Fruit, Vegetable and Fish Markets in Nukualofa, Tongatapu

Back in the days of William Mariner, the island of Tongatapu was the dwelling place of royals, a land where, just living there, produced some level of envy to neighboring islanders.  Indeed, the word “Tongatapu” means “Sacred (tapu) South (tonga).”   And while the royal family still maintain principal dwellings here, for most visitors to the…

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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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Two Days (and a little history) in Ha’apai

Often overlooked, Tonga’s mid-island group, Ha’apai, comprises 62 islands (only 20 are inhabited), hides some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world, and cradles famous tales of nautical misadventures in its unassuming waters. Ha’apai, a History For instance, the mutiny, as in the Mutiny on the Bounty, occurred  in 1789, just between the…

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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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Sunday Drive Around Tongatapu

When one lives on an island of approximately 60 miles in circumference, where the Sabbath reigns so supreme that shops are closed by law, restaurants are, for the most part, closed as well, and leisure activities such as jogging or swimming are forbidden, Sundays can get a little redundant.  Snorkeling (at resorts only, mind you), kayaking and…

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Booby Trapped

I hate getting pushed around by boobs. Literally. Enormous, springy ones at that. This might sound like two cycles from Nirvana for some, but for me, not so much. Especially when I’m innocently standing in line at Molisi, soggy from shoes up thanks to the rain gushing outside, and a lady (not the one featured…

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Pigs Don’t Fly, Silly…

They Fish! Got back a few days ago from a two-week jaunt with my honey to Cambodia and Hong Kong.  Work conference for him, part work, part sight-seeing for me.  I plan on posting more on that later, but in the meantime, here’s a few more thoughts on life in the Kingdom that, upon returning,…

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Whale Watching from Tongatapu

Ahem (cue the tune of Gilligan’s Island, please)…. Just sit right back and you’ll see a tail, A tail from a fateful trip That started from this tropic port Aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a mighty sailin’ man, The Captain brave and sure, Eight passengers set sail that day For a six hour…

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Scaling Back Assumptions

I’ve been so busy the past few weeks that I’ve neglected my blog posts, not to mention the not-so-inspired cooking of late.  But the other day, I had a craving for fish that could not be quelled.  The afternoon was sunny, with a mild, salty breeze that just begs for a bike ride into town,…

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