Friday, April 2, 2010

The Rugged Beauty of an Ocean

There are so many uninhabited beaches and islands stretching across the Kingdom of Tonga, surrounded by clear brilliant blue water.  Most of the  beaches are virtually untouched, and  coupled with  salty air and extremely warm water, we senior missionaries find them hard to resist on our Saturdays.  Of course we swim in our clothes like the Tongans do!Warm ocean keeps us afloat  A favorite path leads to Umu beach near the  Blowholes:014 021  The children from the village of Hoema enjoy a dip at the little beach during their last evening of summer break (January) before school began:  Kids enjoy Umu Beach 077

075 059 A scenic view of the cliffs overlooking the ocean between Keleti’s and the Landbridge: road to cliffs above oceanCliffs over oceanWild Waves The same view on a stormy day:044  Cliffs near the Landbridge:107A Saturday morning breakfast at Keleti’s:001

063 Keleti's beach

014All things bright and beautiful.  The Lord God made them all. (A Sunset over the ocean in Eua.)Sunset at Blowholes

Cowboys and Gecko Tales!

Gotta Love those Cows                                                                            We senior missionaries enjoyed one Saturday visiting the Church cattle plantation run by Tevita and his boys.  They have about 350  fine head of cattle including some Brahma bulls grazing on  500 acres of pasture.  Tevita has only 3 men working with him to keep the operation going and it’s a big workload, particularly with the fencing.  High school students also help to gather in the coconuts, up to 30,000 a year that can keep the grass from growing.  Tevita and his wife take in boys who are going to Liahona HS and they have  adopted children plus 3 young ones of their own.  He said that before the missionary cowboys came to help, the Tongans would drive the cattle with sticks and throw coconuts at them—chaos!  Then, they were taught by the Pa’langi missionaries to treat the cattle with respect and love.  062_thumbTevita loves his cows and and his boys.  He is a very “kind” cowboy who would sure like some more “missionary cowboys” to help him on the ranch. 058_thumb Two of  Tevita’s little sons can call in the cows:074_thumb1Some of the plantation surrounds the Liahona High School.    Are these cow----boys?  Not!  They’re students preparing for Pres. Uchtdorf’s visit.IMG_2345_thumb2GEKO TALES:  We could write a book about the island gekos. I opened a kitchen drawer and one hopped into my hand. We both jumped! One sister put a piece of bread in the toaster. When she pushed the bread down to toast, a gecko popped up! Another was in the air conditioner chirping away and she took the vacuum hose after it—just got its tail.  When we open the screen door, they’ve been known to drop on us.  They like to skitter across our sheets at night when we’re mostly asleep.  But we’re glad they’re around to eat the less pleasant bugs!  I don’t mind the gekos much—they’re kinda shy and curious, but noisy at times with their chirp, chirping. I have less patience for the teensy ants that do zigzags on reading glasses or tickle the hair on our arms! 

Gekos do pop up or in this case plop down in the most unexpected places!  Not long ago a small geko was peering at us from an elegant white table in the temple.  Hmm…a gecko with a temple recommend?010 013_thumb1


010_thumb3Norotam’s sells a variety of Tongan and island fabrics and Gekos  startle me when they pop out of the tops of  fabric rolls.  [Jeanene and I explore material galore—need I say more?]IMG_2241_thumb3Jeanene had 2 tupenus and 1 dress made for her in few hours by Dany the tailor from the Philippines. 020_thumb