Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Top 10... or maybe 11

So after large amounts of contemplation, I finally decided on a way to post a blog that would sum up my time here without boring you all. :) So here are my top ten (or maybe 11) things you should know when picturing me and my new life in Tonga.

1. Here comes the heat! Summer is on its way and the sun likes to surprise us late morning by fighting off the clouds and relentlessly freckling my skin. The humidity then decides it can't be weaker than the sun and causes all Palangi's (white people technically but often used for all PC,) to feel gross and excessively sticky.

2. Related to heat, I was planning for school in my room the other day when I felt warm and walked into the rest of the house where there was a breeze. My family asked if I was OK, (as they do anytime I am not sleeping, eating or going to school.) I told them it was warm in my room so I was just taking a break. (Which I might add, I spoke entirely in Tongan.) Following my statement, a fury of rapidly spoken Tongan began way beyond my comprehension. My host sister began searching the house and when dissatisfied, disappeared for a few minutes. Upon her return, she had 3 of my little host cousins trailing her, the last of which was carrying a standing, oscillating fan tha twas ast all as he was. Now imagine a fan in America, add dirt and spider webs, remove the front cover, and add a loud clicking noise. :) It was very sweet and I will certainly not be telling them that my room is still hot! :) (Side note... I learned the next day that the word I used for hot also means "sweltering." oops!)

3. There's a mouse, (or perhaps many,) that hang out in my room. However every time I tell my family, it disappears. Pretty sure they think I'm crazy. They believed me when there was one in the toilet though!

4. You know you're adjusting when you like the moko's (little lizards that chirp like birds... seriously!) and large spiders hanging around because they eat the mosquitos and annoying insects.

5. While I'm on that subject, you can draw constellations on my legs. Enough said.

6. There is nothing like sitting on a beach with other trainee's around a bonfire, mixing drinks with fresh coconut milk and pineapple slices and then drining straight out of the coconut.

7. So I definitely thought I was leaving camp songs! When my family/neighbors learned I play guitar, they were insistant that I learn them a song for church. (Remember this is a very religious culture.) If I have to sing "Living Water" one more time.........
P.S. Would someone from camp please send me a song book?!?!

8. "Accidental Moa's." My term for the two boys in my village that somehow became my boyfriends. I think I clarified now that in America we can be just friends with boys but my Tongan isn't good enough to know for sure. (Further explanation probably necessary... let's just say the "dating scene" here is like being back in middle school.) Not going to lie though, when one of my "moa's" brought me a plate of crab, fish and lobster he caught the night before, I wasn't complaining!

9. Just because I can introduce myself, talk about food, family and where I am going does NOT mean I am fluent! Must you laugh every time I ask you to slow down...?

10. Technical training= 8 hours a day for 1 week sitting on a hard bench and learning teaching methodologies and how to plan a lesson. Didn't I do this once before? For 4 years perhaps....? Sudoku anyone?

11. The kids are way to cute and I feel like a rockstar when I walk into the school where I am practicing. I'm becoming very "faka-Tonga" (like a Tongan,) because my response t them all yelling my ame is the ever popular up-nod with a simultaneous eyebrow raise. It's a very common response that has nothing to do with hitting on people and isn't very natural for us Americans. (Try it, up-nod once and raise your eyebrows in one motion. :))

So there it is... the top 11 things that will help you picture my life in Tonga!

'Ofa Aupito,