or, maybe not. It started yesterday – the rain, that is. During the night, I was awakened by a bright light and I thought, “Oh, oh. The aliens have found us or The Rapture has commenced.” It was followed by my house almost shaking from what I think is the loudest peal of thunder I have ever heard. That low-pressure system must have been just hovering over Tongatapu, specifically over my house, awaiting its chance to demonstrate the power of Ms. Nature. Now wide awake, I was aware that Nana Nature was dumping buckets of rain on us and I knew they were the supersized pellets of dense rainwater that explode upon meeting the earth. There were several more lightning/thunder episodes, but each one seemed to move a little farther away, and eventually peace was restored to my little corner of the world. Contentedly, I returned to sleep with a gentle rain falling.
By morning, it had stopped. It’s now Friday morning, my day off, and I’m excited for my morning coffee, a nice cold shower, and biking off to my morning language tutoring with Ofa. I’m so lucky/happy to be working with her again (she was our language/culture teacher during training) and she’s just one of those bright spots of my life here. She recently gave me an old, weathered, seen better days bookcase/storage cabinet sans doors. I thought it was perfect for my storage enhancement purpose and just needed a little paint and voila. So, today was going to be a little DIY, run a few errands, maybe go to the Ministry of Agriculture for a project I’m doing with a local microfinance business. You know, just a femo’uekina kind of day (busy doing a lot of things). And then, the rain began…again. No thunder this time, but lots and lots of rain. Called Ofa and said I wouldn’t be riding my bike, or walking, to her house but would see her tomorrow. “Okay, have a nice weekend”, she said. “No, I will see you tomorrow”, I replied. “Oh yeah”, she laughed. And just as quickly as the lightning struck last night, I thought, this day has taken a turn…and I think I’m going to like it! So, I aero pressed another cup of coffee and waited for the rain to subside, thinking, “Just take your time. I’m in no hurry.”
The rain did subside, so I headed over to the local hardware store. Another bright spot is having PTH on the next block. It’s not Lowes, by any stretch, but most days you can find what you need, or come close to it. They had (some) paint and the biggest decision was to get Vivid White or Brilliant White. As usual, a customer service person was there to help – yes, that’s really true – and he explained the Vivid White was more of an off white. Perfect. Now, to the brushes – “Wow”, I thought, “That’s a whole lot of display for brushes”. Unfortunately, there were a lot of empty pegs and only two sizes – large or small. (Had to go large or I’d still be painting.) Got the first coat of paint on while it rained again and during another lull, biked over to the Peace Corps office to pick up my coffee order (Kingdom Koffie now delivers to PC for us…a nice perc.)
Checked my mail slot, and was delighted to have received letters from my pen-pal class in Las Vegas. And then I noticed the postmark. What? It was mailed November 1, 2010! The Post Office here stamped it received 18 May, 2011. There was no stamp saying ‘misrouted to New Zealand’ so I can only assume it was misrouted to Kiribati or Bangkok or more likely, it was sitting in a bin or mail bag waiting for the holidays to conclude and daylight savings to go into effect. Oiaue.
Anyway, got home and applied a second coat of paint and that old Charlie Brown cabinet IS perfect. Tell Mikey I like it. Spent a couple of hours getting things sorted, organized, re-organized, folded, refolded, thrown out, whatever. And, you know what? It rained the whole time.
I remember a Peace Corps recruiter telling someone once…The Peace Corps is not all about you. Really? Well, not on a very rainy day in Tonga. It was all about me and I loved it!
The sun will come out tomorrow. And, if it not, Bruno’s Samoan Circus performs under a tent, so we will be just fine.
(P.S. It is now Saturday morning and, in true Tongan fashion, the sun is shining again.)