comfortable, clean and roomy.
There is a shower with only cold water but being summer that is no bother although for some reason the pressure is non-existent in the mornings and the flow is one long drip. But who cares… We are back in Tonga!!!
There is a HUGE TV that we can’t get to work (not bothered about that as we have plenty to read) and of course no in-house internet so a good break from the realities of home is in store… 🙂
It was a fitful night’s sleep jet lagged and listening to the roosters, a moaning dog, strange crunches and noises we had forgotten were part of daily life in Tonga.
Part of our rental package was use of a car… And it even has aircon!
We headed off into Nuku’alofa and figured out where we were… And bought a fresh coconut and some Va’vau pineapples…the best in the world… In fact we had at least one of each every day.
First stop ‘Ahopanilolo where everyone was there preparing for the graduation extravaganza celebrations next week. It has all been a bit like a dream and we can’t believe it is nine months since we left. ATI is looking fabulous with some new fences, plantings and little picnic tables.
After delivering our bags of goodies we headed into town for some food at a new cafe where once there was the huge post office. Of course we ran into quite a few people throughout the day… I think Kotoni counted twenty!!! It felt like we had arrived home!
We also popped in to see Saane our landlady and caught up on her news. The roadway in front of our house is now sealed which will be a godsend for dust along with reduced bike and foot accidents from perilous potholes! The Chinese fale kola (store) just near us has burnt to the ground. Luckily no one was hurt… But now Saane has lost two income generating properties and the poor Chinese people lost all their stock as we doubt they had insurance.
The highlight of the day was meeting our little gorgeous namesake Sotonia. To fill in the background… Maletina, the deputy principal at Ahopanilolo became pregnant while we were here volunteering and asked if we could name her baby after both of us. We were delighted and humbled. What a great honour but then we thought Gonia and Sordon hmmmmm sounded too much like some dreadful disease… Luckily Gordon is Kotoni in Tongan so we were able to come up with Sotonia which made everyone very happy.
Sotonia is extremely cute with long luscious eyelashes and a beautiful smile. We became quite smitten with our first meeting.
We grabbed dinner at the Frangipani… Our favourite Korean restaurant and the food was just as good as we remembered.