On Friday the 6th of September, we spent the day in Nuku’alofa. We have been working on a project to restock the emergency container here in Tonga. It is in really sad shape right now and if there was a disaster we would not be able to offer much help to anyone. There is very little in it but we are learning that when you store things in a container that sits out in the sun in Tonga all summer and then goes through the rainy season with all the mold and mildew, you have to be careful what you store in it. We had to throw so much away from the last time it was filled. They need to find a way to rotate things. It is so expensive to restock it, we can’t afford to let things go to waste.
Alan was almost physically ill as we did the window shopping to get a price list for the budget. 1 wheelbarrow costs $591.00, a push broom is $57.00, a mop bucket - on sale - is $125.00 and the one that got Alan the most was one of those 2 gallon, red gas containers, that you use to fill up the lawnmower, was $80.00 ---EMPTY!!! We can not figure out how the people here do it. Now we know why the farmers don’t have wheelbarrows. They put their crops in big cloth bags and carry them or hold them in front of them on a bicycle as they ride down the road. On the way out of the store, Alan stopped to look at a lawnmower. It was a rear bagger mower that Alan thought would have cost about $300.00 at home. Here it is $2,290.00! We only have $25,000.00 to work with on this project. We are going to have to be pretty creative to get all of the items we need for that amount of money.
Friday night we went to a High Priest Party at the Kaufisi’s. Sonny is the High Priest group leader so he decided that the High Priests should have a dinner for their wives. The men were to do all of the cooking and the women were to just show up and relax. It really turned out to be that way, except for Sonny’s wife Cesi. With all of those men in her kitchen, she stayed right in the middle of them and made sure they knew what they were doing. We had chicken curry with rice and salsa and pineapple upside down cake. Everything was delicious! The men here are very good cooks and Alan and President Tu’itavake did a great job with the dishes. While the food was cooking they sang karaoke songs in the living room. Tongan’s have good voices, so that turned out pretty good too. We had 3 investigators come. Two of them were men and they came right in the kitchen and helped. It was a good activity.
When we got home there were two dances going on. Two wards had a dance at Liahona because it is their Stake Conference this weekend and there was a YSA dance at the Nauvoo church across the street. The music is SOOOOO LOUD!!! It sounded like all of them were playing right on our front lawn until 11:30 pm. Funny, but we are getting used to that. They don’t have a lot of things to do here, no movie theaters and no one has much money, so there is always a church dance going on nearby. This week is the school break for a whole week, so there was a dance in the village behind our house on Thursday night and then 2 tonight.