Thursday, April 23, 2009

Things I WON'T miss about Tonga!

In starting my list of Things I Won't Miss and Things I Will Miss I discovered that there's far more of the latter than the former! But for today, I'm trying to think positive about going home...two weeks today until I leave! So here's the list of Things I Won't Miss About Tonga - stay tuned for all the good stuff that I will miss coming soon!

Things I won’t miss:
*The toilet paper ration in the work toilets...actually, I will not miss ANYTHING to do with the work toilet!

*The tuneless humming of my colleague – who knew that not all Tongans could sing? Also under this category is regular assaults by the musically dubious efforts of Akon, Rhiannon and the like.

*Spraying myself with DEET-riddled repellent to avoid dengue-carrying mosquitoes (as well as the constant Fear of Getting Dengue!)

*Share-housing - can't wait for the days of wet bathmats, dirty dishes, waiting to use the toilet and trying to find enough room in the fridge to be OVER!

*Having to avoid eating in front of my workmates when I don’t have enough to share with them...I really do look forward to being able to eat at my desk once more!

*Clothes going mouldy simply from being in the cupboard

*The dreadful eczema I have had to endure the whole time I have been here

*The otherness that comes with being a Palangi in Tonga, and the fact that everyone pretty much knows who you are, even if you don’t know them; being anonymous can be really liberating!

*Being apart from my partner (though technically this is no longer an issue, as he's here now!)

*The big scary huntsman-style spiders, and the mice and cockroaches that live, shit, and lay eggs in my kitchen

*Having to do my laundry in a twin-tub – this process means you cannot leave the machine for more than 15 minutes at a time, and involves numerous fillings, emptyings, and removals for spinning, drying, etc (though I shouldn't whinge too much, as one of the Peace Corp I know has to wash her clothes on a wash-board!)

*The constant smell of burning plastic...or any of the smells really. The two smells I associate most closely with this place are this sickly sweet orchid that goes in all the leis, and a fecund sort of smell that reminds me too much of human faeces

*Hit-and-miss, unreliable internet (go to the head of the list, you!)

*Random people wandering around in our yard and trying to pick the locks on our doors, as well as all the assholes that kept pissing on our gate lock

*My colleagues screaming at each other across the office coz they’re too lazy to go across the room – not fighting, just communicating! Makes it hard to get work done, on those odd occasions when I need to do work!

*Getting confused at hearing people calling out “Isa”! and not referring to me - it's the common shortening of the name Luisa over here, and something that I am so not used to!

*These awful, awful desk chairs, that have nails/screws sticking into them so that if you shift around on that bit with a bit too much of your bodyweight, you get stabbed through the fabric – ouch!

*The sound of people hocking gollies. Intellectually, I understand that it’s mere enculturation that makes me find this sound (and the act of then spitting them out!) so disgusting, but I can’t help it – it makes my gorge rise!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Isa got MARRIED!

When I first started at the TVB last July I had a few days cross-over with the previous AYAD, and was able to attend her farewell feast put on by work. During his speech, the Director remarked that the AYAD had come to the TVB single, and it was a shame she was leaving it that way as well. Well, not so me! I never thought when I started this AYAD experience that one of the big changes I would encounter would be to my marital status! But it's true, I'm a "married woman" now!

Not only that, but I'm into my last fortnight at the TVB, and the Tongan adventure is fast coming to an end. These last few weeks I guess are all about blending one ending - Tonga and my life here - with a new beginning, that of my mariage to Clinton.