Friday, September 21, 2012


This post was originally written on Thursday, September 20, 2012:

Here's your Tongan lesson of the day:
We'll start simple: lele (pronounced lay-lay) means run. As in: I will run down the road.
Repeat it with me three times. lele... lele... lele... Well done!
Now let's try something a little harder... Fakalele (pronounced fah-kah-lay-lay).
It's fun to say, isn't it?
Well, it means "the runs"
... or diarrhea.
Today during medical training we talked about fakalele for 2 hours. 2 hours, people. I am now afraid to breathe the air, eat food, walk anywhere, drink anything or touch my face for fear of contracting fakalele. Shweet deal.
Today is also a special day. In exactly one month I will find out my permanent post in the Peace Corps (October 19th). I am very excited about this. It means that I will know what island group I will be living in for the next two years ('Eua, Vava'u, or Tongatapu). I probably should have explained early that the first 2-3 months of Peace Corps Service is dedicated to PST (Pre-service Training) which is designed to prepare us to do our jobs effectively. Since I am a Primary English Teacher, I have been studying the Tongan language, TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), Cross Cultural Studies (learning about Tongan culture and the way in which I can honor it and not offend anyone while I am here) and receiving Medical advice and information (so I don't contract Dunge Fever, Typhoid, Fakalele, or any other disease/virus/situation that I would rather not have).

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