Ready to Explore Vava’u

We’ve been here in Tonga for a week now and I keep hoping to leave the anchorage and do some exploring. Today, when I was positive we’d be able to drop the buoy, the refrigerator bit the dust. We don’t have a lot of food in the freezer, but what we have we just can not replace in Neiafu. We’ve proven this week that finding food here is quite the challenge. Turns out that the ferry that sunk here in Tonga last month was the regular supply ship for this island, so they’re now basically on rations that the other ship can bring. We spent two full days going to every single store on the island. At each one 99% of the things would be exactly the same as the last store, but then one special item would be on a shelf in a corner covered in dust, making it worthwhile to keep trudging along to the next store. I came home at the end of the day with two shopping bags full of stuff. Now Rob’s working on the fridge and hopefully he’ll get it working well enough to hold together until we can get whatever repair parts we need shipped in.

I did discover the other day, though, that I have been in Polynesia way too long. As we walked past some public restrooms I read the sign next to the door. In my head, I wondered if “mahlay” was boys or girls. When I looked at the other door at it said “faymahlay”, I realized that I needed to quit trying to make English words into Polynesian, and just go into the door that said female.

If we get out of here tomorrow we’re going to join friends at a traditional Tongan feast at an outer island. This is a very popular event here in Tonga and will include lots of yummy grub and Polynesian song and dancing. Here in Tonga they also perform a kava ceremony, which entails drinking ground up kava root and water. It’s reported to look and taste much like dishwater, and is described as an aphrodisiac. We’ll see how that goes.

This afternoon my wonderful sister was kind enough to sit on the phone with Alaska Airlines for an hour and book a flight home for me at Thanksgiving. My skype connection wasn’t up to the task, but she and I could IM while she talked to the agent. I’m now the proud holder of a round trip ticket from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Seattle that cost $65 and 60,000 Alaska Airlines miles. Rob got the last trip north so he’s going to stay with Maya while I get some family time at home. Why Majuro and not Auckland some might wonder? More on that later.

Today on Yohelah Rob’s becoming a refrigeration expert and I’m wasting time on the computer while I’ve got free wi-fi.

Yohelah is here at Neiafu, Tonga