We tucked behind the island of Ha’afeva to sit out some strong easterly winds and more low overcast. The island has one of the largest towns in the Ha’apai Group with about 500 people that live there, perhaps not all full time – with older kids going to high school off island and lots of adults going to Tongatapu for extended work sessions. We took a couple of soccer balls over to the public school. The teacher – holding the balls – and the kids were pleased and very friendly to us, even though we interrupted class.
This is Pita and his nephew. Pita tends to adopt any new cruisers who stop by. He doesn’t speak great English, but gets by. He believes in the Tongan custom of sharing. He always offers fruits and veggies to cruisers from his garden. Offering items from the boat or some payment is fine in return. We gave him some fish hooks. His nephew, Sori, really wanted to come out and see the boat. Once on the boat, we offered Pita some hot coffee --- he’s now hooked on Starbucks French Roast. And we gave Sori a cold Coke. He sat on the settee and just looked at the Coke for a long time. We finally asked him why he didn’t open it and he said with a shy smile “It’s too cold”. After it warmed up a bit he enjoyed it along with a Granola bar.
Pita had us over to his families house for a snack and some tea. His father, an old fisherman/diver, is in the green shirt, his mother in the middle near the stove, and his sister, Star, who lives on Tongatapu is next to Chris. Chris gave the grandmother a pair of her ‘reader’ glasses in exchange for some fruit and veggies and Tongan hospitality. She was very happy with the exchange.