Saturday, October 17, 2009

Homestay Family

The Peace Corps must have know that I was an only child when they placed me with a homestay with thirteen children. I met my homestay family just a few short days ago but already we are getting along very well. I have two homestay parents, Isiah and Honey and ten of their thirteen children still live in their house. Their ages range from three to twenty-two. Even with all of the other children around the house Honey and Isiah still treat me like their own child and prepare breakfast lunch and dinner for me. I have heard some horror stories from other volunteers about what there families have served. Some have told about fried butter sandwiches three times a day and others have been surviving off of speghetti sandwiches. My family has been serving me all kinds of delicacies and I've already had lobster tail four times. And who said the Peace Corps was so tough?

The last few days I have been a little sick here with a mild chest cold. I ended up missing one event, a beach clean up led by Aussies. The event was attended by over 3000 Tongans and was a big success cleaning up the trash here, which seems to be left everywhere or burnt. My homestay family attended the event. When my homestay mother saw me at home after the even she told me that she had been looking for me at the event and that we she heard that I was home sick she said that she felt sick too because of me.

The internet here is very slow and is a 30 min car ride away from my house but I'll try to post again soon. Photos will be coming when I have faster internet. Hope all is well with everyone reading this and in America!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Todd,
    I read about your being a PCV in Tonga in the Leeds School of Business magazine that just arrived. I was in the second group to arrive in Tonga on January 2, 1968. I graduated from the Business School at the University of Colorado in May, 1967 and started training on Molokai,HI in October, where we lived in tents on the beach. Tonga I (one) went in November and Tonga II,(Two) my group, arrived January 2, 1968.
    We were provided a traditional fale by our village. It was one room thatched and, if lucky, had a concrete floor. At US$ 25 per month, we had the lowest living allowance in the world.
    It had to cover food, transportation, kerosene for a lamp and one burner stove.Also, postage and film and cloths, etc. No electricity or running water for the most volunteers. There was no telephone between islands or overseas. Telegraph existed between US, by a long route and Tonga. The only airport had two flights a week.Passage to Ha'apai and Vava'u, not to mention Niuafo'ou and Niuatoputapu, was deck passage on only two old boats that served the entire Kingdom.
    Expensive airmail from the states took 1-2 weeks on Tongatapu 2-4 or more to outer islands. I think you can live with slow internet.
    Still, we loved the adventure and so will you.
    My service was cut short by being drafted and I spent 13 months with the Army in Vietnam.
    Trust me: peace is better than war. Best of luck to you and the other volunteers. Go Buffs! (I will give you my name and address separately so it will not show up in search engines.) It will be one of the most selfless and selfish things you will do in your life.
    The experience will change your life forever.

    Ofa' atu Simi
    MBA CU '71