Friday, June 19, 2009

Vegetables, Piglets, and other Ha'apai news

Several things changed here in Ha'apai while we were on vacation. When we left there were no vegetables, and hadn't been almost the entire time we've been here. Now there are tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, and white raddish for sale at the market, it's amazing! Some not so great news - when we left our sima vie (giant cement tank) where we get all our rain water for drinking was almost completely full, and now it's completely empty! The pigs got into it in the middle of the night while we were gone, we usually would hear it since it's right outside our bedroom window. But the neighbors didn't hear the water rushing out, and it was empty by morning. So now we share our neighbor's drinking water, and it's dry season so there won't be much more rain to fill our tank. The pigs actually chewed through the pvc pipe where the water comes out of our tank.

More pig news - we found out that our dog, Lucky, and the neighbor's dog, Simba killed one of the neighbor's baby piglets!! That's a horrible crime here in Tonga, if a dog kills a pig they'll usually kill the dog. But Lucky was doing fine when we got back, the neighbor kid even fed and played with her while we were gone. We offered to pay for the killed piglet, but of course our neighbors wouldn't accept any money and said the dogs were playing with the piglet and didn't know what they were doing. And like they said they were going to do since we moved here, they gave us one of the new piglets. Brett picked out a little black girl piglet with a white tail, and when the neighbor kids asked if he named her he said the name is "ifo" which means delicious. They thought that was pretty funny, but really that's what you do with piglets unless you want them to grow and have more piglets.

We also came home to no Internet - the modem is broken in the Fisheries office where we had our home Internet connected to. I wasn't too surprised that it was somehow broken since the Fisheries had managed to ruin a whole computer and needed a new hard drive put in. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the Internet - they just got it a few months ago and don't really know much about viruses and such. I went into the office and one of the workers asked me to look at a form online they were filling out. I scrolled through and it was junk email saying you could win a million dollars and asked for the person's credit card number!! I told them NOT to fill it out and never to give their credit card on a form like that if they didn't know the sender. And the Peace Corps office Internet was down for a few days as well - the bill hadn't been paid again. The power was also out again in my computer center so I'm trying to get that sorted out. But these kind of issues just keep happening here, nothing new.

We had a two day Peace Corps workshop/training on service learning with our counterparts. We'd asked someone to come before vacation, then the day before the workshop found out she was in Nuku'alofa on the main island. Oh well. It was fun though to see the outer island volunteers - Eric and Melanie, and Monica, they leave to go back to their islands today on the boat.

It's also a lot colder here than when we left! It's the winter season now, and it's mostly down in the 70's now which feels really cold when we're used to high humidity and temps in the high 80's.

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