A perfect sunday - yachting in the south pacific to a deserted island with perfect sandy beaches, and two volcanoes on the horizon. That's how we spent our mother's day sunday here in Tonga, Happy Mother's Day back home today! The couple that owns Mariner's restaurant here has this yacht, before coming to Tonga they sailed the world from Africa to the Caribbean to the south pacific. Pretty amazing, it's great sailboat but I can't imagine spending over 40 days crossing an ocean without ever seeing land! Brett and I and Grant got an invitation for this yachting trip late on Sat. night, you never know here what will come up the next day! For lunch on Uoleva we had really delicious red snapper fish, and hung out on the beach with some coconut drinks before heading back with Brian and Sabine who had dropped off some tourists on their boat at a resort there. Most of the puppies that were there in April are gone now, probably given away to people. Our friends took home one of the last puppies, really cute and easy-going.
On Saturday we had a few people over and grilled fish and potatoes over a bonfire on the beach, it's nice now with the weather a little cooler. The Church of Tongan conference has also begun, music started blasting on Friday from their big tent and church hall. It seriously went all day Friday and Saturday from early morning to evening, and I'm surprised we can hear it as loud as we can at our house since the church is half-way across town. We went and watched some dance competitions at their church tent on Saturday morning, they were all decked out in flower leis and fancy ta'ovalas. And there have been tons of people around town, yesterday they ran out of bread at the bakery really early but luckily our friends had already picked us up a loaf, which we later ended up splitting with our neighbors since they hadn't gotten any bread. It's amazing how much we end up sharing and receiving things from our neighbors.
We've been busy with work this last week. But this time for my computer class only three students showed up instead of the original five, and we'd even had five new students sign up the day before so there should have been ten. I really don't understand why Tongans sign up for something if they're not even planning on attending. They know the date and time, they signed up the day before the class. For the next class in June we'll have to figure out how to do some things differently. I was happy that three students were there and really happy to be learning about computers, one even showed up with a broken hand, for a typing class! And two showed up early to practice before class started. But my counterparts didn't show up, it was just me for the entire class so I'll have to make sure that doesn't happen again which might be hard this week with the church conference going on. Brett has been helping his school set up a new computer and printer, and set up report cards with photos of each student.
Locals have been fishing more now for things other than fish - turtles and sharks. Our friend Grant told us they've been catching a lot of sharks lately on his island so he's been eating shark. And our neighbors recently had a turtle umu - cooking it underground whole in it's shell. Almost everyday we can see people fishing out from our beach - usually snorkeling with a net or spears. And vegetables will be coming back into season soon, tomatoes are growing right now at the high school's garden and we just got some cabbage from them. There was an art fair there over the weekend, with really cheap handicrafts and some produce.
At the end of next week my parents and sister will be here for a week, then we all head to New Zealand for a couple of weeks!
New photos will be posted on the link to the left.