Related, that's one of the things that has been kind of weird about being in Tonga- missing important events in the lives of people I love. Knowing that something fantastic has happened and I'm unable to be there to share it is a weird sensation. I'm completely stoked for someone but a little sad at the same time. It's only happened a few times- Lea getting her NatGeo job, Nicole and Curtis getting engaged, Josh getting an A in religion (side note: wish he had been studying religion when I was still in college because I bet he totally could have helped me out in some of my classes). I am so so happy about all of those things, it just always catches me off guard to be reminded that everyone's lives are going on without me, hahaha. I know that sounds kind of self-centered but I don't really mean it in that way at all. I would imagine it's kind of the same for some of you, knowing that so much is going on in my life and having little sense of what exactly it's like.
Anyway, sorry, that was kind of a depressing note to start off on but I don't mean it to be! It's more interesting to me than anything else. I'm really quite happy and doing very well. School hasn't started yet but it's planning week beginning on Monday, so I'll finally be getting prepared for the school year! Ahh! I can't wait to get to know the kids in my village in a school setting as opposed to just playing around. And it will be really nice to have a schedule and specific tasks to accomplish. I'm likely going to be working with the whole age range of kids at my school, not just the older ones, so that will be pretty awesome.
I really have been doing the same thing as usual. Running, cooking, battling mice, hanging in the village, coming to town occasionally. Nothing too exciting. The first week of January was Uike Lotu, prayer week. I went to church twice a day every day, at 5 a.m. and 6ish p.m. I've been attending the Weslyan church as I will be teaching at a Weslyan school and right now most of the people I know in my village are Weslyan. I hope to venture to the other churches someday but I'm going to wait until I know people better so I can go with someone instead of alone.
I also hit up a couple feasts for New Years and the end of Uike Lotu. Feasts in Tonga involve a lot of food- roasted pig included- and speeches/prayers. It's all in Tongan, obviously, so I don't quite understand all of it but I do my best. The Tongans always tell me "kai lahi, kai lahi!" which is essentially "eat a lot, eat a lot!" which I am not very good at doing. By Tongan standards I eat very little, especially because I am a vegetarian- a concept which usually takes some explaining before it is understood. But at feasts I do my best to participate in the eating! Haha. Everyone in my village is so nice and welcoming. When I go to town for the day (like today), I miss them. I think that's a good sign so far!
So.... Yeah sorry this was boring and terribly written. I was trying to be fast. Once again I was too lazy to write anything ahead of time. I'll try and write something more exciting soon, maybe in a week or two once school starts. I probably won't be getting to town quite as much once I'm in school, though, just a heads up. Don't be alarmed.
Love and miss you all!