Thursday, June 25, 2015


After a slightly nerve-wracking entry between two poorly marked reefs, we found peaceful anchorage in a lagoon next to the island Ha'afeva. In comparison to the dirty, cyclone-devastated town of Pangai, which we had just left, we were struck by this island's beauty and happy vibe. Fruit trees and cows were everywhere, and people were out raking their front yards and collecting stray coconuts. We were able to visit the local school, and here we were greeted by a crowd of children, who ran back to the main building yelling, "Palangi! Palangi!" (white person! white person!).

In Ha'afeva we went on the hunt for fresh fruit and vegetables because our supplies were depleted. The headmaster of the school introduced us to a local man named Peta, who took us on a merry chase through the jungle to find food. He shook the oranges out of the trees for us and hacked down the papaya and a giant clump of bananas with his machete. Afterwards, we went to pay him for the goods, but he didn't want money. He asked for cigarettes and beer for himself and shampoo for his wife--things that are hard to get and very expensive in the islands. We didn't have any of this stuff, however, so he accepted some Tongan dollars.

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