A lot has happened in the last few weeks....
Mark and I, along with our fellow volunteers, had a week long training back in Tongatapu. It was so good to see Lose and Noa and Tulu again. So good to catch up with the 13 other volunteers (8 of whom we hadn't seen since november). It was also really nice to have taimi tea again....right back to those 12 cookies a day but soooo totally worth it!
It was so surreal to fly into Tongatapu for the second time. I couldn't help but remember what it was like in September when we first spotted the islands. We were all so excited, jittery. Oh...we didn't have a clue! It felt good to reflect on all that has happened. On the amazing amounts a person can grow, change, customize oneself to a new culture. It felt so good to think, "this is old news" , when mere months earlier I was practically peeing my pants out of fear of the unknown.
Of course, now, I have to make a confession. The plane landed and I was still lost in my own self-glorifying thoughts-Patting myself on my back for all that I had overcome and accomplished the last few months, thinking I was now so culturally aware, so fakatonga. Then, as people began to exit out of the plane, the people BEHIND me started to get up. I was perplexed, annoyed, tried in vain to do the old, "oh,Ididntknowyouwerecuttinginlineandtryingtogetbyme arm barrier across the aisle". It didn't work. I got huffy. I might have said something (I realllllly had to use the bathroom).
We laughed later at how predictably uptight I can be. (but really, Isn't waiting ones turn a universal concept?)
Anywho, we are ....5 months in. I can't imagine being 12 and 19 and 25...just honestly can't imagine. But, wow, those five months have flown. And boy, I've sure learned a lot.