Ha’Afeva, Tonga

Sunday 9/15/2013 17:30

19 56.621 S 174 43.081 W


Posting by Dennis:

We got to this anchorage just after lunch so we had time to dinghy around a little before it got dark. Barb and I explored a couple of the little islands that make up part of the reef.


DSC_3484DSC_3483One of them was sticking no more than three feet above the water at high tide. It was a neat place to wonder around and look for shells and just watch the ocean roll in and out among the coral formations. We would have stopped at a little village on Matuga Island but being it was Sunday and we were only dressed in swimming suits and tee shirts we thought it wouldn’t be a good idea. The people here are very religious and no work is done on Sundays. The men here wear long black skirts with white shirts, ties and suit coats, as well as a woven palm skirt over that. A lot of the men wear these skirts every day, not just on Sundays. The woman wear long skirts and hats on Sundays and during the week most of them still wear the long skirts.

DSC_3456On Monday the three of us jumped in the dinghy and ran out to an old Korean ship wreck and went snorkeling. The water is getting much cooler as we are heading south. Admittedly it is not nearly as cold as Lake Superior on a warm day but you do get cold after you swim in it a while. Besides I am getting soft in my old age. Anyway the coral is wonderful to look at. You do not see a lot of big fish hanging around like in the Tuamotus but I think that is because the reefs are fished pretty heavily by the locals. I saw a few parrot fish but they were pretty little, at least I saw nothing that I thought was big enough to spear. After lunch Barb and I decided to take a walk into town. The ‘little one’, as I call Rosemary, had a headache and stayed on the boat to lie down. As Barb and I walked toward town a young girl came over and asked if we would like some papayas, we said sure and she walked with us to town and told us about the different buildings and homes as we walked past them. When we got to her home, where she lived with her mother, father and two younger brothers, she told us to go and sit on the porch and wait for her. In a few minutes she came out with three papayas and a big hand of bananas, all of which she had just picked. Then she went to the window and grabbed something off the window sill. She told us to follow her as we took a small trail that lead back to the road. Once we were out of sight of her house she shared with us a bread roll that she had snuck out of the house. It was bread dough rolled out then had jelly spread over it then rolled up and baked. It was a very tasty treat. When we got back to the wharf we asked her what she would like in return. We wanted to give her something, a gift to her. Barb finally got out of her that she would really like perfume, well that is something that we just don’t have. But they all like perfume here and the strong stuff, nothing at all subtle. Some of them smell as though they bathe in the stuff. She did say she liked to read and a book would be good. So we went to the boat and found some lotion, Oreo cookies, and a book. When we took it back she was so very grateful. The people are generally happy and very appreciative of anything you give them.

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