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! A favorite path leads to Umu beach near the Blowholes: 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:
Friday, April 2, 2010
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. Tevita 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. Two of Tevita’s little sons can call in the cows:Some of the plantation surrounds the Liahona High School. Are these cow----boys? Not! They’re students preparing for Pres. Uchtdorf’s visit.GEKO 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!
Norotam’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?]Jeanene had 2 tupenus and 1 dress made for her in few hours by Dany the tailor from the Philippines.