Melino is really into dancing and oh, my, gosh, he is hilarious! He's like a little automated machine that waggles his body and taps his foot when music comes on. He really goes for it when the two of them are in 'Iva's room and she plays records. They get on her bed and jump around and dance like wild banshees. It's really funny too, because they copy each other and they also wrestle. 'Ive pretty much smothers him but I bet it won't be long before he can smother her too.
We mostly stayed at the house but I did get out most days even if it was just a car ride to pick 'Iva up at preschool. Every day felt like a busy day just with food prep, chores and tending to kiddos. Amy and Toni certainly have their hands full. Toni goes to work everyday and is sometimes able to come home for lunch which is nice. Amy stays home and is on kid duty. Toni's cousins wife comes over most days to watch Melino while 'Iva is at school so Amy can work on her computer. She works remotely doing house design work for a friend who has a design firm in California. Kinda perfect.
For the one day we made it to the beach we took a boat to the nearest island called Pangaimatu. It was a nice sandy beach and there's a shipwreck that people dive off of into the water. Not me...but fun to watch. The water was nice but certainly not bathwater temperature since it's the Fall there. It was fun to play with the kids in the water and in the sand. Melino only managed to eat one handful of sand that day.
I was there for almost two weeks and my parents were there for my last four days. They stayed a month after I left. The night before I left we left Melino with NaNa and Papa and took 'Iva to a buffet and floor show at one of the local resorts. The buffet is a fun opportunity to try lots of different Tongan foods. Some of it was really really good and some of it I really didn't care for. 'Iva, being the little Tongan girl that she is, wanted to eat nothing but puaka skin - crispy and fatty. Puaka is Tongan for pig. A Tongan feast would not be a Tongan feast without a roasted pig.
I brought a cassette player for the kids. It's that classic kind that you might see in a therapists office back in the day. I've been collecting cassette tapes from thrift stores and brought a nice little random assortment from Kenny Rogers to Celine Dion to Bobby McFerrin. I want the kids to have a hands on experience with music since most music these days is digital and not accessible to young kids in the same way it was when I was growing up. Between the record player and the cassette player, the kids are developing a tactile experiential relationship to music and they absolutely love it. And...so do I.
I could go on and on about all the details of my trip but hey, my husband is waiting for me so we can watch the new Cinderella movie. I put captions with most of the photos to share a few more highlights. I hope you enjoy looking at them.
Oh, and people have been asking me bout my layover in Fiji. Yes, Raj the taxi driver picked me up at 5:30am and I spent the whole day at his home. I'll have to write about my experience in the Chand household another time though.