Thursday, October 25, 2007

October 26, Nuku'alofa, Tonga

There are 176 islands in Tonga, 36 are inhabited, 12 have cars, 7 have electricity. We experienced all of these variations on our trip from the far north reaches of this country. The capital, Nuku’alofa, has people, motor vehicles, electricity, and quite a bit more – a royal palace, government buildings, three consulates, a modern seaport and airport, and a smattering of tourist facilities. However, with a population of 26,000 (out of a total of 100,000), this is a small, quiet town. It is great to have Amy with us to experience this backwater capital…we have a lot of laughs about it.
The weather has been in the mid-70s, cloudy, with no rain. It is pleasant to stroll the long seawall to promenade “downtown”, about half an hour away from the small boat harbor. One sees vibrantly decorated cemeteries, a large proportion of people dressed in traditional attire (black with a woven mat tied around the waist), and small stores with rows of cans neatly piled behind the counter. People are very friendly. The guy who runs the internet café also has a bingo operation; the man who makes jewelry drives a cab; the lady who sells crafts caters parties.
While “desert island”- hopping south, we saw pigs grazing on a beach (they forage for seafood with their snouts in the sand) and a man showed us how to eat a great delicacy – the raw entrails of a sea slug, straight from the sea. Didn’t try it.
Tonga is still a feudal society, even in the capital. The king is at the top, along with his family. There is a class of nobles. Then the commoners. There seems to be a church in every square block in this part of the city. (These blocks are of small one story dwellings with big yards). The churches are filled with young people including trendy young men wearing western branded T-shirts - with traditional black skirts and mats around the waist. It is really something to behold.
Business operates at the discretion of the royal family and royal influence has tended to favor China and Chinese investors in recent years. Last November, Tongans rioted in the streets, destroying many small businesses. The unrest was initially aimed at the Chinese (who, throughout the Pacific, run a big percentage of the small businesses) but spread out of control. Downtown is now pockmarked with empty blocks, where just the concrete pad remains. We have seen a couple of political banners but that is the only sign of discontent now.
The long term weather is that the next good window for the trip to New Zealand will start around November 3. Weather permitting, we hope to get back out to some Tongan “desert islands” with Amy before that time.

15 Comments:

Blogger Megan said...

Amy! You made it! I hope that you are enjoying the quality time with the parents, and Amy's parents, I hope that you are enjoying the quality time with your lovely daughter. So I Google-mapped Nuku'alofa-- looks like a pretty cozy little place as far as island nations go.

I hope that all is well there in the middle of the ocean, I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you and your adventures as I sit here, shivering in an overly air-conditioned library. Paradise doesn't sounds so bad right now...

PD- Can you believe Sarah is going back to relive the GTO glory! It's good to know the project will be in good hands.

2:56 PM  
Blogger foride88 said...

Expanding your brand perceivability is one of the center exercises of any organization and the procedure connected by most advertisers for upgrading business believability is "white papers". To put in straightforward words, a white paper is a report that concentrates on different issues, and offers the best conceivable arrangements in the meantime. term paper writing services

1:39 AM  
Blogger Orko Rahaman said...

Private understudy advance is a sufficient money related assistance for an understudy to finish his studies serenely. These days understudy credits have turn into a certain device to meet the rising training costs. Grants and government understudy credits won't be accessible for everybody. www.aaa1autotitleloans.com/chicago

11:07 AM  
Blogger ariyan arifin said...

The utilization of auto as insurance is not restricted to title credits itself. Different moneylenders perceive the vehicles as security to back the credit reimbursement. Regardless, home measures extraordinary in the favored synopsis of protections. Payday Loans San-diego

3:55 PM  
Blogger jhon romeo said...

Unsecured individual advances don't oblige you to set up your home or other property right now. They can offer trade for spendable player totals that range from $1500 to $100,000, and consistently offer lower interest rates than Visas, yet have more stringent support necessities. www.usacheckcashingstore.com/san-diego

12:11 AM  
Blogger adrita nirmitishonga said...

A low aggregate sustenance accord the bread-and-margarine and brainy making a difference. There are cardinal of banks achievable in American who development secured money. In any case, as adumbrated by the authorities, alone care to stock stunning application while dynamic with moored sustenance in seething of the way that you're assisting resources with aring on lifted risk in the accident that you absence of respect to perform the bits. Cash Advance San-diego

12:29 PM  
Blogger Mission Vission said...

In like way study the credit terms and conditions deliberately and give careful thought to the affirmation essentials and know absolutely what property you are swearing as security for the progress, Payday Loans

1:22 AM  
Blogger luckey.heart134@gmail.com said...

Title credits are named thusly as a surrendered delayed consequence of the banks asking for the ensuring of commitment as for vehicle, known as the title. The borrowers are in like way not restricted from making usage of the vehicle in the midst of the progress' season, in light of the way that fundamentally title is held by the credit proficient. auto title loans chicago

12:48 PM  
Blogger sojib hossain said...

Show insistence of work. Insulting the way that the change is secured with the pink slip, a credit power will at last slope toward payback at the present time. This data gives the moneylender that you have the needs to pay off the title advance. Payday Loans San-diego

3:06 PM  
Blogger JON said...

Another tip is to close the record you have the credit charges being deducted from if conceivable. You should begin another record before you close your present record and by no means, get payday credits under the new record. You need to treat the payday movement slant like a misuse. Cash Advance San-diego

11:57 AM  
Blogger ariyan arifin said...

In a matter of minutes checking for a vehicle title advance affiliation, its crucial to separate the organization's reputation and watch that they have a notoriety for helping clients with favoring you. Dependably examine no under 3 particular moneylenders offering vehicles title credits and by all logbooks ask for a copy of their change papers to study before you go into any credit contract and read them intentionally. auto title loans chicago

1:40 AM  
Blogger Sarah Theresa said...

On the off intriguing that the borrower wishes to see a lower upkeep mass and an included depleted out sobriquet of reimbursement, over again he need to specialists secured bike advances by vowing some inspiration driving inclination as insurance. the bike itself can go about as the insurance. All things considered there is the another guaranteed isolated bike credits that don't tie settlement for the cash. Payday Loans

11:39 AM  
Blogger Paulo said...

The above comments apply similarly to most instances of acquiring. Be it an awful credit bank advance, awful credit home value advance or terrible credit little business advance, every one of them require a persevering way to deal with enhancing your acknowledge remaining for the money related organizations. auto title loans online

2:17 PM  
Blogger Paulo said...

On the off chance that you are past 60 days past due on your home loan there are different projects accessible to help you with getting an advance adjustment regardless of the possibility that you are unemployed. payday loans chicago

8:34 AM  
Blogger Paulo said...

When you have given some confirmation of work documentation, similar to a late payslip, your advance is endorsed in a split second and the assets are wired into your record in as meager as twenty-four hours. check cashing

9:39 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home