Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Weekend

     This Past weekend Tonga was the first country in the world to welcome in the New Year.  To celebrate, 13 of us, went to Uoleva island.  Uoleva is two islands over from my island and has the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.  I've heard that it also has the most beautiful beaches in Tonga.  It is about a 45 minute boat ride from the island next to mine.  There were 3 Peace Corps volunteers from Ha'apai (including myself), 5 Peace Corps volunteers from other island groups, and 4 Japanese volunteers.  We went with a huge cooler we borrowed from the fishery and filled it with alcohol, hot dogs, and ice.  We also brought bread, peanut butter and jelly, some soups, gasoline, music, tents, and 2 spear guns. 
     We spent the days lounging about on the beach, fishing (we caught about 14 fish), reading, and doing a whole lot of nothing.  At night we made a fire and cooked hot dogs and the fish we had caught.  It was completely stress free and awesome.  We stayed for 4 days and 3 nights.  We had originally planned on getting there on New Year's Eve and only staying 2 nights but we realized that would have meant we would have been returning on Sunday and nobody would give us a ride on the  Sabbath so we had to stay for an extra day.  We stayed next to a Tonga "resort."  They let us use their bathroom and shower for a small fee.  I think it was 10 pa'angas per night for everyone which is like $5 per night for the whole group.  As you can see in the pictures below, it's not much of a resort.  It is basically one house with about 5 or 6 bungalows.  But we had everything we needed for a comfortable stay.
     It had been arranged with the fisherman who had given us a ride that he would pick us up at noon on Monday to bring us back to Pangai.  None of us had much faith that he would show up on time and in typical Tongan fashion he showed up over 2 hours late.  The greatest thing about this is that not one of us were fazed by this.  Its amazing how laid back and relaxed you become about things like that in Tonga.  If I were back home and my ride had shown up hours late, I would be at the very least pissed and stressed about it.  Here its part of life.  That's not saying it can drive you nuts sometimes.  Like when my Internet was installed in my house over a week after they were suppose to come and install it but you get use to it and start to realize how useless it is to get upset by small things like that.  Plus we were on a beautiful tropical island beach so none of us were in a rush to leave anyway lol. 

This is the view looking towards Lifuka.  That's the island where Pangai is. (Lifuka is all the way to left in the distance)

View looking the other way.  You can't see it in this pic but when you look this way on a clear day like this you can usually see Tofua island which is a volcano.

The resorts boat.  We took a boat similar to this one from Pangai.

Frying some fish for lunch.

Sandy and Juliegh.  Juliegh is one of the other volunteers here in Ha'apai.

Roasting some hot dogs.

Lounging waiting for the boat to pick us up.

Our campsite.  you can see the red house where the kitchen is and one of the orange bungalows to the right.

One of the sunsets

1 comment:

  1. Connor this looked like a New Years that you will remember for the rest of your life. Happy New Year Man!