Sunday, June 11, 2017

We Smile From The Heart

Fire dance show from 'Oholei
Polynesian Fire dance.  'Oholei cow!  I hope the video clips work as it was incredible to watch.  We have a few really good ones that I'll add to youtube and provide links in one of our future blogs.

The Blow-pops continue to be a hit with the missionaries.  We also pass them out to some of the local kids when it seems appropriate (with parental approval of course).

The two young kids that wait for
Blow-pops at Pelehake.  Lepeka was 
able to get them to smile and wave at
us but this was the better photo.
We have one house in Pelehake that is right next to the MQ at the end of the road.  There is a little girl and boy who seem to be on the lookout for us now and whenever we visit the missionaries, they are always standing out by the road when we leave hoping to get a blow-pop.  Their shy smiles win us over every time.  They were having a family party earlier this week and even though it was dark, we had a whole group of kids come out to greet us.  They now know our name and say, " Thank you Elder and Sister Kapp" (it's a good thing we had just opened a new box so we were ready).

Fire Dance at 'Ololei resort Friday, June 9, 2017
This week Lepeka and I were able to attend one of the many programs on the island designed around the Tongan culture.  Food, music, and dancing were provided for an evening of fun and entertainment.  There is a resort on the east side of the island that we have heard many good things about and a group of six senior couples as well as some of dental volunteers who come here to work and serve for 2 weeks to two months.  In all our group totalled about 16.  The host made it a point to say thank you to all of the visitors to the island and left a good explanation of the happy sentiment we see so everywhere when he stated, "We smile from the heart".  There is nothing fake about the Tongans love for others and they do truly smile from the heart.  A good lesson for me.

Since it was the dentist's wife that called and made the arrangements for our group, she mentioned to them that we had some dentist volunteers that were here for a couple of weeks that wanted to see the show.  As we arrived the announced us as a group of dentists from America who were here for two weeks and how grateful they were that they could get their teeth fixed for free.  I guess it is true that we are known by those we associate with.

The band for the pre-dinner show.
We started the evening out by listening to a band play some good old Tonga ukulele music like, "Spanish Eyes, and Can't Help Falling In Love".  Lepeka and I enjoyed the music as we arrived about 1 1/2 hours early (the music started at 6:30pm and the dinner at 8:00 pm) we thought it would be fun to get there and just relax and listen.  The others in our group arrived later just prior to dinner.  We are always a sight in our white shirts and ties especially when we are in a group.

As dinnertime approached, our host started his prayer for the evening with a Tongan song of thanks and then prayed for the evening (in Tongan and English).  He described how Christianity runs through the country of Tonga and how grateful he is for the Savior.  He said the he teaches his children about God but doesn't teach them about religion.

I think it is sad that so many do not understand that religion is the way we learn, the way we strengthen and exhibit our faith in God.  Many have come to think that the understanding of man is higher (or more accurate) than the teachings of God and think that with the discoveries of science, we now understand more and need Him less.  It is so easy to see that the world really needs the teachings of Christ so much more now than at any time in Earth's history. 

You can see the bamboo stalks that are
used as plates (we did have a fork to
eat with).
Our dinner for the evening was all typical Tongan food. They had 14 different dishes prepared for us as well as a banana stalk plate (see photos).  We have tried most of the local foods now with few exceptions (we'll leave the dog, horse and bat for others).  Most of the food is pretty good and some of it is very good.  We eat regularly at some of the local restaurants.  I am even developing a taste for laise (rice).  Becky wishes they had better lettuce for salads but we have found some here and there.  I don't miss the salads since they've never been on my favorites list.  Dandelions, leaves and grass should be reserved for the animals.  I do my part by only eating animals that are vegetarians (beef, chicken, pork).

Ika Lolo'o and Lo'i Kaloa
Fresh fish and coconut cream
and marinated clams
Talo and Salati Vesitipolo
Taro (root) and Green Salad

Faikakai and Meleni
Bread Pudding and Watermelon

 Ota Ika (raw fish) and Lu and kapapulu
Corned beef cooked in Talo leaves
and coconut cream

Puaka (whole roasted pit)
head and all.  We didn't get
a shot after it was unwrapped.
A better shot of the saladi vesitipolo

Puaka and Moa are the big meats here (pork and chicken).   You can click on the photos to get a better view of the food.  All in all we had a great evening culminated by the fire dancers.

He said when he first stated the restaurant in 2005, he hired professional fire dancers from Nuku'alofa but as they continued they wanted more money so he told his grandsons they were now going to be the fire dancers and they had a few days to learn.  He would teach them what he could but told them if they got burned, they didn't have enough faith.  Then he said, "I will pray for you".  

All-in-all we had a great night with lots of fun, laughter and good food.   Wish you could have been there with us.

The missionaries continue to amaze us with their Spirit and their willingness to serve.  Nothing major on the missionary health front as all are doing well with a few minor bumps and bruises here and there.

Thanks to all of you who send us email.  We love to hear about you and your families and we do answer them all and appreciate so much you thinking of us here in Tonga!

Ofa lahi 'atu!        (we love you)                                                                                                                    


From the Fire dance

more from the Fire dance

more from the Fire dance

final still shot from the Fire dance


  1. Not our typical week but it was nice to get away from our usual tasks for a short while. sister Tuione was ready to help if needed as well.

  2. We had no idea you were both Dentists! :-)

    1. Have pliers and a drill ... will travel.