Breakin’ the Law, Tonga-Style

We interrupt our regularly scheduled post to bring news of one recently paroled Samuel J. (henceforth, “Defendant” and incorporated by reference herein) who, five months prior, on a dark, stormy night in mid September, committed the criminal offense of driving home along Vuna Road with only one headlight. An unpardonable act, to be sure, but the Kingdom…

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Roots Crops of Tonga

Tonga is sick with vegetation, almost anything grows in this soil, but I think the prevalent food group in these isles remains the various root crops that are consumed by the coconut-frond-braided basket.  Root crops are devoured here the way rice is eaten in Southeast Asia: at almost every meal, and if a root crop…

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25 Days Left in Tonga (and 6 blogs to do)

Yesterday, the folks from Eziworld came to our house in order to conduct a pre-move survey on our personal goods to be shipped back to America.  They seemed surprised to discover our items consisted mostly of linens, books, bicycles and personal nick-nacks such as Polish pottery, baskets and framed artwork.  Not really any furniture to…

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Sea Eagle Sunday Voyage to Manima Island

Tongatapu is Tonga’s main island, and the town of Nuku’alofa its political and economic seat. That said, it can be a rather depressing place, and if you don’t want to take my word for it, then the forlorn expressions upon many unwitting cruise-goers’ faces when they are deposited here for a day or so will…

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How to Make Fresh Coconut Cream

This is a follow-up to the previous post where Toni showed us how to climb a coconut tree. Here we’ll learn how to make coconut cream from scratch, so without further ado:  STEP ONE: Hoka Niu (Husk the Coconut)   Toni said a sharp stick, jutting from the ground, is normally used, but for convenience…

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Kilisimasi Fiefia! (Or a Very Merry Tongan Christmas)

Christmas in Tonga is refreshingly un-materialistic   Sure, there are the simultaneously bizarre, yet amusing store fronts dotting the dusty strip of downtown Nuku’alofa, and families often shop for a gift or two for the children, but otherwise, Christmas is all about family, church and community (and a little Christmas Eve bingo, natch).   An interesting addition to…

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Darwin Awards

Tonga can be a hard place for dogs, and presumably for this reason, our adopted dog-who-still-won’t-let-us-pet-her, A/K/A “Ibu”, has been hiding her brood of two puppies deep under our back porch.  One of the puppies came out earlier yesterday and played with Sam a little during lunch time, but the other had yet to make an…

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How to Climb a Coconut Tree

  This is Toni: holder of (almost!) two Masters degrees, Tongan civil servant, husband to one excessively fit and pregnant young lady otherwise known as Amy (featured here, dutifully warming him up) and … coconut-tree-climber extraordinaire! Today, Toni will show us Palangis how to make fresh coconut cream, an ingredient staple of the South Pacific…

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Shell Diggers at Low Tide

This is the view Sam and I encounter every day, after walking or riding up a side road from our house for about one third of a mile. Our road ends here, at Vuna, which is the main road going along the coast of Nuku’alofa, Tonga’s capital city.  Not too shabby! The island you see…

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