Monday, July 26, 2010

The "torch is coming"

So I while back we had big news in town that the Olympic Torch was coming through town. All kids went to town (instead of school) and lined the streets waiting for the torch to arrive. We had a few conversations about why the Olympic Torch would be touring around the world now, didn't the Olympics just take place?

We arrive at 9am and we purchase the country's flag for each child... The teachers then begin instructing the children that they are to stand on the sidewalk and proudly wave the flag when the torch comes by.

At 9:30 am we hear the plane fly over, this will be a while... the torch is coming from the airport to town a 15 minute drive. They will be running, ok we figure give them an hour, hour and a half... we will then see the torch. Over the next 3 hours we would continually go through a drill every 20 minutes or so of someone yelling, "here it comes!" All kids would then run to their designated spot and proudly hold out the flag. Minutes later we would be told, it was a false alarm. Pretty comical really. After 3 1/2 hours we finally see the torch coming. We were standing next to a gal from Austria and some other Americans we all wanted to know what torch was coming, it was not the Olympic Torch!

We found out it was the Common Wealth games torch! The next half hour the people from England, and Canada had to explain that the Common Wealth games take place with countries associated with England. (This is what was explained to me... if it is different, sorry I still don't know much about the Common Wealth Games!)
Can you see the torch? Definitely not the Olympic Torch!

The funniest part of the whole day: When the torch finally came - all kids ran from the sidewalk and crowded in the street. The people holding the torch (not an actual torch at all) were walking not even trying to run! Too funny.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

We have arrived! - In Tonga

Well hello there, blogging world! It has been a while. Most of you already know that we have moved to another country. We have moved to the South Pacific to the Kingdom of Tonga. Look it up on a map, it is near Fiji. We have been here for almost 3 months. For the first month we were living in an apartment, or what we like to call, “the oven” it was ridiculously hot at all times. We have since moved into our house that we finished while we were living in the apartment.

I wanted to start from the beginning and go through our lives as we arrived in Tonga, it has been quite a journey for us. Due to the length of the time we have now been here – I have decided that I will just tell you some of things that have happened in no particular order.

Josie and John arriving in Fiji - after our 10.5 hour flight!

So from the US, it is a bit of a journey to get to Tonga. If up in the Northwest area, it is a hop skip and a jump: First get to LAX, then LAX to Fiji (10.5 hour flight) , we spent the night in Fiji (wanted to give the kids some time to play) had a great time, there is a hotel literally right next to the airport that has a water slide we all had a great time. From Fiji to Tongatapu (main island group in Tonga) then finally from Tongatapu to Vava’u(the island group we live on)This is John at Tongatapu apon arrival! Why he is not smiling I don't know!

Whew… it was long trip especially with two kids in tow and 12 suitcases! The kids did amazingly well, I was jealous of them on the airplane when I looked over and they were sleeping, they looked so comfy all cozied up in the seats. We were fortunate and could sprawl out over 3 rows of seats! Little Josie finally conked out on the long LAX to Fiji flight, John was so excited to be on a BIG airlplane that he watched every movie on the movie channels, he finally fell asleep with only 3 hours left on the flight. So when we arrived in Fiji he was a bit tired.

We stayed one night at the resort across the street from the house we were finishing, and then moved into the apartment. The first night in the apartment we got all settled and put some rice on to start dinner. Then the lights went out. No power. Hmmm, I know I have a candle in one of the suitcases, search through 12 suitcases and finally find the candle – get it lit and then realize that the rice is completely burned! The stoves are all powered with butane gas so it kept cooking even when we had no power. Pretty funny, the kids were troopers and ate just rice for dinner. We were all so tired, we crawled into bed, and were out in no time.

Josie and John in Vava'u. First day at the beach in Tonga!