PHOTO: Happy Halloween!
The fourth annual Vava'u LU-cook off happened on Halloween weekend. I am saddened that my "LU-dacious" did not win the judges hearts (Mike and Laurie from the Aquarium Cafe). In reality, my Lu dish was comprised of sweet and sour meatballs with fresh pineapple and peppers. As the only red meat dish, I thought it tasted pretty good. If you do not know what LU is, it is a very common Tongan dish which is comprised of tarot leaves, coconut milk, onions, and some sort of meat (normally mutton or corned beef). It is baked in an earth oven called 'umu and then eaten with various root crops. The Lu cook off challenges Vava'u PCVs to conjure up an alternative Lu dish that is worthy to called "LU dish of the year."
PHOTO: Preparing our different LU's and the judges.
Overall, the competition was very close. The other PCVs were very creative with their LU dishes. PCV Ashley Holmes took home the LU trophy with her broccoli and cheese with fresh fish Lu. It was delicious! I didn't even know where you can get broccoli around here. Other dishes in the competition included: Lu-crepes, Mexican bean Lu, Lu-dumplings, bachLUrette, and more. In the end, everyone was able to sample each Lu. Next year, I need to think of something exotic that is not available in Tonga. Lu pizza? Lu falafels? Regardless, the evening was a ton of fun. We dressed up in Halloween costumes and had a night out in the town.
THE GREAT HALLOWEEN RACE
PHOTO: Ashley, EAT FASTER!
The Aquarium Cafe hosted the first ever Halloween Race Competition to help raise money for a local kindergarten school in Neiafu. Team "Faka-'ilifia" was our Peace Corps group name. The competition consisted of five events for each of the five team members. I did the first leg of the race which consisted of swimming for about twenty minutes from the Aquarium dock to the Paradise Hotel dock and back. I ended up in last place for my leg of the race, after I swam the wrong direction! (fml). Jenny caught us up to second place which she had to run to the restaurant Ovava's and back. Carolyn was the next leg which was a canoe race to the Paradise Hotel dock and back to Aquarium. Robert secured second place for us with his amazing biking skills, passing the Tongan and French team. Lastly, Ashley finished up the relay with an eating competition of ten Tongan donuts. I got really nervous here, because the Tongan team almost caught up with Ashley! She then had to run to the Mango restaurant and back with swimming fins. Finally, the entire team had to chug one beverage of their choice and finish! SECOND PLACE! Not bad. First place received a free dinner at Aquarium, and t-shirts. It was a fun event. I can't wait for next year's race!
PHOTOS: Team Faka-'ilifia and some event pictures.