Map of Tonga in the South Pacific

Map of Tonga in the South Pacific

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fans/The Market

January 23, 2011

Don’t leave home without your…fan?

I’ve been thinking about fans in Tonga, and when I went to church this morning and realized I forgot to bring mine, much to my dismay, I knew it was a worthy topic for the blog.

Even though the church is open to the world with windows and doors, and there are overhead fans whirring, you really want to have your fan. They come in all shapes, sizes, and designs, but the most common is what I’ll call the leaf shape. They can really move air, too! Although mostly women have them, men do, too. You also want them at work, sitting in restaurants, classes---well, everywhere!

I have three now. Two were made and given to me in Ha’apai. They are on the sides in the photo. My leaf-shaped fan, in the middle, I purchased at the Handicraft Center in Nuku’alofa. I like them all, but for real air movement you can’t beat my leaf!

Fans. An art form. Creative. Beautiful. Fashion accessory. Functional. Who knew?

To market, to market to buy….?

The Talamahu Market is in the heart of Nuku’alofa. What a pleasure to shop there. Right now there is so much available, and it’s just a joy to look at the heaps of fruits and vegetables to buy. Here’s a partial list: bananas, pineapple, watermelon, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, manioke, taro, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, eggplant---well, you get the idea. Also being sold are handicrafts, eggs, cakes, flowers, leis, and more.

You buy fruits and vegetables by the heap. Usually the cost is 3 pa’anga (Tongan dollars). If it’s full season, you get a larger heap for your money; when they’re scarce you get less. Well, of course I want it all. Luckily we are limited by what we can carry as we are walking and bussing to get there, and also by the size of our refrigerator, which is small. Sometimes the heaps are too big, so we are able to split them with another volunteer.

Here are a few photos. Take a walk through the market with us.

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