Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tongan Guest Post

So, my dear friend Amy is kicking it in Tonga, with beautiful beaches, swamps, king size beds and crazy hippie lecturers.  Her email was so funny I thought she could make for the first guest post on the blog.  And so it follows:
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls...

I have to start this eMail with a personal apology. This apology is specifically to you, whoever you are. I'm sorry I haven't written in ages. I know I've been here a long time, and I know you've been stalking me on facebook so you KNOW I've been online. I don't have a good excuse, except that it turns out I have a lot of love but only so much time. That doesn't mean you've not special (only special people made it on to this eMail list... and Frank. Hi Frank.) it just means that you've been failing to recieve my other form of communication, which is telepathic messages, so really the blame rests with you... But sorry anyway.

Since this is my first group eMail and I've been here for almost 2 months you will be thrilled to hear that I will have to spare you from the blow-by-blow and stick with the highlights. Phew (for both you AND me!).

If you're on this list you probably know that I'm in Tonga on an AYAD (Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development) placement. The position that I applied for was with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning Project Management Team, managing the grass roots level aid projects funded by China, Japan, New Zealand, and of course Australia. What I'm actually doing (on a day to day basis) is anybody's guess. This week I'm re-doing the Project Team database (there's that bl**dy IT background coming back to bite me in the... ahhh... Hi Mum), last week I wrote a paper on donor involvement in community development and civil society for the High Level Consultation being led by the Prime Minister next week, and next week... well, we'll see. There hasn't been a lot of PROJECT action, but don't worry things are looking up over the medium term.

Landing in Tonga was quite a shock. I think they pick the temporary accommodation just to demonstrate what you MIGHT one day have to deal with in ANOTHER developing country, but then we found our housing and now I call a king size bed home. This means that if anybody wants to visit there is plenty of space (Hellooooo over there.....!). I won't mention the swamp on one side of the house... or the pig pen on the other, although really they're quite cute.

Ummm. So some random Tonga facts:

We have a puppy. Her name is muddy and she's very naughty. I now know why Mum never let me have one.

People in this country say 'Bye!' instead of 'Hi!' if you're passing them by, which means that when I'm riding my bicycle around (yes I wear a helmet and yes people laugh at me because of it) there is a cacophony of byes from people I've never met. Particularly in school zones, unsurprisingly.

The local institute has free lectures every month and last night I went along (NOT just for the free cookies and juice, how DARE you accuse me) and discovered that the physics professor, who is a middle aged man just to be clear, favours red satin knee length party dresses accessorized with pigtails and VERY LARGE piercings. Fortunately his lectures are as entertaining (I'm actually not being ironic here) as his appearance so it turned out to be quite a good show.

Right. Obviously there's about 55 days missing here, but I think we've both done our duty.

On another personal note, there's a good chance that I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!!! (Again, except you Frank.)

Er, and to sign off (Nat, this one's for you) VOTE WES CARR AUSTRALIAN IDOL 2008!!! ...yeah, I know, sorry.

Amy - TONGA!!!


  1. indeed poor frank, but i had a good laugh at his expense

  2. Rob, all is forgiven. You can come home now - whatever it was, you must have been baaaad (clue?)