|Some pretty mixed messages on the back of this car.|
You get the picture? It's tough here sometime to know what is real and what is not so you frequently just have to go find out for yourself. There are so many great and well meaning people here that sometimes you can't get to the real facts by discussing the situation. I have walked away from many meetings wondering what just happened. I know some of it is my language barrier and I have to accept my weakness there, however, it is hard to make plans or get much done quickly when you have to make so many personal visits just to get a good view of the real issues.
|Word on the street is that this is to be a new|
Cost-lo store. I'll be surprised if it is as no
store in Tonga is that large. Our current
Cost-lo here is probably about 30x40 sq. ft.
As you might have guessed from the first paragraph, I am headed to one of the outer islands next week. A one hour flight to Pangai, then about an hour high-speed boat ride to Ha'afeva to see if we can get their computer, firewall and internet up and working again. I'll leave Wednesday afternoon and return on Friday morning (at least that is the current plan). From what I understand, their system has been down now for about a year. Other than "it is down" it's hard to get any feel for what exactly is not working. Best guess at this point .... nothing is working. I am hoping to find a PC that I can take with me and I have a new wireless router, the firewall may not even exist. We'll see what we encounter and try to get them back on-line. I'm hoping to touch base with someone local to teach them how to troubleshoot and get it working again should it go back down after I leave.
|Road construction markers consist of|
rocks, sticks a pile of dirt and in this
case "caution tape"
We also had one of the local maintenance workers at Liahona campus
approach us and ask if there were things he could do to help as he wants to learn more about technology (especially computers). We will teach him as he wants to learn. He didn't have the opportunity to go to school but is so interested in Technology. We got approval from his supervisor as long as we give her some advanced notice.
I really try to obey the traffic laws and be courteous but there are almost no speed limit signs so it is sometimes difficult to know how fast to even go. You can have an area where the speed limit is 70 kph. This converts to about 40 mph and is the fastest you can legally drive anywhere. You will also have people driving 20 kph (this converts to about 12 mph). You just have to go with the flow unless you're brave enough to attempt the pass. People quite often just stop by a roadside stand without even getting off the road. You either wait or inch around them when the oncoming traffic will allow it. It is just a different pace of life here. We're mostly used to it so it doesn't bother me much (disregard the twitch). In the interest of full disclosure, the drivers here are extremely courteous. They never seem to get impatient and someone will always let you merge in front of them. That has done a lot to teach me better driving habits and over-all patience in general.
The humid air here has brought my life-long mild asthma condition to the forefront and I was having a few related problems (nothing serious). With Lepeka's recommendation, and after a visit to the local clinic, I was put on a low-dose inhaler twice a day to see if that would help. They measured my lung capacity and then I went back about 10 days later to see if there was any improvement. I know I was feeling better and not wheezing as much but we found I had a 33% increase in lung capacity. I guess I'll keep using it at least until I get back to a more arid climate again. It is interesting how small issues can become magnified in the extreme humidity. At least the weather has been cooler during the Winter here.
|Elder Woods with his favorite|
Mac n Cheese
This week we say goodbye to several missionaries and welcome 17 new ones coming in the following week. It will be hard to say goodbye but we look forward to making new friends and getting to know the missionaries as they start their service.
We are losing one senior couple, the Waddoups from Idaho. We are sorry to see them go as we have become good friends with this humble couple but we are excited for them as they have served honorably and miss their family at home. Their replacement arrived this week but we are still in need of other senior couples if you know of anyone who is interested.
We hope you enjoy this weeks random photos from Tonga.
|The Authorized Apple repair shop. He also has a few Apple products for sale.|
The standard Apple wireless mouse sells for about $150. USD.
|This is a cute little guy that Becky had to get a photo of. Becky said he |
is in his future missionary attire. He is standing by one of our missionaries.
|Kapo Lauti wanted me to take his photo.|
We have worked with his mom and dad as we
have done some of our community computer
|Samisi and Tevita (Sam and David) wanted|
to have their picture taken. Becky's 2 older brothers
are Sam and David (same haircut as Sam
and David too!) - (cue music) It's a circle .... a circle of life!
Just before Church on Aug 27, 2017
|This is a photo of a small section of the Farmers Market in Downtown Nuku'alofa.|
This is the outside facing the street. There is also a large area inside where locals
will sell their produce. Winter here definitely has the best veggies.
|Universal Pharmacy in Nuku'alofa. The largest Pharmacy here. One of the main|
health clinics is also run out of this pharmacy each weekday evening starting
at 5:00 P.M.
|One of our regular lunch locations is A Taste of the Island. It is really more|
of what we would see in the states as far as menu items. Fish and Chips,
Chicken and Beef burgers, Veggie Stir fry etc. Oh yeah, and Diet Coke!
|The blue dots represent the islands of Tonga laid out over|
Utah and Idaho so you can get a feel for how spread out they
are. Don't loose sight of the one up near Idaho Falls.
The total land mass of Tonga is only 289 square miles.