Obama at a campaign event (AP Photo/John Raoux)(Credit: AP)
I never thought the US presidential elections would be such a big deal in the middle of the Pacific. For weeks up until election day, I was asked "Who are you going to vote for?" and "What's the difference between the candidates?" and informed about the latest crazy election-related news that had come out that day. Never did I expect this in Tonga.
Last week, the Hine Moana majestically sailed up to the pier, the one just near the fish market, painted sails full to the waiting crowd. The vaka, or ship, is one of seven open-ocean voyaging canoes that have seen ports from Auckland, NZ to San Francisco, USA, and is manned by a crew that has been learning for the past year how to navigate the broad Pacific Ocean using the complex calculations based on stars, currents, sea creatures, and other methods that remain a mystery to most.