Easter Monday is a thing here.
I mean, it's a holiday, with no school.
So everyone on the island seems to run to the nearest beach with their families and their arms full of root crop and lu.
That's how I spent my day. And it was wonderful.
At one point during the day, Ane and I were sitting under a Fotulona tree weaving. Fotulona trees are something out of a fairy tale - they look about a billion years old, have large oval waxy green leaves and a fruit that has the shape of a tomato but is the color of the glow in the dark stars that dotted the ceiling of my childhood bedroom. Ane is teaching me to weave a taovala - a grass mat worn for special occasions, but first I must take the bark from the hibiscus tree which has been pounded out into a flight reed and braid it. So stuck between my big toe and the next one over, is hibiscus bark and I'm braiding and braiding ... I look up to see Touna. I've talked about Touna (Una) before and how she and I are kindred spirits. Today she has decided to keep her clothes on while she is kau kau tahi (swimming at the beach). She is thigh deep in water and playing with three other children her age. What she's doing reminds me of the mole game I used to play in arcades - you know the one. It's played with the hammer. When the moles come out of a hole you just bop 'em - Touna is doing something similar with the heads of the other three kids. They are laughing and loving life. Out beyond them I watch as a dozen kids ranging from 7-13 are participating in what can only be called the South Pacific's version of lumberjack log rolling. They are all balanced on the top of a floating coconut tree trunk and are singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (in Tongan). They are attempting to make it through the whole song while they are all balanced on the tree but barely make it past the first "A-weeeeeeeee A-weeee-um-um-ooo-wayyyy". There is a kava circle taking place next to me - as the day goes by the men are getting progressively louder and rowdier. Ane and I talk about family and we talk about Vava'u. We talk about Touna and her grandson who is spending the week down in Tongatapu with his parents "eva-ing" (wandering around).
*My apologies for the lack of pictures - the sky was questionable during the early morning hours so I didn't take out Carlton the Canon (Yes, my camera has a name).