The 8 of us went to Uoleva for Christmas Eve and Christmas. It’s about an hour boat ride south of Pangai, and we stayed at Serenity Beaches, a resort with amazing individual huts and a larger common-area hut and kitchen. The PCVs and JICA (Japanese version of the Peace Corps) cooked for ourselves while we were there. Spaghetti and garlic bread for Christmas Eve; pancakes and bacon for Christmas morning; turkey and mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner. Nothing too over the top, but a fun diversion from the general Tongan diet of fried everything and root crops. There isn’t general electricity on the island, but there was electricity in the kitchen and common area, so we could keep food for a couple of days. We spent the time sitting around at the beach, kayaking, swimming – all things I’ve done several times since being in Tonga, but this time I could do it in a swimsuit and not be scandalous.
We came back to Pangai after 2 nights, and I headed back to Ha’ano after 2 more nights in Pangai. That’s just how often the boats to my island would go – every once in a while it seems.