Monday, October 23, 2017

Parade Daredevils

Youth standing atop an airplane entry to the parade.

The Tax Revenue Day Parade.  We have seen more parades in the past month than the rest of our stay here combined.  To the best of our knowledge this parade was for Tax Revenue Day (whatever that means) and has something to do with the upcoming election.  This parade may have been the largest one we have seen in Tonga and there have been many lately.   It may have seemed that way due to the fact that we parked on the street before we knew it was coming and were stuck there until it ended.  They didn't block off the road and if there was a break in the parade others would drive off.  I couldn't bring myself to do that so we waited until the end.

Another Parade entry.  Parades always
bring lots of music and dancing.  There
is also lots of hootin' and hollerin' and
plenty of smiles to go around.
We also encountered a parade last Saturday but we were just driving through town and somehow made it through during the parade.  We drove through the intersection before we really knew it was a parade (right in front of the military entry).  Others were doing it as well so I guess it was okay.  No one tried to stop us or yelled or came running after us.  I didn't get any photos of that one so these are both Tax Revenue Day Parade entries.  I think they are trying to draw attention to the fact that they spend the tax dollars wisely.

This Military marching band was the first entry in the parade.

Elder and Sister Hudson  - the new
Dentist and Dental Hygenist at Abel
Tasman's landing
Osi ha'u ae Toketā Ngaohi Nifo fo'ou (the new Dentist has arrived)!  We have thoroughly enjoyed the temporary dentists that have served here during the interim since the John's left in July but at last the new permanent dentist has arrived (one year mission).  Elder and Sister Hudson from Washington State (Spokane) are here for the next year.  We have enjoyed showing them around and orienting them to Tonga as we got to know them better  They are going to be a great addition to the senior couples group here.  They bring lots of energy and great fun personalities.

Elder Hudson (Washington State)
getting fitted for his first Tupenu.
It is amazing the instant connection you feel to the other couples serving here.  We miss those couples who have finished up their service and returned home.  They will be lifelong friends and the community stays in touch with them all.  We also love our young missionaries.  We enjoy our interactions with them and it is fun to see them progress as they serve.  We get to laugh and cry with them and hopefully provide a touch of home for those serving far away from their loved ones.  We are grateful for their health and their testimonies.  We look forward to keeping track of them through the years as well and hope to be able to attend homecomings and weddings as they each move on to the next chapters of their lives.

We also had our senior couples dinner prepared by the cooking students at Liahona High school on Friday evening.  It was part of their final grade and there were people there to judge the food quality and presentation.   There was plenty of palangi food with a few Tongan dishes as well.

The Cooking class staff and our meal.
Presented in the Liahona HS cafeteria.

The dance in the gymnasium.
There was also a dance going on across the street in the gymnasium  so we were able to catch that for a few minutes after dinner.  Here are a couple of photos from the dance.  We were the recipient of several smiles and chuckles as we snuck in and took a couple of photos and were caught movin' to the beat on the sidelines.
A cute little girl at the dance.

These are some photos we took on Saturday.  We (all the senior missionary couples) went down to the coast (about 3K from here) to watch the sunset and see the waves crash into the coastline.  It's actually quite peaceful and Lepeka and I go there quite often.

These last few photos are not for the fainthearted and they are very graphic in nature so you may want to turn your head away now.

Lepeka at the market on Saturday buying vegetables.

More veggies ... I know you're thinking, what is she going to do
with all of those vegetables ... I kid you not, we actually eat them.
I find it hard to believe myself but so far I am still able to find
enough good food that I can choke them down  (hehe).

Some flowers at the market.  I was relieved to discover that they were not on the
dinner menu.  Maybe if I was a little better husband they would have been on the
dinner table though.  Maybe I'll surprise Lepeka next week.