Monday, November 25, 2013

project 365 // week 7 // #43-49

This week's Project 365 is pretty darn eclectic. From dancing with wooden spears to serving kava to many men, it was a week full of goodness, happies and lots of smiles.
 Nov. 20 (#43): Today was the Hine Moana's last day in Vava'u for the foreseeable future. I am still working with the Tonga Voyaging Society to see if we can bring a waka (Polynesian sailing vessel) to Tonga for good. Right now we are grant writing and trying to find resources so that the TVS can have a full-time (read: paid) staff member and an office. There is so much good in the TVS - I hope we can make it a reality.
Nov. 21 (#44): The last few weeks of school have been dedicated to learning the kailao (Tongan war dance) and today my students performed the dance for the entire staff of the Ministry of Education. They were part of a Culture Day and each school in my district chose a traditional Tongan dance to perform (there were feathers, drums, tapa cloth, lots of flowers and even noise-makers tied around ankles!) Music, food and fun... and very very sweaty faces. The humidity was back and in full force!
Nov. 22 (#45): Today we had a little Peace Corps get-together at a local watering hole. We chatted with the new PCVs about their first couple weeks at site and collectively got really excited for Thanksgiving - I cannot believe it's next week! Creating American food in Tonga will be quite the creative task, but we're up for the challenge (Example: We were able to find a turkey down in Nuku'alofa and have it brought up on a boat... Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without a turkey. Unless you're vegetarian, and let's be real - your chances of finding a Tofurkey in Tonga are less than the probability that it snows here on Christmas. But you never know.)
Nov. 23 (#46): Today we journeyed with Don, Norie and the rest of the Baha'i study group out to Keitahi Beach and kaitunu (roasted food) together. We had time to swim/snorkel in the ocean, learn more about the Baha'i faith and fellowship with each other while enjoying this beautiful place in which we live.
Nov. 24 (#47): It was a rainy Sunday in Vava'u. I woke up to the sound of the water hitting my tin roof. I smiled a lot because lots of rain means my water tank will be full! Rainy day mornings are so needed sometimes. I was able to take it slow this morning, read a lot, sip my coffee and feel almost cool again.
Nov. 25 (#48): Camp GLOW/GROW is a mere two weeks and our final local fundraising effort was tonight. We (the planning team) invited the entire island to come and drink kava with us at a hall in Neiafu. Sarah, Katie, Kate, Ayyamiha and I served kava to over 100 men. There was music, gossiping [the kind that men do] and lots of laughter.  I would have taken my camera with me, but my hands were full serving kava to so many men. This time I was only proposed to twice, sat next to a guy that looked like a Polynesian version of an Avatar character (he had a long rat-tail braid that went down half of his back) with the voice of James Earl Jones and I may have had a lively conversation with a Tongan Jimmy Buffet (complete with the over-the-top Hawaiian print button up shirt) who kept talking about fishing. Overall, a good night. So instead of including a picture of that, here's a picture of Touna playing with my watch. "Uasi 'ahai? Uasi 'ahai?" (Whose watch? Whose watch?) "Fakaofoofa 'a e uasi!" (Beautiful watch) ... I just love her curiosity!
Nov. 26 (#49): Today I was a wee bit sleepy from the late night Kava ceremony, but powered through anyway. I made sure to make some time to play with these little ones (Class 1 & 2 kiddos). In school we practiced Christmas songs, I worked on some more Camp GLOW/GROW preparation, went over to a friends' house and then ended the day at yoga class.

What's on the schedule for next week?
A Thanksgiving celebration, the beginning of the last week of the school year, more prep for Camp GLOW/GROW and being grateful for this magical little journey that we're all on together!
Do you have anything fun, interesting, and/or relaxing planned?

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