Merry Christmas from Tonga! Christmas in Tonga was a lot different than what I am used to in America. Christmas morning I woke up and opened a gift from my co-teacher, Moala. She gave me a chocolate bar...quite a treat in Tonga! Next I went to church, where I sang in the choir for the first time. We sang a medley of popular Christmas songs like "Joy to the World" and "O Come All Ye Faithful". I had no trouble with the notes, but it was a little tricky singing them in Tongan when I am so accustomed to the English. After church, my neighbor, Fou, took myself, her daughter (also named Fou), her mother-in-law, and Sean to the beach for a picnic. I spent the afternoon relaxing, eating, and doing crossword puzzles. For dinner, a couple other Peace Corps Volunteers came to my house and we celebrated with a very untraditional meal of chicken, salad, and fruit. It was delicious!
Yesterday was a Sunday, so I went to church again. As I was looking for a seat, I was not sure if I should sit with the choir again. One of the ladies motioned me over, so I joined the alto section, assuming we would sing the same piece we sang on Christmas day. When it came time for the choir to sing, I stood up with everyone else. However, no one seemed to have any music, which was a bit strange. When the director cued us in, I was surprised to hear the familiar sounds of the "Hallelujah Chorus"! I did my best to sing along, but I was completely lost during the verses, which were all in Tongan. Definitely not my best choir performance.
Yesterday afternoon, I got to chat with my family at home. It was so nice to hear everyone's voices! Later, I took advantage of the fact that no one is allowed to work on Sundays and spent some quality time in my hammock reading and napping. There's not a whole lot on my agenda for this week, so I expect lots of the same. Loving the island life!