I've been neglecting this little corner of the internet and I'm sorry that I haven't been filling you all in.
This time in this 2 year journey has been so sweet - so full of little amazing moments. It's a great reminder of how far we've come the last two years. I've started the process of saying goodbye and packing up my life here. But I've been in awe the last few days because there are still new things to learn, to experience and to appreciate here.
Here's what I have been up to:
If you'd like to follow in "real time" and have Instagram, I'm ms.mandymarie.
Day 1: This is Koheleti and he has been working so hard to the last two years to learn English. When I met him he didn't know his ABCs and today he spelled "woman" correctly.
Day 2: This boy. His excitement and love for the little things is contagious. Today he found a "tattoo" inside a candy wrapper that said "free bird" and you'd think he found real gold. And because he didn't want to waste our water to put it on (our water tanks are running dry) he just spit on his arm and stuck it on. He is helping to raise his 3-year-old sister and many times I find him holding hands with her as they walk through the village and teaching her all about the little things of this world.
Day 3: Playing cards at recess is one of my favorite ways to spend time with my students during down time. Losalia used to think this palangi (foreigner) was not so good at pele (cards), but I'm slowly changing her mind. I love her sassy attitude towards everything... including cards.
Day 4: Today we started the morning hanging out playing cards. Peniteti sat in my lap for a good portion of the card game checking to make sure I didn't mess up. She also made sure to tell anyone in a 20 foot radius every card in my hand and somehow my teammate and I still pulled off the win.
Day 5: There are not many birds in Tonga (unless you are on the island of 'Eua), so when this little guy flew into my bag I was really surprised. So were the students and teachers. One of the teachers was so excited that she's decided to adopt him as a pet and plans to teach him to sit on her shoulder while she teaches. I wished her good luck with that.
Day 6: First annual Camp GLOW/GROW 3K Fun Run/Walk was a success! What fun was had! We all met at the Vava'u Red Cross and had a blast walking through the bush past cows, coconut trees and pigs.
Day 7: Sunday afternoons spent reading in a hammock. I spent the morning at church with some wonderful people from my village and now I'm reading The Fault in Our Stars.
Day 8: The students received a very awesome donation of books from the Australian Rotary Club. We have been taking picture walks all morning and they are beyond excited to start reading them.
Day 9: This is Melinta. She is my co-teacher's 3-year-old daughter and today we drove to the Ministry of Immigration with her father to get her grandmother's passport information. Melinta loves to respond to "How are you?" by shouting "YES!" at the top of her lungs.
Day 10: This is the first thing you see when you walk into my house. Over the last two years this wall has brought me so much joy and good feelings. I've filled it with inspirational quotes, pictures of wonderful memories, cards and letters from abroad.
Hope you have a great Saturday/Sunday!