I wanted to celebrate right, so I bought a bunch of canned sodas, candy, bags of kava, and tobacco to bring. This might sound like a funny combination, but to a group of Tongan guys, these are all the necessary ingredients for a truly good party. Most of the guys had already shown up to the hall, so I entered, put down my box of goodies at the appropriate spot, did the kava handshake circle, and was asked for the first time to sit in the seat of the "matapule", the seat of highest honor that is directly opposite of the "kumete" (wooden kava bowl). Then, I gave a little speech of appreciation and respect to them and kava culture, and the party got underway.
Eventually, most every male on the island came to join in. Some men from Matamaka even made the trip across the island for it. After a while, because I couldn't resist on my last kava, I got my ukulele and moved to join the band. The music was played, the kava was drunk, and the good times rolled late into the night. I stayed as long as I could, knowing that I would need the energy the next day to move. It was another wonderful way to end things, to say goodbye, and to bring closure for our time on our wonderful island.