Oh tonight, where to start?
Sometime last week or so, Mandi was asked to learn a special dance for an upcoming concert. As news of her participation in said upcoming concert spread, who else do you suppose was asked to participate? Now, if you know me, I'm not much one for any onstage performance. I don't sing, I don't dance, I dread the stage...so that leaves ...nothing.
At dinner one night it was decided that mark and I would sing. (the particular dance mandi was performing is a dance done by single girls, so clearly I couldn't dance). Though I persisted that I could not sing, and that I cried when I had to perform in front of people, it seemed my host family was okay if I cried, as long as it was in front of people whilst singing.
Mark had the great idea to get a group of PC girls to sing a small backup part to a song he could play on the ukulele.
Fast forward to today, concert day. During our lunch break, mark and six of us girls practiced our sweet little song, with sways and claps and everything. The PC decided to make this a somewhat official event, and provided transportation for everyone, and a few staff members came.
Now, the event didn't even start until 8...which is pretty much my bedtime here in Tonga. (and when I say start, I mean that was the scheduled beginning time, but we were on Tongan time, which meant it didn't start until 9, definitely past my bedtime). The "concert" was a youth group fundraiser, and it was, in short, amazing. The youth group performed dance after dance, opening, hilariously enough, with God is Good...a song from way back in the day. Jernigan, dad? That, however, was the only church song in English...the rest were really cool, and the dancing incredibly impressive. Though we are technically not allowed to be in the youth group since we are osi mali, we are definitely planning on getting involved, mainly to learn how to dance. :)
How is getting your groove on a fundraiser, you ask? Well....as you dance, by yourself or in a group, if people like how you shake your stuff, they stuff money down your shirt. If you are confused about how this fits in with this extremely conservative Christian culture, don't worry, so was I....but it's awesome! Our singing song earned a pitiful $80, but Mandi's dance earned $400! I learned later that the total for the night was over $3,000 so...definitely consider it for your next fundraising event.
Of course the night could not be complete without us being dragged up in front of everyone and forced to dance. Again, a struggle for me. If I learn anything during my time here in Tonga, it will probably be to get over myself. Oh how difficult for me to stand with a handful of other people and shake my hips! But I did it (okay, begrudgingly at first, but then someone told me I needed to dance like I was having fun so that snapped me out of it!)
All in all, a fun night! We came home early, at 1230! Everyone else didn't make it in until 2 am! This youth group sure knows how to party!! And I can't wait for the next youth group fundraiser!