Join our adventure in The Kingdom of Tonga

Archive for December 20, 2007

Don’t Worry, Be Ha’apai

Well hello!  I feel like it has been so long since we have updated with a blog post.  I don’t have the camera with me right now, but I promise that we will update photos as well ASAP!!  We made it to our new home in Pangai, Ha’apai.  Pangai is on the island of Lifuka. It is difficult to explain the feeling that I had when we landed here.  I think that because we hadn’t yet been to Ha’apai, there was a great sense of fear about the place, due to the unknown.  When we landed, we both definitely breathed a sigh of relief.  Ha’apai is undoubtedly absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous.  The natural beauty of the place definitely calmed any initial fears. 

We settled into our new little home, happy to finally have a place of our own.  Our yard alone has a mango tree, lime tree, breadfruit, papaya and guava trees!!!  It is amazing, and I love “grocery shopping” without even leaving our yard.  We are really excited to start a little garden of our own.  I will say that our house is very rustic, and definitely will require a little getting used to.  It is very much a traditional Tongan home, especially in that both the bathroom and kitchen are outside.  We do have a flush toliet, but the bathroom essentially looks and feels like an outhouse.  I am definitely struggling with the realities of bathing outside, especially in light of finding numerous scorpions in the shower!  It feels a little like an animal farm right now.  A family of chickens apparently inhabited the house before we arrived, and we had to engage in a little bit of turf war with them to reclaim the space.  We have to keep our doors open here because of the heat, and to our dismay– full grown hens, chickens, and roosters kept wondering inside our house!!  We found more than one egg, so I think they are a little freaked out by our takeover of the space.  We also found a teeny tiny abandonded baby kitten in our yard.  I named it “Faka ofa Squeaky Doolittle.”  Faka ofa means pitiful in Tongan, and this poor little guys is very pitiful.  We are trying our best to nurse him to health, but honestly- I don’t know if he will make it.  The first couple of days in Ha’apai were quite a welcome.  This week is an annual weeklong celebration of culture here on the island, and we were immediately invited and attended numerous feasts, traditional dance performances, and parades.  Ms. South Pacific and the Australian Prime Minister were two other attendants, which we thought was pretty cool!

A few days ago Scot got sick with a high fever.  He is doing okay, but it seems like he probably has contracted Dengue Fever.  If you know anything about Dengue, you are probably groaning “Oh No!” right about now.  It has often been deemed “bone break fever” because of the incredibly painful body aches and joint pain.  We are doing our best to treat it and keep him comfortable, and he is a real trooper.  I will keep everyone posted.  Beautiful as it is, Ha’apai is a really difficult place to be sick.  There really is very little health care treatment options or expertise available.  He was in the hospital here for a couple of days, and all I will say is that the hospital failed to have soap anywhere (including bathrooms), nor did the windows have screens.  Fighting off Dengue is not exactly the best time to be battling swarms of mosquitos from your hospital bed..  Definitely keep us in your thoughts right now!  If you feel like calling, I know that he would love to hear from any of our friends/family back home.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for those of you who have graciously sent us mail and care packages.  I can’t even adequately express our gratitude.  If you would like to send a package- some of our current needs are: candles (there is only one very dim light in our outdoor kitchen, and it is really hard to see at night), tupperware, herbal tea, ground coffee or coffee singles, rubberbands for ponytails, cat flea collars (even if our little guys doesn’t make it, I’m sure we’ll find another one to adopt), and as always- I miss reading People Magazine and Vanity Fair:)