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Archive for February 24, 2008

Many thanks and a funny week…

I thought that I would share just a little glimpse into my week.  Not much stands out as noteworthy, but here are a few tidbits.  They are just little snippets of life in Tonga.  As I may have mentioned in earlier postings, Tongans are notoriously large people.  In fact, the World Health Organization has declared that Tongans have the largest body mass in the world.  Big is truly beautiful in the Tonga.  In the ultimate contrast from the United States, skinny is hardly considered attractive.  Yet I cannot deny that I am a product of my American upbringing, and have to admit that my self esteem and confidence are at its highest when I am physically fit.  So I can’t say that I much enjoyed a conversation with one of my colleagues this week.  It went something like this, “Oh Keleni (my Tongan name), don’t worry.  After two years here, you will be fat.  Just like me.  I used to be skinny like you, but in no time you will be fat.  Sikoti (Scot’s Tongan name) will be happy because you are fat.”  She spoke confidentially and assuredly, and was completely oblivious to the fact that the entire conversation had me teetering on the verge of an anxiety attack:)  Lets just say that the lack of fresh vegetables and the monsoon rains make a healthy diet and exercise a little difficult to obtain on a regular basis here.


But I did almost eat a fly this week.  My school has teachers’ tea time everyday at 10:30 am, which I think is just fabulous.  I took my tea to the library to sort some books, and felt something hard on my tongue as I took a swig.  I then spit out a dead fly into the cup.  Just lovely.  But all is well in the islands.. It is the rainy season right now, and we are doing our best to stay dry:)  This weekend was fantastic because we received phone calls from my mom, Scot’s parents, my sister, and Stefanie (who happens to be a returned PCV from Bolivia and one of my best friends.)  Waiting for us at the Pangai post office were packages from Virginia Friedman and Elaine Taylor.  Honestly, the support we receive from friends and family keeps us going through the tough times.  We can’t thank you enough!