Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Future Site: Ha'ano, Ha'apai

After several attempts to travel to town to get internet (making it once, but, alas, the internet was down), I've succeeded.

Last weekend, all 26 PCT (Peace Corps Trainees) learned where we'd be living and working for the next two years. I'll be in Ha'ano, a town on an island north of Foa (the island that I'm living on now). It's about a 45-minute boat ride (when the boat is running, of course) to the northernmost town on Foa, and then a 40-minute drive (when a ride is available, of course) into Pangai, the "big" town. Though I'll be the only palangi (foreigner) on the island of about 350 people, there are a number of other PCV (Peace Corps Volunteers) in Pangai, so I'd be able to hang out with them on a long weekend perhaps.

One of the PCVs that's helping with our training was working in Ha'ano for the past two years, in my future house and all, so I've been able to learn more than most other PCTs about my site. The house is on the primary school compound (where I'll be working), and it's about 50 m from the ocean. Though many houses in Tonga have problems with molokaus (giant hard-shelled centipedes that are aggressive and have a horrible bite), supposedly the biggest animal problem for my house is hermit crabs wandering up from the water. Since I won't have running water, I'll use the rainwater collected in a large tank, which is what I do at my home now. I'll have electricity from 7pm-2am daily, but it sometimes doesn't come on at all. The PCV there now says that, since it's difficult to preserve food without a fridge, he ate a lot of his meals at people's homes in the community. Not only did he get fed, but his Tongan also improved a lot.

This upcoming Saturday, there will be a PCT scavenger hunt in Ha'ano, so I'll get to see my house and the school. A couple of people who will be in Pangai have also seen their sites, so we'll be more prepared about what we should buy to stock our houses before moving in. That'll be especially useful for me, because, since I'm on an outer island, I won't be able to just go down to the store for anything.

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