Day 3 began slowly as we awoke to rainfall, with a nine o’clock breakfast, following a comparatively quiet and restful night, with the Head Prefect, Olu, making sure everyone got some sleep. Some boys clearly could not get enough of the culture, and so, before breakfast, managed to get a couple of borderline-uniform-infringement-fading haircuts – but all in a good fraternal spirit. The breakfast was just another feast, with plenty of pancakes and porridge, toast, eggs, sausages, and cereal. Once again our hosts’ affinity for affording us privileges such as this, at their own expense, was very apparent. After breakfast, there was plenty of time to relax, and, even with the rugby boys at a training lecture, the rest managed a game of touch.
We then ate a quick lunch in the form of pizza that was delivered from a nearby shop, before getting ready to head to a rugby match between Tonga and Fiji. It was a game of high stakes as the winning team got a short cut straight into the World Cup, meaning they would skip the long and difficult qualifying stage. We headed off on the (really quite long) bus trip, most of us either sitting with Tupou boys or standing by them. Once at the game we were shepherded into the stadium towards a little grass patch where we were going to watch the game. It turned out to be a very good spot as lots of the action came our way. Many peanuts were eaten and stories exchanged. We were down 10 – 14 as the final minutes of the game were coming to an end and then suddenly in front of our eyes a try was scored by Tonga!!! It was later disallowed but still a good game. We began on the long trip back to the school where we would spend the rest of the afternoon.
On the way back we alternated between Newington and Tupou boys, so everyone sat with someone from a different school. Although much of the bus was tired and spent the trip snoozing, the majority of the bus spent the trip exchange stories and asking questions about each others’ cultures. On the way back we stopped at a grocery store and teacher’s bought bread and drinks for “everybody”. There were drinks for everybody but it turned out the bread was the Tongan boys’ dinner. The way they offered the bread to us was so kind and sincere we didn’t even realise it was only for them, but we ended up leaving the bus feeling guilty and misinformed.
We had some time before dinner, which was spent either bonding with the Tongans or taking well needed rest. There was a friendly touch football match with some of the senior Tongans, as well as a handball game with some of the younger kids. Afterwards everyone showered and went to dinner, which was sausages and wings. We then went to the dining hall where they were projecting the New Zealand vs England Irish Lions game live. It was a tight and exciting game, but it ended with a 15-15 draw.
By Geordie MaClean