Read Around the World September 2022: Tonga
We spent September on the idyllic Pacific islands of Tonga but how did we visit and what did we learn?
Fun facts from this website:
- Tonga has 170 islands
- Only 36 of them are inhabited
- The capital of Tonga is Nuku’alofa and it’s on the island of Tongatapu
- The airport runway in Ha’apai has a main road passing through it
- There is a disappearing and reappearing island in Ha’apai called Fonuafo’ou
- The Tongan language is called “Fakatonga”
- Tongans use different words for numbering coconuts than they do for fish
- The island of Niuafo’ou used to be called “Tin Can Island” because the only way ships could get mail to the island was to put mail in a biscuit tin and throw it into the water near the island
- King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV still holds the Guinness Book Record for being the world’s heaviest king
- Tonga is the only Pacific country to have never been colonised.
- Bats, or flying foxes, are the property of the king
I chose to visit Tonga via Tales of the Tikongs by Epeli Hau’Ofa this is a collection of short stories from a fictional Pacific island. The stories are satirical and cover such aspects of life as religion, culture, politics and most hilariously for me overseas aid. The story “The Glorious Pacific Way” covers the overseas aspect of life and is a hilarious account of how a Tikong must jump through certain hops to gain funding for a project without actually letting on what the money will actually be used for.
This is a slim volume at only 93 pages but it does manage to pack a lot in and to cover most aspects of that terrifying word DEVELOPMENT and what it means to people.
3 Stars – an entertaining read full of colourful characters.
Other readers chose to visit in the following ways:
Currey from Litsy – Voyages by Cathy A Small this was rated so-so.
Did you join us on this leg of our trip? What did you read?
Next up Belize and for once I have a plan in place (or at least an author) John Alexander Watler.
What are you Belize plans?
I couldn’t find anything (accessible to me) for Tonga, but I’ve found Blue Hole by Watler. Thanks for having a plan!