Tonga – Day 5

Though we weren’t at the beach, Friday was one of the most special days of the trip.  Two of the cooks at the resort, Betsy and Latu told us about how Ha’apai would be grinding to a halt on Friday as it was Sports Day – the 6 or so primary schools were having the Athletics Day at Ha’apai High.  They  invited us to come and spend the day with their families and community in Pangai.  On Wednesday the ride took us an hour one way, but we were running late due to Ethan’s numerous cuts, scrapes and prickles which needed doctoring up at the last minute (he doesn’t seem to notice the correlation between painful feet and the ever-present refusal to wear shoes!) – so anyway we had to haul ass and made it to Pangai in 30min!

Sports Day was amazing and totally worth the fact that I had to wear pants! (modest dress is required at ALL times).  The kids were amazing runners and Ethan made so many friends he could barely take a break.  The kids had filled up plastic bottles with rocks and used them as noisemakers whenever they were cheering on a runner from their school, the pride the kids had in their schools was inspiring!  We were supporting Faleloa Primary School, they were easy to spot in the races as all of the girls had their long hair immaculately french braided with shiny green ribbons tied in the ends. 

Lunch was a long time coming but so worth the wait; we ate sweet and sour fish, roast chicken, fresh corn, yam (which was so good!  Described by Dave as mashed potato shaped into a big roll then roasted in the oven – but it was really just one big vegetable) and watermelon for desert.  This was the first Tongan meal we had eaten in 5 days (aside from the raw fish last night) and we really appreciated it.

Tonga 280 Tonga 281
Tonga 284 Tonga 304
Tonga 311

Tonga 319

Tonga 314
  20c pa’anga homemade icies
Tonga 320  Tonga 325
Tonga 328 Tonga 329
Tonga 323 Tonga 322
Ethan’s race E-man pinning his ears back!
Tonga 342 Walking in the jungle after dark
is fun but kinda scary, I saw the size of the bugs in daylight
and that was bad enough!