Elder Kau (pronounced cow) or Timote or just Kau now that he has been released as a missionary, lives in one of the nearby communities so we have seen him several times over the past week. Now that he is no longer serving as a full time missionary he decided he wanted to test out his coconut tree climbing skill to see if he could still do it. I'll let you judge for yourself (see video below).
Timote Kau climbing the coconut tree.
The car we have is a Hyundai Tucson and is pretty nice. It is pretty similar to our Mazda CX5 at home as far as size and options. It has the back-up camera built into the rearview mirror, power window and seats (not heated - thank goodness). I did bring a simple little driving camera with us (like a GoPro but cheaper). As we were driving some local Tongan missionaries to the clinic one of them kept asking about the car and all it's options. When he finished he simply said, "It would take a lifetime for a Tongan to buy a car like this."
|Big Mama's Yacht Club Resort - swimming pool and diving|
board. I'm not sure a sunken ship is a good way to advertise
for a yacht club but here it seems to work.
We also hear stories from missionaries from Tonga who have never been to any other island than the one they were born on. One of the things they really like is being assigned to an island they have never been to. In fact, this may be the only time they ever go there.
I thought about these three things for a while and it made me realize how blessed we I am (we are) to be able to travel and see the country (or the world). To many here, it is a dream that may go unfulfilled yet for us it is common place.
We have had a few more questions about the food in Tonga so I thought I'd share a little more about it. There is not much Tongan food that we don't like. I think Lepeka will eat most of it but I draw the line at raw fish. I've included a few of the more common foods below with our best description of what they are and taste like.
Dining out is not common but there are a few local restaurants which are pretty inexpensive. We frequently eat lunch at one of the local establishments for about $8. (USD) total for both of us. Most of them serve fried chicken, rice, manioke, curry sipi (lamb), lu kapa pulu. They drink mostly via (water) coconut milk (straight from the coconut) and other fruit juice drinks. They drink very few carbonated drinks. In fact, if they buy a carbonated drink, will shake it until it is flat and then drink it. Most restaurants do not serve any diet drinks.
|'Ota 'aka served with Manioke|
'Ota 'ika (literally raw fish) is the national dish of Tonga consisting of raw fish marinated briefly in lemon or lime juice and then mixed with coconut milk and diced vegetables (most commonly cucumber, tomato, onion, green onion, and spicy peppers).
Manioke is a root crop (or tuber) similar to a potato and usually cooked in an oven or umu (earth oven). It is served in a similar manner to what we would call a potato log in the U.S. It is served at almost every meal in Tonga. It is similar to a potato but more grainy and drier. It is rarely seasoned or served with any gravy or sauce. Most food here is eaten using the fingers (not utensils). Perhaps with the exception of chips (what we would call french fries in the U.S.) for some reason most Tongans eat them with a light drizzle of catsup utilizing a fork.
|Puaka on a spit one fire.|
|Look at the size of those leaves!|
|Lu ip being prepared for cooking|
|Kapa pulu (canned corn beef)|
Kuli (or dog) is also eaten quite frequently and most Tongans we have talked to (and even our young missionaries) seem to like it describing it as 'sweet'. It is prepared pretty much the same way as puaka, roasted on a spit over a fire. This is one I am going to have to take their word on as I will not be eating fido anytime soon.
There are several restaurants around that cater to the American taste so we are able to get hamburgers and other sandwiches, pizza, pasta, tacos and even a good steak along with a few other dishes. Lepeka misses her good lettuce (and salads in general) but never really complains about anything.
|Phil Hudson - Dentist|
|Jan Hudson - Dental hygienist|
More photos from around the island this week.
|You can see the kids climbing all over this old rusty boat. If you look closely|
you can see one of them about to enter the water. They seemed to be having
the time of their lives.
|Another computer store that I have not seen until now located on the bypass road.|
I may just have to check this one out next week.
|The elusive black star-fish. This one saved by the women folk.|
(Jan and Lepeka)
|One of the Christmas decorations along wharf road.|
|Elders on their P-day.|
L>R, Elder Christopherson, Elder Woods, ElderArnold and Elder Mafi
|The beach at Mama's Yacht club resort|
|Big Mama's Yacht Club Resort|
|Swimming pool Tongan style|
|Sunset at Surfers beach|
|Sunset at the Houma blow holes|