I have officially returned from my little 2 week training session in Nuku’alofa. It was faaaaaantastic to relax and catch up with Peace Corps friends who I haven’t seen since December. We always stay at Sela’s Guesthouse in Nuku’alofa. It is essentially our 2nd home here in Tonga. It’s a rambling house with a big common area where we sit for hours talking, fakakata pe [joking around], and swatting mosquitoes. Occasionally, we worked up the energy to venture out into the city in search of some delectable palangi [which just means foreigner!] food! I won’t bore you with the menu of each delicious meal I savored, but it was amazing to have some great restaurant food. I think my body was thankful for the influx of vegetables considering my usual diet consists mostly of hot dogs, crackers, and far too much peanut butter.
Did I mention this was a ‘work trip?’ I know it sounds as though I was just gallivanting around for two weeks, however there were plenty of Peace Corps meetings throughout our stay! The first week consisted of lots of TEFL activities. We shared successful lesson plans, talked a lot about the challenges we’ve encountered thus far, and picked up new teaching resources to bring back to our sites. The second week continued the stream of lahi ‘e ngaahi fakataha [lots of meetings!]. We had meetings on the VRF, the EAP, the TGSP, and a plethora of other acronyms. I actually have a little Peace Corps dictionary explaining what all the acronyms mean. Ridiculous! We also had a lot of language training, which was great! My Tongan is slowly, but surely improving and it was really nice to have some actual instruction again. […although I am actually learning a lot just by teaching my kids English!]
All in all, IST [in service training…and yet another acronym] was a great experience. It was nice to take a break from my usual routine and, of course, exciting to catch up with friends. I am headed back to site rejuvenated, ready to dive in to a few new projects, and generally just happy with life.
1. I know the videos below don’t work. My computing skills apparently are not that impressive. You can see the videos if you visit my web albums, though!
2. That was really the only sidenote I had. Toki Sio!