November 13, 2010
Every part of the coconut and the coconut tree gets used. The coconut is used at every stage of maturity for food, too. We had seen some very functional, but attractive baskets being used to carry food from the bush, particularly root crops such as manioc, sweet potato and taro. Of course I wanted one. Last week when Jim went to the garden in the bush he saw Mosese starting to make one, and he asked him if he would show him how sometime. Mo took it apart and said he’d bring the coconut leaf home and Jim could make it. In the bush it takes about 20 minutes to make one, and you only need a knife to split the spine to cut it open when you’re done. Otherwise, all you need are your hands and a coconut leaf. I’ve got some pictures that will give you an idea of the steps and how it is woven. Ingenious, huh?
Last Sunday we attended church in the village that is 2 villages away. It was a special Sunday as there was a guest pastor at the Wesleyan Church there from Nuku’alofa. We had walked to that church just the week before to see it. It was built in the old Tongan style of architecture, which you rarely see anymore. I have pictures from the walk, but it was a treat to worship there, thinking of the people who had built it and worshipped there over the years. If only walls could talk!
Our formal language classes are over, though, of course, tutoring remains. We had our Mock LPI on Friday (language pretest) and what a milestone that is! Here is our language group with our very capable and patient teacher. Thanks, Ofa, for all your hard work and caring so much that we did the best we could. We always come to Center Day in our professional dress—what we will be expected to wear to work and on Sundays.