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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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Tonga Steve
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J.K. Goes All the Way



A multimedia extravaganza...

A quick discourse...
I've been HAMMERED working on our school's email and internet system during the last couple of weeks. Its been an all consuming, mission-critical, sleeping very little and very late type endeaver. It has been all I've thought about for the last 2 weeks or so. I managed to get things in order tonight (or at least I hope so...) Anyways, when the internet wasn't down or I wasn't busting hump, world-saving, I was putting out little fires. Anways, without further ado, here is a post that I started a few weeks ago. Hopefully this won't be a trend that continues to much longer.

Email Props and Apologies
First and foremost, let me give some props to my homey Jeremy Lavine - Period 3 for perhaps the funniest email I've gotten in a LONG, LONG time. Like all things Spanish, it is dangerous. I hope someday this kid gets his own blog. I'll be first in line.

That being said, lots and lots of stuff going on these last couple of weeks. (Wow! I can't believe its been that long since I've added something!) Sorry about that. It was a big old week here at school. Last couple of weeks at school and all of the kids had to turn their assignments in and were working on final projects so I didn't get much sleep or have much free time. Thankfully, however, the lord died this weekend and made school close. Malo aupito Sisu.

Easter in the States
It was funny, I was talking to some of my students on Good Friday about what I would do in America on Easter. I was telling my kids that I would drive home, spend the weekend with my family, go to church on Sunday, come back and eat brunch and then the kids would have an easter egg hunt on the front lawn. Most of the time this is true, but as I was sitting in church this morning sneezing-sniffling-runny-nosing-praying-for-no-dengue-fevering I started laughing to myself about last easter. The saturday night before easter, our family had a campfire in the backyard of my Grandmom's house. My uncles, dad and myself drank all of the beer in our houses then start drinking Rum or Gin or something. Well we really tied one on. Around 3 o'clock in the morning, my dad and I drove from my Grandmom's house to my parents' house (on a deserted country road, no drinky-driving) and blasted Red Hot Chilli Peppers until it woke my sisters up. Then we went inside the house and blasted the Allman brothers until my mother woke up and told us to go to bed. We did, and continued to stay in bed until well past church, brunch and the easter egg hunt. We woke up sometime in the late-afternoon/early-evening on Sunday with Rum or Gin headaches and loafed about between couch and floor discussing the vitues and consequences associated with cheap liquor. Man, what a fun weekend. I'm not sure my Tongan counterparts would understand, but it was great. It made me wish I had money to call my parents today. Well that was last easter, and I thought it was outstanding. This easter was a little less than glamorous, I've been sick for the last couple of days and just feeling like crap. I was going to get a hop on getting ready for next term. Faka'ofa.

Alu'a Pensimani
Oh yeah, group 66, the best group in PC Tonga history has lost its first member to Early Termination (ET). Pensimani was a hoot. He was the first peace corps volunteer in a long time to earn the distinction of an "Advanced" rating in his language. Hell, I think he spoke Tongan better than some of our teachers. He busted hump to learn the language and then to leave so quickly? Who knows. Pensimani said something about never eating moon pies for two whole years and how quickly his toenails grew here during training. I should have seen it coming. Toenail maintainence was always a big concern with him. Actually, out of all of the volunteers that came, I was probably most impressed with Pensimani in regards to good wholesome helping-peopleness. I thought for sure if anyone would have made an impact out of us, it would have been him. Well, he left last tuesday. Here's a picture of Pensimani from before we left in L.A. (he's the handsome asian guy from our group and you can OBVIOUSLY see in the picture below).

Handsome Pensimani

Well Pensimani, I hope everything works out for you. Tell your fiancee I send my regards and do me a favor, eat a huge giant steak with real A1 steak sauce then walk down to a convenicence store and eat a whole pint of Ben and Jerry's phish food, then wash it down with some Oreo cookies and real, pastuerized, homogenized, cold and non-boxed milk. Do all of this in air conditioning and let me know how cold and delicious everything is. Best of luck to you and keep in touch.

Aho Sipoti [Sport's Day]
Or better yet, sports week. Huge thing here in Tonga, every high school in the country takes the week off and sends their best and brightest athletes to the countries only track. It was a veritable feast for the senses. Almost every high school in the entire kingdom showed up. It was like a riotous english soccer match without the riots or the english. I loved it. I took a mini movie of it on my camera and I uploaded it to the server. The girls that are screaming in the beginning are the students from Queen Salote College (who incidently have a much cooler website than my school). WARNING! This file is 18MB's. Don't open on a modem connection! You can check it out here.

Some notes about the video. First, I've learned the coolest taunt in history. I managed to capture this gem on digital film. Here's a transcript:

  • Watermelon! Watermelon!
    Papaya! Papaya!
    Guava and Banana!
    Guava and Banana!
    Sa-lo-te! Sa-lo-te!

You can practice this at any sports outing you like and modify the "Sa-lo-te" part to anything you want! No team on Earth will be able to respond to this beautiful and stylish taunt. That's one of the things that I'm bringing back with me to the states. Beware any team that tries to perpetrate against the Philadelphia Phillies they will be severely taunted. Additionally, the guy in the video that jumps into the net that protects the discuss throwers, is one of the students of the school that I teach at. He's a fakaleiti and one of the funniest guys/girls that I've met. The people in the gray dress clothes that he runs past in the video, those are the police that Tonga Steve works with. Outstanding. One of my favorite moments from sports day was when the girls from Queen Salote College told some of the track guys to come over. One of the guys that was running gave the girl a Tongan Kiss. Togan kisses rock! Basically, you grab the other person's hand and then put your cheek to the other person's cheek and sniff. It rocks. The first time I got one was from my homestay father, I didn't know what the heck was going on, I was like "Why the hell is this guy sniffing me?" About the third time, you get the hang of it. Anyways, the girls went CRAZY!. You can see in the video when the guys run by a second time, they all get quiet and ooohhh! It was great. Another big ups to my homey J.K. That guy had some real drama happening during sports week.

He was responsible for the database that stored the ummm some 25,000 records? or so of kids, races, places, times, groups, ages, birth certificates, schools and favorite colors. It was a momentus undertaking with as little foresight and heads up as you could ever expect of someone to accomplish anything in. He went crazy. Twice. During the whole ordeal. Like certified crazy too, none of that "I don't have prozac" type crazy. Around day 6 or so, he looked ready to kill, but if its any consolation, he's now an official "Access Masta". I spent a couple of nights helping him build some queries and tonga steve helped come up with outstanding alogrithms for figuring out the prelima... r... y.... sorry about that. I get pretty wild about algorithms. Anyways, everything worked out and J.K. danced! Here's a pic...

Anyways, that's it for the old blog... There was a bunch of other stuff that I wanted to write about, but I completely forget what it is.

Osi Pe?

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