Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election day in the south pacific

We're in town for once before the weekend! The current volunteers set up an election party at a bar/restaurant in town, so we only had language class half of today then got bused into town at noon to watch CNN news on the polls closing, we'll know in a few more hours hopefully the results! We're sitting watching the news in very hot, humid weather, right on the waterfront harbor area with sailboats docked outside.

Last night we went with our host family to another beach area in the next village over on an island and watched them put long strands of leaves in the ocean for weaving. They first cut and hang them in the yard, then bring strands of them to leave in the ocean weighted down with rocks for about a week, then they'll dry them out for weaving mats. It was at sunset, and we walked way out on the reef area, it was really pretty with pink, orange and purple colored sky. There were tons of skinny black starfish, little crabs, and sea slugs. Our host brother and sister walked barefoot, we weren't that brave!

This weekend will be fun and busy. On Friday we go out on the ocean for an ocean survival skills class, then on Sat. the current volunteers set up a boat cruise for the morning/afternoon! We'll go out around the island, to a beach and reef area to snorkel and hang out. I'm excited to see more of the island. And a week from this Sat. we'll know where our permanent site will be for the next two years!

Every morning and night we've been noticing how LOUD it is here in Tonga. At night we fall asleep to loud radio music (usually christmas songs mixed to dance beat music, or rap songs from back home a couple years ago), or the loud TV with local tongan news or a disney DVD of theirs. And they talk very loud all the time, it's hard sometimes to tell if they're having an argument or just talking, but most of the time just talking because they're also laughing loudly. Or when the music isn't playing, one of the family will be singing a christmas song loudly. I've decided I've had enough christmas songs for the rest of the season! And we wake up throughout the night to very loud cell phone rings, music, dog fights, crowing roosters starting at 4am. And around 4am the family wakes up for church about 3 times a week.

That's it for now, we'll be back online sometime this weekend, more new photos are posted on picassa!!


a fan said...

Generally you would imagine that an island paradise would be soothing and quiet, but you are getting the full experience with sounds, scents, tastes, etc. Enjoy the snorkeling for us - the ocean and photos are beautiful. So glad you are having such great adventures! So glad you got to watch the election with others! Your writing is fab!
Love you lots! Rhonda (mom)

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie and Brett,

I wrote you once before but it disappeared!

Terry, Ron, Dotty, Les and I are all enjoying your blogs. Terry cannot write back but wants you to keep writing! Papa and gramma love seeing it all. Les and I ooh and aah over all the beautiful scenes and your experiences. Brett, drink more water and eat dried fruit. It sounds like you could dry fruit fairly easily if it is not available. Love the culture items like the weddings and funerals. I am trying to get a picture of les in a ponytail. Still no haircut and he is enjoying his hippy image. yikes. News here: 100 trick or treaters, hunting begins, election is over!!!, all healthy, had Norah in Esko another week :), life is good! Miss you guys, love, sara

Kate and Brett said...

Thanks for the comments! Sounds like everything's good back home, Hi to everyone in Esko!