Tuesday, September 21, 2010


There are so many wonderful volunteers that I got to know in Tonga. It was amazing because they didn't think twice about opening their hearts and inviting me into their lives. My trip would have been a completely different experience if it wasn't for them.
I met 23 future Tongans about a year ago in the lax airport. Their faces were a bit blurry but I was hoping that since I knew one of them would be on the plane with me, she might trigger my memory.
I was sitting patiely in the gate area for the flight.. Watching the people come off the plane one by one. Finally, the last person through the door looks familiar. "dominica?" I ask. She responded, success I thought. I quickly stopped my conversation I was having with a new Zealand couple about their boat and instantly became involved in an amazing conversation with someone I felt like I've known for years. We caught each other up on what was having in each of our countries and talked about the people we remembered from the previous year.
We caught a cab together and headed for the peace corps office so we could check in.
We then spent the rest of the day with Kelly, another amazing volunteer, as we got things together for camp glow which would take place the following week.
Dominica was great as she introduced me to so many people and gave me ideas on how I can make the most of my trip. So naturally when she told me her plans to go back to her island group, I decided to tag along.
We arrived in vava'u and Dominica was disapponted that she was unable to get in touch with her school's principal. The principal's family acts as her family and she could not wait to see them.
After picking up our bags, we head outside where Dominica was greeted by that entire family. Someone had clues them in without her knowledge. The hugging from all of us went on forever. It was beautiful. We finally hopped in the van and headed to dominica's home.
As we were busy inside people kept showing up to see if the rumors were true..was she really back? Is there another palagi with her? How long will they both be staying? Finally, late at night the visitors died down and we were both able to get some much deserved sleep.
For a few days Dominica and I were unseperable. We cooked together, cleaned together, shopped together, went to church together and much more. It felt like I had the most amazing roommate who was a spectacular friend. It was hard I believe that only a few days prior, Dominica was only a face that I barely recognized.
During my trip I felt as though I formed such an amazing bond with Dominica. She is such an amazing person with a beautiful spirit. Tonga is real lucky to have such an amazing person volunteering there. I doubt there is anyone in her village that shows as much pride as her. Because of all this I feel so lucky to be on the same plane as her. It opened up the opportunity to have a new great friend.
Dominica, I hope you can find your way to Samoa so I can return the favor...and if not, there are always plenty of places on the east coast.
Good luck in your final year Dom!

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