On Friday the 13th, day two in Tonga, we had another fully packed day. We attended Tupou College’s School assembly where we were officially welcomed. We had the privilege of marching alongside our Tongan brothers from the dorms to the hall and then listening to their fantastic brass band perform. After listening to the brass band we had speeches and prayers from staff and students from the school, which was followed by the whole school signing hymns in different harmonies and then also in unison.
After breakfast we got ready to go out to the city of Nuku’alofa. Once we got to the city we went to the markets, which were full of different carvings and and other handicrafts. Once we finished in the markets we went to the t-shirt shop and then we had a delicious Tongan lunch… beef burgers. Old Boys Teu Atiola & Mai Tolu were also with our group.
We then visited Head of The ONU Tongan Branch, Steve Finau at the house that was built by his Newington Classmates. We learnt many different stories about his interesting life and about Newington men helping each other out, were given a lesson in Tongan History and Steve shared his life story – including one about his Grandfather being amngst the first intake of Tongan Boys at Newington in 1896! After this we went to the blow holes. We spent about 20 minutes at the blow holes learning the way Tongans call in the waves by whistling and watching the waves roll in.
Once we got back to Tupou College, we got ready to go to the beach. Once we got to the magnificent ‘Oholei beach we spent a couple of hours playing touch footy on the beach and going for a swim. Then once it got dark it was time for dinner at the resort on the beach which only served traditional Tongan food. They had many different types of fish, yam salad, full roasted pig and many different types of salads and potatoes. This was all accompanied by some good live music. Once everyone had finished their fantastic food we went and saw a fire show in a cave. It was incredible. The performers were putting fire on their tongues and on their feet, which was amazing to watch.
We woke up on Saturday and were lucky enough to receive a big breakfast by our Tongan aunties that wake up at 4am to prepare our lovely food for us. After our big breakfast we cleaned and then got onto our big bus and drove down town with our amazing driver Willy to watch our Tongan brothers play there rugby league games. Up first were the under 17s, these boys were strong and and made some good hits against there opponents. Our Tongan brothers played really well against the top of the table and cane out the other side with a strong and close win. Up next we’re our under 15 boys playing there league game. These boys started well with some strong carries and some good hits as well. They came through with some points not to far in. Not long after there first try came there second and quickly they were up 12-0 at half time. The boys got a bit tired in the second half and let in a try for the other team to come back at them. Luckily the hooter went and the game was over with a good win for our brothers at Tupou college as they showed determination and courage to get through and win 12-6. After these games finished we hopped back onto the bus with willy and drove back to Tupou where we relaxed for a bit and helped out with some farming and the BBQ for tonight’s big feast with all of our brothers.
– Jack Singleton & Jack Callanan