Yesterday was an exciting day at Pouono Catering and Hospitality School...our very first catering event. It was for a workshop being held at the high school with about 20 people. We developed a menu for morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea which consisted of mostly Tongan food. Some of the food included puaka tuna (roast pig), sweet and sour chicken, chocolate cake, pizza, and ika fakapaku (fried fish). The workshop attendees were very impressed with the work the students did, and I was also very proud of them. The biggest crisis of the day was realizing we forgot to buy straws so that people could drink from the coconuts, but other than that things were great. I hope it is an indication that the rest of the year will only get better!
Last weekend was an important one for our school. Friday night was a dinner to welcome the new teachers and prefects. All the teachers, prefects, and families were there along with piles and piles of food. After eating, the school band and dancers provided some entertainment. Ashley and I learned a tau'olunga dance (the traditional Tongan dance for single women) to perform. However, we learned the verses the night before and the chorus that very morning. We definitely did not have enough practice, and ended up forgetting parts of our routine! Luckily, during the dances audience members come up and put money on the dancers. So when we forgot our moves we could just blame it on the fact that people were trying to put money on us and we got distracted. Regardless, the Tongans appreciated our efforts, even if we weren't as good as the Tongan girls.
Last Sunday was an event for our school called "Sapate Taha" or "First Sunday". All of the teachers and students attend the morning church service and the minister blesses the new school year. Sean and I, being new teachers this year, were asked to read scripture. Unlike last time I read in church, this time I just read in English. Since I was a reader, I got to wear a very nice ta'ovala (the woven mats worn around the waist) and lots of accessories. I also had a brand new puletaha (dress) made from blue fabric that is our school color. My co-teacher Moala gave it to me as a gift, which was very sweet. It continues to amaze me that the Tongan people are so kind and giving. As a further example, for lunch on Sunday a family brought a whole carload of food to my house. Two of my Tongan friends, Sean, Ashley, and I shared a delicious Tongan meal courtesy of their generosity.
Lastly, happy birthday to my mom, I hope you had a wonderful day! 'Ofa atu!