Thursday, November 25, 2010

My official visit to GPS HA'ANO in HA'APAI

PHOTO: Me and some students from GPS Ha'ano at sports day.

I finally had an opportunity to visit the only other current outer island volunteer in Peace Corps Tonga. Blaire and I go way back to training in the same village for PST. Her island is about an hour boat ride from the island of Foa in Ha'apai called Ha'ano island. I was lucky enough for the opportunity to help her out with some of her projects that she has going on before the school year ends next week.
PHOTO: PCV Blaire chowing down on some food during Sports Day.

Overall, our islands are far from the mainland and have the same sense of "isolation," BUT she gets electricity and running water. I was so shocked when I saw legit metal street lights next to a road. They also have a couple of vehicles in the entire island. AMAZING, eh? In addition, the view from her house is amazing. She gets to see a picture perfect sunset everyday and the ocean is just yards away. Matamaka and Ha'ano have about the same amount of people, but her island is just bigger. Regardless, they both have the strong traditional Tongan charm that makes both of our PC experience very unique.

Highlights from my Ha'ano visit:

- Caught up on reading some NEWSWEEK and other publications.

- Lots of nap (LOVE IT).

- Hiked the entire island and saw an amazing beach at the end of the island.

- Made and painted mask with the kids.

- Watched all the school kids with their sports day and ate delicious samosas made by a woman from Ha'ano named Lesieli (I seriously need to learn how to make them).
PHOTO: Free Church of Tonga in Ha'ano

- Attended church and ate delicious fish lu and raw fish with the village chief of Ha'ano.

- Swam at the wharf with a ton of people in the rain.

- The best part: hanging out with Blaire for five days and learning about life in Ha'ano!

PHOTOS: Randomness from my visit:

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