Well, so much for the “home sweet home” of prior posts – yesterday we got kicked out of our place in Longolongo, and by the end of the day we were in temporary accommodation in a whole new house.
Dramas? You bet! It’s kind of a long story, suffice to say that our landlord has a chip on his shoulder about the fact that my flatmate is dating Tongan guy. They are now officially engaged, so it’s all above-board and legitimate, but he had a real problem with locals (ie Tongans) coming onto our property.
We thought this would all disappear as he left the country for three months to work overseas, but unfortunately our peace lasted all of 4 days (for only 2 of which I was actually in the bloody country!), and yesterday morning at 8:45 he rang to tell us that we were being kicked out, and should be off the property by the end of the day – otherwise, we were to watch out!
We called our In-Country Manager (who’d been informed of pervious hiccups, and who’s sensible advice for a more harmonious relationship with him we followed), who tried to soothe things over, but to no avail. The only way the landlord would consider letting us stay on until 1 December (which, incidentally, is when we are paid up until!) was if our In-Country Manager personally signed a declaration guaranteeing the property against damage or theft. Well, this was from a man who had refused to give us a Rental Agreement, so his word is obviously worth nothing – as if we would trust him! Or put our ICM on the line! Oh yeah, and his other condition was that there were to be ABSOLUTELY NO TONGANS on the premises until we left.
I’m sorry, but doesn’t paying rent entitle me to have anyone I like on my property, as long as I maintain everything in the condition that it was given to me?? There are not enough expletives in my vocab to tell you what an asshole this guy is – and racist to boot! I mean, as if we’d come to Tonga as volunteers and then shun Tongan people – get real!
So we were all packed up, A-Lee heading to another volunteer’s house and me contemplating living in a tent for a few weeks (actually I was quite excited about the prospect of the tent!), when a neighbour, who was aware of the situation and who’d spoken to the landlord advising him NOT to kick us out (he’s also the landlord’s uncle!) showed up to express his regret at the situation. When he heard that we actually didn’t have anywhere else to go he immediately offered us a vacant house that he owned, just up the road, as a temporary solution while we look for somewhere else.
This was just so fortuitous! The place is secure, has running water and electricity, and is more than adequate while we look for something longer term. We are so grateful to whatever angels were looking out for us at that point!
This also means that I will have moved house at least 5 times before I leave Tonga – will I set some kind of new AYAD record I wonder?? Stay tuned to hear the latest on our domestic situation – and please keep your fingers crossed that we find somewhere awesome to live before Xmas, as Viliami needs his house back by then!