I (Jennifer) was invited to speak on national Tongan radio last week, and was tempted momentarily to get some martyr's sympathy when the radio D.J. kept asking about the transition from America to here. But I don't feel like we are "suffering for Jesus" In all honesty each cloud has a silver lining that has caused us to grow.
I have no washing machine, so if my neighbors are all busy using theirs I must wash by hand. This is hard work, I fill a 5 gallon bucket with clothes and water, then pound it for an hour with a pipe. But thankfully this is bringing me ever closer to the elusive Proverbs 31 lady who “sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks”. And let me tell ya sister, thanks to my new vigorous chore, my arms now have more definition than a dictionary!
On any given day we have at least 200 bugs commuting through our cabin (mostly ants). Isaac, our little entomologist is delighted, and spends a lot of time hands and knees on the floor studying them, and naming each one “little Isaac”. Sometimes we see giant spiders roughly the size of my hand, they are not poisonous but they are SO ugly and scary looking. However, this has turned into an opportunity for me to face my deepest childhood fear – and SQUASH IT!
For now I am only squashing with a long handled broom, but I am getting braver and may soon be able to squish them with my sandal.
We don't have indoor plumbing or a kitchen in our cabin. Sooo this severely cuts down on the number of dishes I have to wash, and we never have to fight over whose turn it is to clean the toilets! Hallelujah!
The community showers only have cold water. This is not awesome, BUT cold water is actually very beneficial for your hair and skin! Imagine my delight when I read in a magazine that you can have an automatic facelift just from rinsing your face in cold water. Perhaps this is the proverbial Tongan fountain of youth? Not to mention that showering in cold water significantly speeds up the process, and my parents would have saved tons on their electric bill had they tried turning off the hot water when I was a teenager.
All in all, we are so thankful to be in Tonga again – there's no place like home.