A Day at the Office

My workload  at the Tonga Development Bank has slowed down and there have been a few days recently when I have not had much to do.  Last week, I was walking to work thinking that I only had one appointment that day at 9:30am and I had a feeling that my client might cancel leaving me with nothing on the agenda for the day.    I had been at work for less than a minute, when the phone rang and it was my client saying she couldn’t make 9:30am and wanted to reschedule for 2pm.   I agreed and sat down to read my mail.  A few minutes later, the phone rang again and it was the same client telling me she was going to go look at a boat she was thinking about purchasing and asked if I wanted to go with her.  Since I had nothing else to do, I said sure and we agreed to meet a little later.

I got to the dock and saw my friend Riki, who owns a dive shop.  Turns out we are going in his boat and while we are out, he is going to replace the chain on two boat moorings.  I tell him I’ll be glad to help, so he tells me to go grab dive gear and an air tank out of his shop and before long, we are on the water heading out.   

After a nice 45 minute boat ride, we get to the moorings, I suit up and go diving for 45 minutes.  It  is my first dive since getting my certification.   I helped Riki a little but mostly just dove around on the ocean floor.   

After surfacing, we go and check out the boat with my client and then ride back to the dock.   We get back late, but I still am happy to spend some time helping my client with her books.   What I thought was going to be a boring day ended up being great.   How often do you go to a bank to work and end up diving in the Pacific.   Just a “Day at the Office” in Peace Corps Tonga.

Goodbye Stan

Wednesday afternoon.  3pm.   Most of the Vava’u Peace Corps volunteers are gathered at The Aquarium Cafe.   There are tears and hugs as we start to say good-bye to our friend and fellow volunteer Stan.    On the radio, an old Beatles song is playing.

There are places I remember all my life,
Though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places have their moments
Of lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I loved them all.

The song, while random, seems appropriate to the occasion because for all of us, The Aquarium Cafe and Vava’u will always be places we remember.   And those memories will include Stan, who has been part of our Peace Corps adventure for the past 20 months.

Stan is on his way back to the USA and he’ll certainly be missed here in Vava’u.   Even though his Peace Corps service is over, I’m confident the friendships he has developed will be long lasting.  I’m going to miss having him around but look forward to seeing him once I return to the States

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