The Tongan summer months here at Fanifo Lofa are a lot different to the rest of the year. There are no guests usually from December to March so Glen and i use that time for getting on with odd jobs.
Our first point of call as soon as guests left this year was the kitchen extension in the common fale. When we originally planned the common fale it was going to be a huge hexagonal shaped building with a magnificent roof structure. However as time came a bit closer to the build we realised we could not afford said magnificent structure. So we built the common fale the same as all our other accommodation fales as that is all we could afford at the time 🙂 It has served us well these last two seasons however there is a little storage issue in the kitchen so we need to extend. We have built the extension onto the kitchen and we are going to build all our own benches and cupboards to fit it out. The extension including piles, bearers, floor, walls took only a few days. Next we need to replace the entire roof on the kitchen as when it rains sometimes it leaks. We used old roofing iron that was second hand and had holes in it. We plugged them up as best we could but those plugs are not holding up anymore 🙂 When it rains outside it also rains inside the kitchen lol 🙂 Summer jobs…ahhh
The other important job we had to do before cyclone season was make permenant shutters for all the fale and house windows. This was so that every time cyclone season arrives we do not have to screw plywood onto the fales at the last minute. We made shutters so that we simply need to close and lock them upon the approach of a cyclone. If its going to be a serious cyclone we will probably screw them shut too. But the up side is that they are there all the time now so if we get driving rain guests can simply shut the shutters instead of having some rain come in through the louvered windows. A win win for everyone! We got that done prior to Glen going overseas. Took about 10 days but we got there in the end.
Whilst Glen was away..
Glen left for Thailand and Singapore to see his Dad half way through October and left me on my lonesome on the island. We stocked up with food so i would not go without as i had no boat to go anywhere. My jobs whilst Glen was away were quite simple – mow the lawn, go through 4 years of accounts and make sure all receipts were there, burn off the rubbish, and sand all the fale floors ready for oiling. My first day i thought i would get the lawns out of the way as it usually takes a good 3-4 days to mow the entire area. Glen purchased a brand new awesome lawn mower from nz before he went away. Spent a fortune on this thing…would it start …no…we don’t have much luck with any sort of machinery for the gardens lol. A brand new lawnmower that doesn’t start. Glen got it to go before left but it took about 3 hours. We then went through the specifics and alas i go to start the stupid thing and it wouldn’t work. DOH! First job failed!!!
My next job was the accounts….although i have been keep great spreadsheets for this my receipt collecting (not my fault as i never leave the island….ahem) has not been great. I wanted to go over all four years our business has been in existence for and audit everything…just in case! So this little job i thought would take a few days..i bought a printer (finally) from nz and off i go!!! HOLY NUTBALLS! what a job…so tedious and sooooo long. I have spent a week doing three years of our accounts….and i am dreading doing the last one…i also have to make sure our asset list is in order and all items accounted for receipt wise. So boring…sitting in front of a computer inside all day…however did i cope working in an office before??? never again will i do this!
The wind came up whilst all this boredom was going on so i took myself on 4 days of kitesurfing in row! All on my own! I have cut my dependency strings from my fabulous husband and i am away! I wasn’t even nervous about launching and landing! Even in 30plus knots when i took my 8m stupidly instead of my 6m i was fine! I had a grand ole time! I didn’t go too far out the back of the waves i stayed in front playing in the white wash so i was playing it safe. I ran Jenga from one end of Uoleva to the other and we had so much fun!!! Although i did notice that when i was over at lifuka riding the waves Jenga would start swimming out into the channel. This was highly annoying being a km away and then having to come all the way in to make sure the poor thing didn’t drown 😛 Oh well Jenga is on his own now so he has developed a little dependency. We do get visits occasionally from the dogs from Captain Cooks (backpackers down the beach) – I was calling the big white and brown male Fancy Pants …and the smaller one Glen had told me his name was Craig….well one day i walked the two back to Captain Cooks with some baked goods as a gift for my neighbours. Sonny the owner was not in…but the lady there told me the dogs names were Smokey and Rain’e. hahahahahahahahaha so nothing like what i had been calling them. Oh well now i know so next time they come up i may call them by their proper names.
Another job that i could be getting on with is sanding the floors of the all the fales and our house so they are ready for oiling. Summer is so hot and its not actually Summer yet hahahahaha…Its either really hot or cold here. There is no mid range Temp. Its either Summer or Winter.
Food is always important to me hehehehe and whilst Glen has been away i have mastered my own Lamb Korma and Beef Massaman. I love rice and curry dishes so eating that for two weeks was not a problem. Jenga very much enjoyed the leftovers! Shhhh don’t tell glen 🙂
Tongan Summer – its getting hot now!
We went on holidays to AU and NZ for Christmas and New Years. What an amazing time we had in both countries….i have never done so much shopping in all my life. It was all for the resort of course and we did a big shipment from AU and another one from NZ. Still waiting on the goods to arrive but i am sure they will arrive soon. Whilst we were away we had a couple of guests that had visited us in April 2016 housesitting for us. We could not have asked for anyone more amazing to look after our pets and our home. Wow. is all i can say. A big huge thank you to Easton, Amy and Pete! You guys made it so we could relax for our entire holiday 🙂 Amy, your love for animals is massive breath of fresh air for me 🙂 Easton your general knowledge about so many things was a blessing big time. And Pete you will always have a place here as you plumbed in our bathroom sink!! hahahahahahahaha big thank you to all 3 of you for my lovely bathroom sink…the steps on the fales …the lawn mowing and garden manicuring…the fabulous pet acquiring skills you have as we now have 3 dogs as pets….and just a general overall THANKYOU for everything 🙂 We really enjoyed wolf minding for you in NZ. I will never forget Manny, all 48kg of him. Cannot wait to have you guys out to Fanifo Lofa again!
So yes we returned to 3 dogs…..the loveable Jenga of course, Fancy Pants and Raine are now all a part of the pack here at Fanifo Lofa. We have adopted the two dogs from Captain Cooks backpackers as he could not afford to feed them and had to be away from the island for weeks at a time. So now they are ours…the cats are really not overjoyed about it and we no longer have any chickens at all…no roosters…no hens…they have all been scared away.
Since we have returned to the Tongan Summer we have got quite a bit achieved. Glen Duncan the electrician has been making the electrics in the common fale and our house more streamlined. He has installed a breaker panel, moved all the inverters/controllers/internet/eftpos terminal etc to a central location in the kitchen extension (yes, i let him have one of my cupboards for his electrics…generous hey 🙂 ) He installed power sockets all throughout the kitchen and the extension. Everything has surge protectors and is tidy! Woohoooo!!!! Glen Duncan the handy man then started to make use of all the extra space in the kitchen after we moved the big fridge into the kitchen extension. Wow ….we now have extra bench space and a huge amount of shelving. The transformation is unbelievable! No longer will we be really cramped in the kitchen…WOOHOO! I was mowing the lawn in the 3 days that Glen was performing all these miracles. Yep it takes 3 days…it used to take 4.5 days with the old lawn mower. We are going to try and mow the lawn every 2 weeks….in the humidity and heat during summer its hard but we will be strong and conquer 🙂 We are now setting up the new solar racks for our solar panels that Glen had made and getting all that sorted so that we can turn the panels during the season changes. We are also just about to embark on the oiling of all the fales and possibly the new roof on the outdoor dining area….we will see how we go. Ive just spent more days varnishing all the new kitchen shelving 🙂
Oh my goodness it is so HOT! Looking forward to the end of the Tongan Summer and the beginning of our season for 2017. We are already quite full for the busy months and are looking forward to some amazing wind!
Thats it folks xx