I wrote the following letter to my friend Andrew and after re-reading it I decided that I might as well share it with everyone. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
Things are going pretty well over here. Training has been intense. Since I have been here I have had more than four hours of language training everyday and the trainers have kept us busy with culture seminars and policy meetings six days a week. We are all happy that there is only about ten days of training left. This week I have been teaching in the classroom and have been feeling out the Tongan students. They only seem to memorize information and spit it out here. Few Tongans can actually use or explain what they are learning and creativity is minimal, but I guess that is what I'm here to work on. The country is amazing overall. You should check out the island I'm on on google maps. I'll be living on the island of Lifuka on Ha'apai. I'll never bee more than a quarter mile away from a beautiful beach and the island is protected by beautiful coral reef filled with fish of all colors swimming around. When I'm not studying the language or preparing my lesson plans I can go out to the beach and just relax or go snorkeling. The culture is pretty sweet here. People work with their families in the uta -Tongan farms that are usually just a short ride from their homes.. They grow crops that are easy to care for and food is plentiful. A big part of the culture here is feasting and usually involves many pigs roasted on open fires. They also make a ton of other delicious food here. It is the end of the school year here and I have already been invited to four feasts this week. Yesterday I was just sitting on the beach looking out at a sunset over a beautiful blue ocean with a silver reflection and I had a moment of realization. I realized that when many people are stressed out or in trouble they think of their happy place, an imaginary place that is calm and serene, like a beautiful beach in the middle of nowhere. Well, that is exactly where I am and will be living and working for the next two years. Things couldn't be much better.
I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends
7 years ago