Merry American Christmas! And Boxing Day in Tonga!
I recently became a real PCV, yaaaaay. We were sworn in at a nice ceremony by the water on the 15th of December. I moved last week to my site and am now in my own house. It's summer break in Tonga right now so school is not in session. That means I have nothing in particular to do except get to know people in my community and integrate.
This past week that has involved participating in various skits/dances/songs with a group of youth in my community. Youth is basically the kids who are in or have graduated from high school but are not yet married, so I technically count as youth even though I will be a teacher at the school. It's a weird kind of in between. The youth are split up into different groups and have been performing every night. I jumped in with the group of which my principal's daughters are a part. We practiced a lot during the day and then did the performances at night. It was a big to-do- tents were rented for the school grounds, huge speakers were set up, and there was a stage. I played the Virgin Mary on a couple nights, danced a few times, and pretended to get married in a reenactment of a scene from Glee (from an episode I had not yet seen, which was frustrating!). I spent most of the time not being sure exactly what was going on and only understanding half of the Tongan spoken to me. However, a lot of the people in my group speak pretty good English so they were sure to help me out.
No matter what I did on stage, though, the Tongans thought it was great just because it was the palangi (white person, foreigner) doing it. All the young men in my village also got a great deal of entertainment out of posing for pictures with me. I just stood there and laughed while they rotated through. Everyone in my village is so friendly and welcoming- it's been a lot of fun.
For Christmas we went to church, had lunch, and then went swimming at the beach. After that my principal dropped me off at a PCV's house in town were a group of us had a potluck and did a yankee swap. I got two very nice coffee mugs! I'm still in town staying with my friend, and will head back to my site tomorrow. It's been a fun little break but it will also be good to get back to my site and continuing getting to know people.
I know this post is a little all over the place- we are in the PC office watching Eat, Pray, Love so I'm trying to multitask. But I just wanted to give you all a little update while I'm here!
I emailed my mom some pictures since it was taking to long to load them on the blog, so she will be putting those up soon. You will get to see my house, my group of youth, and the Peace Corps I did Christmas with. Hopefully I'll figure out how to make albums and stuff soon so I can put up lots of pictures!!
Once again, Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a lovely holiday season and have a great New Years. I'll be thinking of everyone! Love and miss you all tons.