Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tonga: Day 5

            As predicted, time in Tonga (I’ll be alliterating as much as possible!) has been flying by.  I can’t believe we’ve been here for almost a week.  The journey here was quite the ‘twilight zone’ experience.  After a day of informational meetings and activities in Los Angeles, 40-something Peace Corps Trainees headed to the airport for our 11:30 pm flight.  We had a few hours of free time before our flight, so I made a couple ‘so long’ phone calls and enjoyed my last slice of American pizza and a nice cold beer! [aside:  I thought that would be my last slice of pizza for awhile.  Little did I know, I’d have some great pizza from the ‘Little Italy’ of Nuku’alofa.  Crazy, right?  I thought I was in for exotic and unrecognizable foods and I’m having taimi ti (tea time) every day, eating pizza, and visiting great Chinese restaurants!]
            The first leg of our flight was from LAX to Apia, Samoa.  Nora ‘I don’t sleep in cars or planes’ Graves was passed out in my window seat by the time we left the ground in L.A..  The Peace Corps has changed me already, apparently!  The 10 hour flight was full of great entertainment, snacks, and intermittent naps.  I watched bright stars in the South Pacific sky and a beautiful orange/red sunrise as we landed in Samoa.  This is when the twilight zone feelings set in.  We’d all been essentially awake for 48 hours subsisting on plane food and coffee.  We refueled with some Samoan airport lounge coffee and boarded the plane again for an hour long journey to Nuku’alofa, Tonga.
            We arrived in Tonga and apparently our group brought some bad weather along for the trip.  It rained for our first 3 days here.  We asked some current volunteers whether this was normal and they said it hadn’t rained for 3 weeks before we arrived! The cool breezes that accompanied the rain were pretty nice though.  I am currently sitting in our ‘living room’ at Sela’s Guesthouse looking at a very sunny sky.  We have an amazing little home for our first week here.  It’s a rambling house with guest rooms surrounding a community area that is a hybrid indoor/outdoor space.  We’re protected from the rain but can sit and watch the clouds go by!  Every day we all trek to the Peace Corps HQ for sessions on Language and Culture. [I realize this would be so much better with pictures…they will hopefully come soon!]
            I just spent three paragraphs describing my first 2 days in the Peace Corps.  Brevity is not my strong point.  This blog experience will be quite the work in progress.  For now just know, I am taking in so many new amazing experiences….many more than I can write about now.  Luckily, I am trying really hard to journal so hopefully you’ll hear about them soon.    


  1. Nora!!! I just took my first gander at your blog. I can't wait to follow all your adventures! My favorite part about your trip so far has to be that you wanted to grab a slice of pizza before you left US soil. Sounds like something I would do! Hence why we are friendsies! Can't wait to see some pics! Love you and miss you already!!!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Nora, I doubt that you can ever write too much so don't worry about 'rambling'. Your 'followers' will let you know if you're getting 'wordy' when we comment:-) So write, write, write! Oh- and take a swim in that gorgeous ocean for gosh sakes!

  4. Sounds like you are having a great time! Miss your very much!