Monday, August 12, 2013

Thursday, July 25th

I got up early to watch the sun rise over the bay. It was a little cloudy so I didn’t get the vivid colors I was hoping for, but it was still beautiful.

We picked Ana up, had a quick breakfast at another bay side café and then headed out to a small village at the other end of the island. Vava’u is a lot smaller than Tongatapu so it doesn’t take that long to drive around it. Ana has relatives out there that are in their late 70’s so she wanted to go see them. We were happy to be able to drive her out there. On the way back we found the church where Alan went to church when he was a missionary serving in Vava’u. He lived in a house right next to the church which they have now remodled and turned into the Family History Center for the island. They were working on the house so we were able to walk through it and take pictures. We are anxious to compare them with the ones Alan took years ago. That should be fun to see. We also visited the park right across the street from the church. It is the spot where King Tupou the 1st dedicated Tonga to God. I took pictures of the sign there, it explains what happened and why.

We went back to the hotel to pack our bags before we went to the hospital for our tour. The tour was very informative. They were woking like crazy preparing for our visit. All of the floors had been mopped and the doors that they didn’t want us to see behind were all closed. We were able to see a lot of the hospital though and it really is in dire need of assistance. Like I have said before, you don’t want to get sick or hurt while you are in Tonga! They give pretty basic care here and not only don’t they have the equipment they need, they don’t have the people who know how to use it. This project is getting more complicated every day!

The last part of the hospital that we saw was very modern and had up to date equipment. It was donated by China-aid in 20011. They have state of the art dental equipment and a lady dentist who is not very well trained and 9 months pregnant. We are trying to see if our dentists can use her equipment and give her additional training. They also have a new x-ray machine, donated by Austrailian-aid but the radiologist wasn’t well trained either. That’s a little scary. The head doctor and the administrator really would like to have visiting specialists come and work with the staff there for a few weeks or months at a time to give them additional training and experience. That would be a great blessing to the people of Vava’u.

When we left the hospital we headed back into town to grab a quick lunch and pick up our luggage. Once we checked out of the hotel we picked up the Forsyths and they took us to the Tongan Resort. Alan really wanted to see it before we headed home. It is a beautiful resort on a sandy beach. They have lodging there and a nice place to eat. It is about 15 minutes our of downtown Vava’u so if you go to stay there you are pretty much confined to that area unless you have your own car. It would be fun to stay there for a night or two but it is very pricy, 300-400 dollars a night. We were glad that we saw it but the view from our hotel was really better of the harbor and the boats.

From there the Forsyths took us to the airport and we flew back to Tongatapou. We were in the big plane and it was a smooth flight. The pilot flew kind of low and tipped the wing so that those of us on the right side could see the whales in the ocean below. It was fun to see them but we were still so far away that we didn’t get much of a look. We are really hoping to be able to get a closer look while they are this close to the islands.

Elder and Sister Maile picked us up at the airport and brought us home. It was a good trip and we were able to accomplish everything we wanted to do but we were exhausted so we headed for bed!