Wednesday, September 10, 2008




On Saturday I moved house for the third time since arriving in Tonga two months ago. This time, I think it truly is a case of 'third time lucky', and possibly a bit of 'good things come to those who wait', along with any other cliches which ultimately mean - I think my domestic troubles are OVER!

It hasn't been easy. We were expected by our In-Country Manager to have formed into ‘house groups’ the day after we arrived here. By the day after that, we'd all pretty much signed up for particular houses. So, having known each other for 3 days (I'm discounting PDT of course!), we were now committed to living together for the next 12 months.

Luckily Tongan leases are easier to squeeze out of than your average pair of tight jeans, because three days after moving into the first house, one of my flatmates told me flatly that she no longer wanted to live with me. Now, I've been through a fair few sharehouses in my time, and I have to say, that was a first for me! Mind you, the flatmate in question was a lot younger, and didn't have a lot of experience in sharehousing, so I just chalked it up to a personality difference and moved on.

Two weeks later I was in my second house, with a girl I got along with quite well, but in a house I couldn't stand! The place itself has seen a fair few AYADs, having been a faithful volunteer house for quite some time now, but it just didn't feel right for me. I'm a big believer in 'vibes', and this place just felt unwelcoming. Not to mention the fact that my room got no natural light and the neighbours were noisy (yes I know this is Tonga, but I'd take the dogs, pigs and roosters over a neighbour vomiting outside my bedroom window at 2am anytime!). Add to that the stories I heard about unquiet spirits appearing at séances held in the house, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there!

So it has come to pass that my former flatmate from the first house (obviously not the one who didn’t want to live with me!) and I have moved into a sweet little place recently vacated by a couple of VIDAs. The place even has a spare room, so we are able to accommodate guests without having to resort to bed-sharing. It is light and airy, my room has TWO windows, and the kitchen is just the sort of place that inspires me to cook up a storm. In short, I love it!


Having reached the two-month mark of my time as an AYAD I am bearing in mind what we were told at PDT – that is, the first 3 months are the hardest, and there’ll be an inevitable slump in our spirits as we get adjusted. By and large, I think I’m doing alright. Week 6 and 7 were slightly more unsettled, and I took a couple of Mental Health Days off work for some time out. I told myself that moving to the new place wasn’t going to solve all my problems, and it wasn’t a cure-all for missing Clinton or feeling frustrated at work.

But sitting in my new kitchen on Saturday afternoon, having a cup of tea before unpacking the rest of my gear, I suddenly realised that I felt AT HOME. For the first time since coming to Tonga, I felt at home. I didn’t even realise I’d lost that feeling – or perhaps I just didn’t expect to find it here. But there it is, and for the first time in two months I have that feeling of comfort that you get when it all fits right. And for that I am glad!

1 comment:

engaged said...

i just want to say that it does one good to read such a cheery blog.