Sunday, May 13, 2012

The land where time begins...

During the past week and a half our family has traveled through multiple time zones, eaten to much plane food, carried massive amounts of luggage, chased crabs and frogs in Fiji and finally arrived in the Kingdom of Tonga.  We share a ranch-style fale (house) with our friends Kamu and Saane.  The gate on the side is our entrance to our side of the house.  Being almost a week now since we've been here we're starting to settle in and adapt.  Gradually we've been picking up some essential items that we couldn't bring with us.  We're living with a lot less which i like, but can be frustrating when i want to do basic cooking and chris is trying to fix up the house.
Everything is expensive here!  We are helping out to pay the electric, water, internet, and trash bill.  The price of food and simple appliances is crazy high since almost everything is imported.  We will be planting a garden to use the vegetables and also sell in the store out front.  We also bought a truckful of coconuts so we can make coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut water, and cups.  In December all the fruit trees around the house produce fruit so we will be overflowing with papaya, orange, watermelon, mango, avocado, lemon...

chris has his hands full with husking the huge mound of coconuts..

We are in the cooler, rainy season so it feels similar to a New England summer.  Some nights it can get a bit chilly even.  Most days are humid, but not all of them.  Their are bugs, cockroaches, spiders, and ants everywhere.  I'm surprised at how well everyone is handling it!  Twice i've seen spiders so big it's taken me about an hour or so to recover.  I'm very thankful for a cold shower and mosquito net at night to get rid of the sweat and the constant flow of critters!  We love the geckos that crawl around though, they eat all the bad bugs!

Alei loves doing dishes here

We are the pālangi(white people) here, and though the tongans are hospitable and friendly, unfortunately, being a pālangi is not usually a good association.  The tongan's go out of their way to honk, wave, stare, and say hello to us.  They are generally kind, but it will take time for them to trust us and take us seriously.  We are excited because soon we will be presenting an idea to the minister here to build a skatepark so we can get to know the kids here, build relationships, and make a good name for us here.  If this all works out we feel strongly God wants us to later move up to the island of Vava'u once we have established ourselves here in the big city.  For now we will be working on opening up the small shop in front of the house, taking shifts in the store, fixing up the house,and getting to know the neighbors.

so are we happy here?  i feel we are, it's a different lifestyle, less entertainment and more work.  But the Tongans take everything at a more relaxed pace.  We believe we are where God wants us to be and doing what He wants us to do. We will be living more day by day for our needs to provided but that makes it so much easier to depend on Yahweh.  Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement, prayers, thoughts, and giving.