29 May 2011

Celebrating the birthday of a Queen

The tau'olunga dancers from Queen Salote College
We sat on rough cement bleachers, looking out into the bright tropical sun at row upon row of uniformed young adults, color-coded, it seemed, into large blocks stationed around the track field. A line of girls started padding out from the right of the field, their coconut-oiled feet crossing the white track lines painted on the rubber surface, their shiny hands held together before them at eye level in a graceful dancing posture. It was time to start the next performance.

The spectacle looked like a marching band competition to my unaccustomed eyes: orderly blocks of young people, blending together in uniforms of blue, red, green, and white, each taking the field in succession to present their performance. All of this was part of the Queen Mother's five-day, 85th birthday party.

18 May 2011

When art meets nature

The Kermadec Project
Last night, we got to share in a tiny part of an environmental project that's using art to spread it's message. As we arrived, the dusky night was spreading along the Nuku'alofa harbour, and we stepped into a white balconied wood floored italian restaurant, packed with art, people, and sauna-like air. The event, put on by the PEW Environment Group and the New Zealand High Commission with performing group On The Spot Arts Initiative, was like an overseas gallery opening: beautifully displayed pieces, nice lighting, and a steady stream of appetizers.

13 May 2011

There's no "us" in bureaucracy

We just published this blog post two days ago, and to our bewilderment, the post was missing today. And even more strange, everyone got emailed an old post from October entitled "Business in Tonga." 
We apologise for this confusion. We've looked for clues as to how this happened, but are baffled. Ooo!
-Elena and Mark
Update on 19 May: Based on feedback we received from other bloggers, it seemed like there was a major glitch at Google, wiping any blog posts from the internet that had been published during those days. We change our "Ooo!" to "Boo!"

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There's no "us" in bureaucracy

The idea started as a little thought that simply consisted of "Two years is so short!" but grew to "What if we stay for a third year through Peace Corps?" as we fell in love with Tonga.

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