Monday, July 1, 2013

Hanging out in Neiafu

High winds are making the out-island anchorages untenable, so we're spending a few days hanging out in Neiafu. This has given us the opportunity to experience some of the local culture. As religion plays a dominant role in Tongan society, we decided to attend a church service. We selected the large Catholic church near the anchorage, because we heard they had an excellent choir.

We were not disappointed! We put on our best clothing and arrived early enough to be seated right behind the baritones. Wow, they could really belt it out.

The next day, there was a feast to honor the new bishop, and we were allowed to attend. In fact, we were treated very hospitably, considering we are not church members. There were long tables, organized by families and neighborhoods, and each one was heaped with an amazing array of foods, including things that to us were quite exotic, such as several varieties of lobster and crab. Ironically, the locals seemed most drawn to the packaged foods!

After the meal, a number of groups honored the new bishop with singing and dancing.

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