Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Puna Mo'unga Afi (Flying Mountain Fire)

The title has nothing to do with the post, except it's my new favorite phrase in Tongan. Of course, the more accurate English translation would be "volcano," but flying mountain fire is so picturesque.

I saw my future house in Ha'ano over the weekend! We were doing a scavenger hunt on the island for cassava plants, people roasting pigs over fires, women weaving, etc. My team of three was in a different village than Ha'ano, but after the hunt, we had lunch and festivities at my future home. It's big and clean. There are only three rooms (kitchen, bedroom, living room), but it's well-made (no tin walls for me!), and there's even running water in the kitchen sink. The shower (no bucket bath for me either!) and toilet (it flushes and everything!) are in an outhouse sort of situation, but, like I said, it's all clean and well-made. There's a big porch that looks out onto the ocean, which is about 30 feet away. I've even got two trees that will hold my hammock perfectly. It's inside the school compound, and next year the principal will move in next door to me. I got to meet her on the scavenger hunt, and she seems very nice.

We go back to the capital city of Nuku'alofa in December, so I'll buy my oven/stove for my house there, but that's about the only exciting amenity in the house. There's limited electricity (only 7pm-2am), so fridges would be useless, and the island is so short (maybe 2 miles long) that a bike doesn't make sense either. Since there aren't many chances to get some foods I'd like (fake cheese, canned vegetables, olive oil) on my island, I'll probably buy those things in Nuku'alofa too.

Next weekend is the performance of Tongan dances, Tongan skits, and American songs. It should be good.