Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Arrival Day

September 4: There's a moment in the movie "Hook" where Peter Pan is flying with Wendy Moira Angela Darling and they see Neverland for the first time. The clouds part and they are both greeted by the most beautiful island they have ever seen. I was thinking about that as we flew over the South Pacific today. Only I don't live in a Disney movie - this is real life. As we descended, the cloud cover gave way to an island covered in palm trees, compelte with a lagoon and both rocky and sandy shores. My new home for the next 27 months.

When the jet landed and we descended the stairs onto the tarmac we looked up to see a giant American flag, a poster with the Peace Corps symbol printed on it and a crowd of cheering people. They were screaming, guys. Screaming for me and my 14 friends. After we made it through immigration and customs we were greeted with more cheers and given the most beautiful (and wonderful smelling) leis.

Captain Cook wasn't kidding when he said that Tonga should also be known as the "Friendly Islands". The people here are amazing. I'm so grateful for this experience already and can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

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