Its Sunday so not much happened today. I got up around 9ish this morning and got ready for church. Mormon Church lasts for 3 hours on Sunday, from 9-12. The first 2 hours of the service is a kind of Bible study. The west way that I can think of comparing it, it to compare it to religion school back home.
Thankfully, Lei did not make me go for the full 3 hours. It’s in Tongan so its not like I would know what they were saying anyway. I arrived around 10ish. I’m able to pick out random words in the sermons or maybe the subject of a sentence every now and then, but for the most part I’m clueless to what they’re talking about. I did however hear Obama’s name mentioned followed by some laughing. So I was pretty sure they were making some sort of joke about me but I had no idea the context. Lei later told me that the guy talking had said that Charity and I had come from America and that we were Obama’s top 2 advisors.
After the service I went back home (next door) and took a nap for a couple hours. Shortly after I woke up, I went with Charity to meet Sean and Ofa (the other volunteers in our village) at the beach to do some studying. We stayed there for about an hour or so and I spent most of the time playing with Sima (my 8 year old brother) and another boy who is somehow related to the family, who had followed us to the beach. We all went back to Charity’s and watched some episodes of Arrested Development. We watched 4 or 5 and then I went home for dinner.
Lei sort of chastised me for watching TV on the Sabbath when I got home. I say sort of because she kept smiling and making a funny face as she was talking to me. I’m pretty sure she was just saying it for the benefit of Taleki (the grandfather) who was snoozing in the next room and listening in. Taleki is a Mormon minister at the church. Apparently his faith hasn’t rubbed off on his son (my dad), Laukau, because he was too (for lack of a better word) hung-over from Kava the night before.
Today I started drinking the water from their water tank. The water tank is filled by rain water. Up until now, Lei had been boiling my water because the Peace Corps had told us it might make us sick until we got use to drinking it. I’ve been drinking a decent amount of Kava, which is made with unboiled rain water, so I figured what the hell. So far I’ve had almost 2 liters and no sign of trouble.
We have been told by the Peace Corps and we’ve heard from other sources like the internet, that PST (Pre-service training) is not fun and is commonly thought of to be the toughest part your 27 months. Maybe I have been lucky because I’m having a pretty great time here. The language isn’t too hard, our lessons go pretty quick, the people here are amazing, my family take great care of me, and we have tons of time to go to the beach or to do whatever else we might want to do. This is probably the least stressed I’ve been in awhile. I also get along great with the rest of the volunteers in our group and we’re starting to become good friends. The only real complaint I have is the limited access to the internet.
Our Classroom and teacher, Tasi
Just visiting the pilots during our flight, no big deal
Ready for Church (notice new haricut)
Our Beach at Fotura
Our beach at sunset.
Group Shot at the airport upon arrival
Drinking Kava after church.
In Nuka'alofa we visited the Church of Tonga because one of the 5 business volunteers will be put there. They welcomed us with a feast.
Man-made road connecting Foa and Pangai
Sandy Beach also known as Palangi beach.
2-year old brother, Taleki