Tropical Cyclone Ian and Ha’apai

View Larger Map News can be a bit slow getting here, but Sam and I have recently been informed of the category 5 cyclone (“hurricane” for Americans), Cyclone Ian, that hit Tonga’s Ha’apai island group on January 11 with winds of up to 178 miles per hour.

Read More

Tongatapu, Tonga Volunteer Interview: Michael Hassett

Michael Hassett is a Peace Corps Volunteer currently serving in Ha’utu, Tonga.  Ha’utu is a tiny village on the southwestern side of Tonga’s main island, Tongatapu. So, what’s it like to move from Pittsburgh to the middle of Oceania where you will spend the next two years of your life integrating into a culture about…

Read More

John O’Malley: Ha’apai, Tonga Volunteer Interview

Today’s post is an interview with Returned Peace Corps Volunteer John (“Sione” in Tongan) O’Malley, who served in Ha’apai from 2009 to 2012.  John is now wrapping up his service in Liberia where he works as a Peace Corps Volunteer Leader, but he’s generously taken some time to answer questions about his time in Ha’apai,…

Read More

Things to do in Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu, Part 2 of 2

View Around Tongatapu in a larger map This post is a continuum from Around Tongatapu, Part 1, where activities in Nuku’alofa and the island resorts visit-able by day-ferry were discussed. In part two, we’ll look at the farther-flung destinations of Tongatapu, all from the perspective of a do-it-yourself-traveler. For those who wish to simply book a tour,…

Read More

Things to do in Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu, Part 1 of 2

View Around Tongatapu in a larger map So, you’ve landed on the main isle of Tonga: Tongatapu, taken the 40-minute taxi from the airport through coconut and taro fields, serenaded by the dulcet CD strains of ukulele and Pacific song, peering wide-eyed through the window as signs of a town approach and then … probably…

Read More

Kate Asleson, Ha’apai, Tonga Volunteer Interview

Kate Asleson and her husband Brett are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (“RPCV’s”) who served in the island group of Ha’apai from 2008 to 2010. They now live in St. Paul, Minnesota USA where Kate works in Marketing for Target’s corporate office and Brett teaches at an all immigrant/refuge English Language Learners (ELL) program high school….

Read More