Join our adventure in The Kingdom of Tonga

Archive for September, 2007


First we wanted to say a special thanks to Sarah and Christian for hosting our goodbye party last week.  It was so great to see everyone!!

Well we got to LA yesterday and we are staying with Karen’s sister Anne.  It is beautiful here and the weather and temperature are perfect. Anne is showing us all around the waterfront and taking good care of us.  Karen’s a little under the weather with a small sinus infection she got in Tennessee. We went to dinner with Karen’s good friend Elizabeth, and her husband and child Kamyar, and Elham last night at a really cool Mexican restaurant in Manhattan Beach.

We got a letter this morning from our country director.  It explains what the rest of our year will be like up to a week or two before Christmas.  We have 2 different homestays, one close to the capital city of Nuku’alofa and another on the Island of Vava’u.  These will mostly consist of language training.  Karen and I will be placed in living conditions together, but we may not be placed together with our language training.  The first phase of homestay will be an 8 to 5 kind of day, and the second will be a 9 to 1 with homework and language learning activities.  Weekends will be mostly us getting to know our home families and other Peace Corps Volunteers.  I’ll update our coming days once we get to know our fellow PCV’s.

Pack, move, unpack

Hello all,

We have successfully gotten our few belongings to my fathers house and gotten them organized.  We are finalizing our paperwork and getting the last of our packing completed and making sure we are underweight.  We are visiting with my folks and Karen’s father is coming tomorrow so it will be nice to see him too.  I was hoping I’d feel less stressed at this point, but it may be that I may not feel absolutely de-stressed until we are on the plane to Tonga.  One very nice thing happened today in that I went to arrange that my phone be shut off on Oct 7th, and they assured me that it would be, but guess what it was off by the time I got home.  So sorry to anyone that may have called or texted me, email may be the only way you can get me from here on.  We hope all is well and we miss everyone.

Thanks for the wonderful evening the other night Mike and Shannon!   Also thanks for everyone that attended our going away party, we miss all of you so much.

Packing and Moving

Well, packing and moving are normally a gigantic pain.  Imagine though that you are getting rid of 80% of your current inventory of “stuff” and moving what little you have left home (500 miles away). All the while your trying to decide what to take with you.  “I’ll need that and that and that”, and then you realize you have 5 bags packed for Tonga.  Then a few short days later after moving “home” your on a plane to LA for staging.  I think then I’ll feel better, but damn is it stressful until then.  Setting up all the paperwork for Peace Corps, paying and canceling your utilities, getting rid of stuff and packing.  We can’t wait to be on our way.

Woodstock, New York

Surprisingly enough the Woodstock music festival did not take place in Woodstock NY in 1969, it took place about 40 miles away.  I suppose Woodstock was the closest town of any size back then and they just used the name.  At any rate the town has definitely used the attention and theme to good use, it’s a quaint little town nestled in the foothills of the Catskill mountains. We went up to visit some of Karen’s dear friends, Pierre and Terry Leroy.  We had a great time in which we saw some former members of the Grateful Dead at the Bearsville Theater, which was an incredible venue.  We also saw a Jazz show one evening.  Pierre and Terry showed us around the surrounding area and treated us like a king and queen!  Thanks you so much Pierre and Terry!!  We had a great time!

An aside, don’t ever fly  AirTran.  They won’t wait 5 minutes for your connecting flight.  In fact they will leave early if they can and make you wait 6 hours in the Atlanta Airport.