Sunday, December 17, 2017

Lost in Translation

Glazed Donuts ... Glazed Yeast Rings or ???
I saw these donuts at Costco and got a kick out of the tag.   I mentioned to Lepeka that they had "Glazed Yeast Rings" thinking she would find that humorous too.  She gave me the strangest look ... wandered over to the pastry shelf and burst out laughing when she realized that what I had said, "Glazed Yeast Rings", she had heard as "Glazed G-Strings".  We got such a good laugh out of that that I had to buy them just to take them home and get a photo for the blog.  I didn't dare take a photo in the store since they were pretty much front and center  (photos are not allowed in Costlow anymore since they put up their new signs).

We have so many parties and events over the next two weeks that we may have to do some work just to relax.  Friday, Ward Party, Saturday, Senior Couples BBQ, Sunday, Elder Kau's homecoming in Lakepa (a nearby town).  He is one of our very special local missionaries as we spent quite a bit of time with him when he was sick and really got to know him and his family well.  Monday Service Center Christmas Party, Friday, Combined Zone Conference, Saturday, Senior Couples Christmas activity.  Lepeka and I are singing a duet at the Combined Zone Conference.  I would rather she sang a solo but I guess I'm stuck.  At least I provide a good contrast to her beautiful voice.
A coconut crab can live to be over 50 years
of age and can weights much as 10 lbs.

As we were visiting the sister missionaries in Veitongo, we saw this little fellow scurrying across the road just in front of us.  We stopped to see what it was and it froze in its tracks.  I couldn't get it to move even when prodding it with a small stick.  This one is about the size of my hand but I think it is a coconut crab (Birgus Latro) and they can grow to about 1 meter (39") in length and their claws grow to be very large and are powerful enough to crack a coconut.

Coconut crabs are considered a delicacy and have become an endangered species almost everywhere.  They are born in the water but become land dwellers as they grow to a sufficient size to emerge from the water.  This was the first one we have seen other than some really large ones on a dinner plate.

Different pizza sizes at Marcos.
Family, large, medium, small and
personal.  They have a very nice
thin-crust pizza.  The sign is made
from Tapa cloth.
One of the places we frequent when we eat out with other senior couples is Marco's Pizza & Paste.  Most of the time they only have pizza which is ok because it's one of the better pizza's in Tonga.  We usually order a
View from the window at
Marco's Pizza and Pasta
large pizza with half Hawaiian and half BBQ chicken.  It's rare that we finish it.

Last night we also tried their pasta for the first time (fettuccini with white sauce, mushrooms, chicken, and peppers).  It was pretty good but I still prefer the pizza.

I feel so fortunate to be here with Lepeka, she treats me like a king.  She is so loving, kind and patient with me even in my times of confusion.  She is such a great nurse and is always so good with those she serves.  She never complains and always answers the missionary calls and does everything she can to make sure they feel like they are getting the treatment they need and that they feel loved.

A gaggle of Nephila Tetragnathoides
All by myself.
You may have to click on the photo to the left to open up the higher resolution version so you can zoom in and see all of the spiders between the bottom two lines.  They seem to all be lining up as if in formation just waiting for dinner time.  These spiders are pretty big with a typical body reaching 2 inches across (not including leg span).  They are also called banana spiders but I think the official name is Nephila Tetragnathoides.  The spider webs are harvested to treat burns (I am not recommending this treatment ... just passing on what I have heard from the locals).

They remodeled the old Costlow and reopened it yesterday.  It seems like it may have some different items.  We're hoping that they get more salsa in again so we can enjoy our "chips and salsa" again regularly.  We can find chips but salsa is pretty hard to come by.

Elder Eau finished up his mission last week and we were able to see him at his homecoming celebration and attend his ward today to listen to him speak.  It is one of those bitter sweet moments for us as we have really grown close to him through the last year and we will miss seeing and hearing from him as a missionary.  The good news is that his is in a nearby kolo (town) so we can still touch base with him from time to time.  He is a special young man and will do great things in this life.  He is one who can (and will) do anything he sets his mind to.

We also had another one of our beautiful Tongan sunsets this past week with some extremely vivid colors.  We took several photos of it but since we are on campus at Liahona there were lots of man-made obstacles 'obscuring' the view.  I was able to get permission from Elder and Sister Tilton who serve at camp Makeke on the coast to use their photo (thank you Elder and Sister Tilton!).  Notice that it has no buildings or wires to detract from the natural beauty (no special effects or colorization - totally unedited).

Beautiful Tongan sunset - by God (shared freely)
Photo by Elder and Sister Tilton (used with permission)
Notice this drift of pigs (and the sheep in the background)
One more shot of some pigs for those of you that just can't get enough (and some piggy trivia).  Most of you know all about the one that went to market, the one who stayed home and the one who cried wee wee wee all the way home but did you know that the name for a group of pigs depends on the animals' ages and gender?  A group of young pigs is called a drift, drove or litter.  Groups of older pigs are called a sounder of swine, a team or passel of hogs (male) or sows (female).  A drift fits this pigs perfectly as they wander around (free to roam) over the property of about 10-15 homes in Fahefa.  This is only a few of them and they pretty much ignore us humans.

Some more photos from around Tonga including some of the planted crops and fields.

Sometimes it's hard for me to tell what has been planted from the weeds.

Banana trees all in a row.

This field of lu has nice rows and is ready to harvest

Some of the cattle near Liahona.  There are not a lot of cattle here (no dairy farms).

A new grave-site near Liahona.

World map with Tonga near the center (as it should be).

This is one of the head-bangers in the new Costlow.  They just hang this piece of
metal off the end of the isle and put the tree decorations on them.  It's just about
to rip open a shoulder or bang a hear if you are bent over at all.  I had to take this
photo very sneakily, I hope they don't ban me from the store if someone sees this.