PHOTO: Happy Thanksgiving from Ha'apai
I was honored to spend the Thanksgiving holiday this year in the beautiful island of Lifuka in Ha'apai with other PCVs. We had quite an eclectic bunch with representatives from the US, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, and Tonga. Sione, one of the PCV volunteers, had the privileged to explain what Thanksgiving is in the States to all of the guests.
PHOTO: All the food. YUM.
We literally spent all day preparing all the food and making a makeshift grill out of an old industrial drum. It all worked out okay thanks to all of the people who helped put it together. Turkey was not on the menu, but we had chicken instead (c'mon it's Ha'apai we are talking about here). Before we ate, we all went around the room and shared one thing we are thankful for. I had to think about it for little bit, but I am really thankful for the opportunity to be alive and well in Tonga with friends who have now become more of a family to me. It truly makes a difference working this far away from the world, to be with the people you have grown to love. Peace Corps is not an easy task, but I am thankful for all the relationships with other PCVs throughout our time here in Tonga. Anyway, our meal comprised of barbecue chicken, two cold pasta salads--pesto and italian dressing, deviled eggs, pumpkin pies, zebra cake, sauteed pumpkin with garlic, and Tongan root crops. 'Ifo 'aupito--Delicious. We also had a few drinks from Vava'u that I had brought.
PHOTO: The barbecue, TONGA STYLE
On the actual Thanksgiving day, all the current PCVs and I joined the trainees in Faleloa for Thanksgiving feast. I even changed my flight to Tongatapu, because they had turkey! I haven't had turkey forever and it's just nice to be with other people. They are all very excited to PST over with and get to their site. I am very excited for the new group bound to Vava'u. They all have a ton of potential and we are super ecstatic for new friends!
My stay in Ha'apai has been a ton of fun. I stayed for a little over the week, helping with training and doing some stuff at Ha'ano. I also got some time in to have some fun with some people like swimming in the wharf and spear fishing with a buddy. Actually he spear fished and I just snorkeled around. I have to say, the corals in Ha'apai are absolutely beautiful. It may even be better than in Vava'u. I am now in Tongatapu finishing up on some projects and medical stuff before I head back to the states. I AM SO EXCITED!