Subsidize My Authority!
What are the Palangi Files?
The blogs of a guy who quit his job, sold or gave away all of his possessions, joined the Peace Corps and moved to the tiny island Kingdom of Tonga. This is his (and only) his story.

The contents of this website are my own PERSONAL opinion. They do not reflect the opinions, policies, actions, feelings, emotions or sleep patterns of the Peace Corps, the U.S. Government, the Kingdom of Tonga or anyone else for that matter but me.

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Quick Post...

ALrighty, its 7:49 on a Friday night and I'm heading to a party so I'll keep it quick and sober...

Quick story from my buddy steve-o. He's sitting in his office here in Tonga in his air conditioner no less (lucky bastard), when in walks a heavy-set older tongan women with a machete and a coconut. This is normal in Tonga as machete's are invaluable when you're breaking the coconut into two parts. She's just sort of hanging out and enjoying the coolness of steve's oh so comfortable office and smacking her coconut into halves when all of the sudden another women with a barstool type chair walks into the room. Without saying a word, the barstool women jabs the chair at coconut women's face. No words exchanged, not a sound made. Coconut lady raises her coconut and machete and using her girth to her advantage successfully deflects the assault.

Once again, I stress that not a single word was spoken during the entire interchange. Fascinating! Afterwards, Steve-o tells me that the coconut lady apologized to him briefly by saying "Sorry you saw that." Then just as soundlessly as she arrived and was assaulted, she disapeared. Ah fakatonga!

Oh yeah, one other thing, we had an earthquake! It was pretty small, but everybody on the islands except for me, who slept right through it like a freshman dorm fire alarm, said it was pretty exciting. I'm hoping we get press and I get to safely feel another one. Hot diggity damn!

Also, one of the king's son's passed away last week and I have some kick ass pictures of the funeral. If I can figure out how to stop the spammers from stealing our bandwidth, I'll upload them and explain them. You guys would have appreciated it.

PS - Nicole, I'm hooked. You're on the list. Don't worry about Pete, this time of year he hasn't seen a woman in so long he ponders jumping from his 40th floor corner office onto his porsche. That's right baby! Tax Season! Holla at me Pete. I need a "favor"

PPS - Sorry about the cheezy post last time. I was lazy and a bit, how you say "kona"! Audi. Semisi-San.
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The Death of a Prince...

Hmmm... Post will begin as such: There is so much stuff for me to write about that I don't know where to begin. I've actually sat in front of this blank cursor twice before I've decided to actually sit down and write. First, props to my homey E-bo! E-bo, there is no way I'd be able to break a guy as big as you over my spine. As much as I'd love to break a spine, the strength isn't in me yet. I'm done, but I feel this way...

I see the clouds that move across the sky
I see the wind that moves the clouds away
It moves the clouds over by the building
I pick the building that I want to live in

I smell the pine trees and the peaches in the woods
I see the pinecones that fall by the highway
That's the highway that goes to the building
I pick the building that I want to live in

It's over there, it's over there
My building has every convenience
It's gonna make life easy for me
It's gonna be easy to get things done
I will relax alone with my loved ones

Loved ones, loved ones visit the building,
take the highway, park and come up and see me
I'll be working, working but if you come visit
I'll put down what I'm doing, my friends are important

Don't you worry 'bout me
I wouldn't worry about me
Don't you worry 'bout me
Don't you worry 'bout me

I see the states, across this big nation
I see the laws made in Washington, D.C.
I think of the ones I consider my favorites
I think of the people that are working for me

Some civil servants are just like my loved ones
They work so hard and they try to be strong
I'm a lucky guy to live in my building
They own the buildings to help them along

It's over there, it's over there
My building has every convenience
It's gonna make life easy for me
It's gonna be easy to get things done
I will relax along with my loved ones

Loved ones, loved ones visit the building
Take the highway, park and come up and see me
I'll be working, working but if you come visit
I'll put down what I'm doing, my friends are important

I wouldn't worry 'bout
I wouldn't worry about me
Don't you worry 'bout me
Don't you worry 'bout ME..........

You can thank Mr. David Burnes for these lyrics. That's how I'm feeling. Damn you Dean.

I'll write something a little more proppa, hamma style. L8r.

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First week of school and socializing in Tonga!

Are nothing but positive. I'm loving this job. Of course its only the first week and all that other good stuff, but its been awesome thus far! Which reminds me. The aussie volunteers call me A.J., "Awesome Jim", not necessarily because I'm awesome but because I say it all the time. I think that's awesome! You see, that's a pun! A simple play on words. It makes me feel beautiful and special like a handsome hunchback in a tower that all the other hunchbacks want to work at. LOL! Ah, that's funny!

Yeah, on like the first day of school, I walked around to each of the students and was like "Hey, what's your name, where you from, why are you here, you look like a year of the rat type of person is your bed aligned slightly off north?" You know, the usual stuff. One of the students, told me that she had 3 kids and that she was coming to school to get a better life and find a real job. I'm moved and a little awestruck, moral goldmine, this is one of those students that teachers that are going to change the world dream about. Awesome. One of the guys next to her started cracking up. I'm like "What the heck is so funny? She's got a harder job than you'll ever imagine!" He's like sorry, my bad. No problem. I'm the boss around here, the new sherriff in town, recognize fool.

Well I'm recanting this cute little tale from my first day of school to the guy that taught it last year, and he's like: "None of the students have kids. She's lying." Ah HA! Now I know what was so funny. In retrospect I felt like dumb ass. I was had, con sarn't! No problem, I'll get her back. She was pretty deadpan about it, which, if you know me, I gotta respect.

No worries. So friday night, I go out to the Blue Pacific, which I've been to once before and drank so much decided not to go to those bothersome "training sessions." (Little advice to new volunteers, don't drink yourself into missing ANY of your classes. There will be consequences.) Anyways, the last time I was at the Blue Pacific, there was like 20 people there and 18 of them were Peace Corps Trainees. I just figured the place was beat. Well, on Friday nights, its not. Its packed to the gills with all sorts of people, especially Tongans. So, I'm like 1.34 sheets to the wind, walk in and start dancing. And lo and behold, who dat be? Our student "mother" dancing the night away with 2 of the other students in my class!

"Hey, where's the kids?" "Oh, the kids, they're ummm... at home, I think?" Yeah. Yo number is mizine, fool! Recognizzle!

So I realize, "Hey! These girls are my STUDENTS! You can't dance with them stupid. Leave a cooly as you can. Make no noise." And as quickly as possible bump my way through what I can only assume is the Tongan rugby team in a direction that's as 180 degrees from dancing students as my equilibrium will allow me. Ah! Ha! Escape is possible. Freedom! I go the bar and once again its...

Party Time!

I dance like a goober for a couple of hours and just have a generally good time.

Oh yeah! One other important thing of note. So I've got this beer in my hand and I'm walking to the dance floor when I meet a kid that's very interested in finishing up my beer. He's so interested in fact that he tries to take it out of my hand. No sweat I'm thinking, this is normal Tongan stuff. Hasn't happened to me yet, but I've heard of it from a bunch of the other volunteers. I'm ready for some cross-cultural dialogue and facilitating some etiquettorial interchange. I tell the dude to beat it, hala pa'anga [no money], and alu pe [just go]. No dice. He's pretty sure he wants a beer and I'm just the palangi to buy him one. He grabs me in a headlock that I guess you could consider friendly, but not really. I have a hard time when my friends touch me. This joker was pissing me off. He drags me to the bar in this headlock, where I manage to free myself from his grip, push him against the wall and tell him in so many words to "Get the F. off me." It may have been a little more detailed, but details, details. So I'm ready, his face is a bit startled from the palangi push and I'm feeling my oats when all the sudden this even bigger Tongan or Samoan guy comes up from behind me, puts this kid in a little sort of choke holdy type of thing with his forearm and pushes him away in florent of incomprehensible Tongan. Kid takes off, no manhood test tonight. I'm happy.

Well Paul, my Tongan ass kicker, asks me to buy him a beer. Motus Opporandi uncovered. Well, I'm a capitalist and believe in service natured economics. Paul gets the beer. He earned it. Ahhh! Good Stuff. Awesome in fact. I'm really digging the random stuff that happens here, in fact, its my favorite part of being in Tonga. One other side note. The girls from my class left moments after I arrived on the dance floor. I guess that's normal.

Oh yeah, back to the school thing, I'm really pumped. I think my biggest problem is actually going to be teaching these kids proper english, but that's alright. I'm going to start introducing things called "drafts" and start spending time tutoring them in their down time on writing effective papers. Hopefully, it'll work. For the most part, I find the kids pretty excited about learning, incredibly respectful and just generally good natured. I've also managed to scrounge up enough resources that I think I'll be able to teach my classes. I've found some workbooks, now I just gotta find the money to print them. That's sai pe though.

'Oku ou sai'ia fai'ako mo inu ikale lahi! Peacitty Izout.

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So my first week of classes...

This was actually the first post. I forgot about this! I tried to write this when I got back from the blue. I'll just add it for poops and gigglezes.

Alright, I'm definitely inebriated so I'm having a hard time typing. There will be lots of typos in this post, so bear with me and put your best foot forward please. First, I will say this about teaching, I never have enjoyed a job more in my life. Did you just see that period? Afu! I really, really, really enjoy it. Its weird, I've been spending all of this time back in the states working a shit job, albeit well paying, hating it each and every day. Maybe I'm just high on life or I smoked too much ufi or something, but I'm totally digging it. I was so nervous when I started teaching on tuesday. I was like, hmmm... Okay, I'll make this shit up as I go along, that sounds good right? Then I actually started reading the stuff that I had to teach and spending a little bit of time preparing and it was like witchcraft. I'm like, Hells Yeah! I know this shit. I was bling-bling cardinality and cost-benefit analysis when you was sucking yo mutha's kicd.
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The Palangi Files

Well Today was the first day of School and it went something like this:

7 a.m. arise from bed, put on some coffee, take a shower and scramble to try and collect the absolute minimal amount of resources that I can to pretend that I'm qualified to teach the classes they're asking me to. 8 a.m. no luck. I find nothing but more stuff that needs to be done and not enough time to do it. Pressure settles in. I figure "Hey, first day of classes are never for real anyway. I remember wishing the professor wouldn't actually make us work the first day back when I was in school!" Rationalization Rules! Yeah, that's the ticket, I'll just make stuff up for the first day! Great. I've got my plan all formulated, now its time for the "big pretend." I casually stroll out of my house and walk over to the school office 30 minutes early no less to find it completely and utterly abandoned. Hmmm... Weird, I could have sworn today was the first day of school and stuff.

I walk out towards the big field in the middle of the school and wonder why tumbleweeds are quietly blowing across the school yard. Hmmm... and where is that singing coming from? Of course! In the assembly hall! That's where all the students are, in the assembly hall along with every other person that works in the school of course, of course! So I walk over to an assembly that's about 30 minutes into it already. Hmmm... that's weird. Everyone else in the whole GD school knows about it but me. Must be some weird palangi thing or something. No biggie, fakatonga right. So the assembly last oh almost till 11:00 in the morning and I'm like, "Awesome, I just bought myself 2 free sessions!"

Well the assembly ends and all of the teachers exit where I'm casually informed that "We're not sure what were supposed to be teaching yet, we haven't heard anything back from New Zealand yet. We're just going to have the kids clean up the school, pick some of their classes and then I guess let them go home." Perfect. All that worry over nothing! Sweet! "Oh yeah, and I'll try to get you a copy of what days we have off for breaks and what time the classes are, the um.. umm... 'schedule'. That's it. I'll get you a copy of the schedule as soon as I can." Money. This job is going to be cake, I can feel it. I've got this weird feeling about my job here and I'm not sure what... the... right... word... would... be... hmm... "fakatonga!". Egads! That's the word I'm looking for! Jeez, I certainly hope this job doesn't break me.

Actually, I doubt it will. One of my students was clever enough to get around all of our proxy filtering to get his hands on some porn! Already I tell you. The kids, if there half as smart as m.c. jackhammer will be a lot of fun to teach. I thought when I got here, I was going to be huddled around the only electric generator in town in some exotic coconut house showing 25 leaping children the "magic" of the computer. Now that I'm here, I realize that I'm going to be doing a hell of a lot more than that, and I'm looking forward to it.

Okay, that's my update, still haven't much solved that "nothing to give the students problem" that I was worried about today. I've got get on the BS Express now. Talk to you masticating monkey puppets later.

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Taimi Ngaue

Or better yet, "Work Time". So tomorrow I start doing what I've been sent here to do: teach. I'm sort of a mixture of emotions at this point. I'm excited at the opportunity to sculpt some minds and share some love, but GD! Its been nothing but a hassle trying to get everything set up. On my trip back from New Zealand I got a bunch of textbooks which gives me a library and a significant heads up over the last guy that ran the program last year. Still though, I've got 20 computers for 26 students, no textbooks for a bunch of my classes, the kids have NO textbooks and I don't have any updated materials yet. Its going to be interesting in the grand style of fakatonga. Oh well. That's that. I think the administration, nope, I'll stop right there. Day hasn't even started yet. In any event, wish me luck, I think I'm going to need it.


"Those Who Can't Do, Teach." :P
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Back In Tonga

Feeling: Blahhhahahahhhh...
Hearing: Cold Play

I really should write more. I do truly enjoy it. The biggest problem that I have with writing thus far has been the fact that everytime I hop onto blogger, I start looking at my website in its sum total and realize all of the work that I have to do and I decide to be fakapikupiku [lazy] and just do nothing at all instead. Oh well, I did do something today though that ended up being a wasted effort, I built this image for because I didn't think they had a logo:

Then I went to their site to toot my own horn and found the logo you can now see on the bottom right hand corner of the screen and used that one instead. I didn't like the way the logo scaled and I didn't have a .psd original so be it. For those of you who don't know anything about blogging or XML, check out and check out what it can do. If you're into reading the news and blogs and stuff, its an 8.7 on my cool geeky stuff meter. Great program. I guess that's enough of my techy talk anyways. Another day another time right?

So my thoughts on being back in Tonga now that I'm here? I like it here. A lot. While I did have an incredibly delightful time in New Zealand and met some pretty great people, Tonga was just starting to feel like my home when it was time for me to leave again. That's the thing about training in the Peace Corps, well for me anyways, you live out of a suitcase for at least 2 months and for most of the other people in my group a couple of months before that as well. (Mad shout out to my homey Dr. Pokemon for letting me move my bed into his dining room). By the time everything is over, you're so excited to have a place to call your own and bed that is absolutely, completely yours that the last thing you really want to do is pack up and go again. Well I guess that's sort of true. Lord knows I packed my suitcase up fast, quick and in a hurry when I found out I was getting a free trip to Wellington. I don't know its a give and take.

I sure did love Wellington though, it was a great city. Just the right size, just the right atmosphere, bars that didn't close (so far as I can remember anyway). I just wish I had a month or two of utter boredom before I was granted and oh so wonderful free trip to kiwiland. Yeah, that's that.

So what else? Today was the first time I've never seen the superbowl on television. Ever. Its weird, but I don't really care. I probably would have felt differently if the Eagles wouldn't have lost for the third friggin' time in a row. That reminds me... This is great and you guys probably already got it, but funny none the less...

DAMN EAGLES! Yeah, but I live and die by them.

Is there anything else? Oh yeah! Today was working out day numero uno. My back and arms are already feeling like Christopher Reeves' hanging on my body and I'm tired as sin, but I'm looking forward to it. There seems to be a lot of down time here in Tonga so that means lots of gym time for me. Well I hope so. I do this all the time. I go to the gym for like 2 weeks consider myself a heavy-set proffessional body-builder and start talking smack. 3 Saturdays into my "working out", I skip the gym, eat two pizzas, nap on the couch because I smoked too many cigarettes and pretend I never had a gym membership for 4 and 1/2 months or until I start hating myself again. Oh well.

I'm gonna end my post. I'm not in my typical upbeat self-love making funny mode right now. I'm just tired and my muscles are sore and its 1:00 in the morning here and stuff, oh yeah, and I'll stop bitching about money on my posts I promise. I hate when I do that. Make love to me monkey women.

Po'uli 'a,

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