We left the airport and drove around sightseeing and then we stopped at a humungous rock that we were allowed to climb. Most of us climbed it but some of us just watched. We also took a lot of photos.
On our way to the hostel we saw a lot of kids sitting on the back of their Utes. A Ute is a utility truck with a clear boot. Once we got to the hostel food was being prepared to welcome us into Tonga and to the church. After we ate we travelled to watch the Heilala Festival which was in town. A Heilala festival happens every year to celebrate the Kings coronation and his birthday.
The next morning we went to Kuini Salote High School where we spent most of the day. We finished school at 4:00 pm. A while later we went for a run and came back exhausted. We went to the Heilala festival to watch the performances. It was awesome! I liked their costumes and the way they danced.
The following day we went to Atele High School followed by Havelu Middle School where we exchanged items of performances. Every night while we were there we always went to the Heilala Festival.
On Friday the 24th to Thursday the 30th we got to go stay with families. Honestly, I felt a bit home sick. On the 26TH August, which was a Sunday, we had to attend the church service. I enjoyed it a lot. After that we had another feed which was prepared again by the people who owned the hostel.
Some of the students stayed back there while three other students and I went on a boat out to little islands called Pangai Motu. We had fun and we also went for a swim but the only problem was that there were a lot of beach lice.
On Friday when we all came back, we had a very huge performance which was also our last and I met a lot of new people. Later we all prepared to come back to New Zealand. I was really glad!
On the last day we said goodbye to family and friends. Then we started boarding the plane and left at 8:40 pm and reached New Zealand at 11:00 pm. We saw our families and were happy but some of us wanted to stay back in Tonga.
This was a very memorable trip for me because it took me back to my roots where I got to learn more about my culture and where my parents came from.
Daniel Room 15