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 diet,…

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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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Thanksgiving in Tonga

Thanksgiving is a big holiday for most Americans, but when you’re an American in Tonga, it gets even bigger.  For starters, that over-priced frozen turkey you speculate over at your local grocery store?  Well, it’s a sacred acquisition here.  If you’re lucky enough to spot one in Tonga, you abscond with it immediately, regardless of…

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How to Make a Tongan Broom

Traditional Tongan brooms are extremely efficient.  They double as a rake and are perfect for sweeping away the piles of inexplicable insect and flora debris that collect on my porch on a daily basis.  Plus, if you happen to be a witch, you’d be hard pressed to find a more suitable mode of transport. My…

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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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