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The heart is big but the pocket is shallow

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Editor,

I’ll slow down for the benefit of all “Tonga Mo’unga Ki he Loto” ex-students. I understand there is comfort in numbers, and I am glad you brought in your brothers and older sister.

Here is the issue: Tonga needs at least $100 million right away.

Several options were carefully evaluated. One of the options was exactly what you are suggesting; to ask Tongans all over the world for donations; For the government to go out an hold fund raising meetings projects. Decision was made against this option was based on the following reasons:

1. Based on past fund raising experiences, Tongans do not have the capability to raise that kind of money.

2. And even if for some miracle, we are able to raise that much money, because time is of the essence here, it will not be right away.

Nothing is absolute and that applies for the “Tonga Mo’unga Ki He Loto”. Time and time again, I find that my heart is still big but my pocket is not deep enough. Nau Saimone hit the nail on the head when he sang, “Ko hoku ivi ko e konga seniti, ka ‘oku pa’anga ‘e taha e tokolahi hoku fanga ‘uhiki”. Simply stated, that many a times, my needs will over run my earning capability, he ‘oku kei “fa’a fai a laumalie, kae vaivai a kakano”.

It is funny Swan that you are screaming out, “Kavenga here, kavenga there”. Yet, you keep answering the calls from home and I am sure with your blood boiling in disagreement you kept supporting the calls of the friendly islands. That is what I meant by saying that your “Tonga Mo’unga Ki He Loto” to guide your decision. Now, can you see the detrimental side of your motto.

Let’s focus on the issue of “to loan or not to loan”.

I agree with you 100%. Our culture should be less extravagant in its cultural ceremonies; less pigs, less mats and tapas so on and so forth … We should be more like the Jews and collect our money. Question is, how long do you think we will be doing this before we can come up with the $100 million dollars. You can tell me the story of giving a person bread and he will eat for a meal but give him a fishing rod and he will use it for a life. That sounds mighty but I am very hungry now, I need something to eat now, it will be a travesty for you to give me a fishing rod

instead. Do you know how hard fishing is? I may be dead before I can catch fish. Remember, time is of the essence here, Tonga needs the loan right away.

I mentioned that by 1948 when the new Palestine was formed in Israel, the Jews had all the money needed for the return to Jerusalem. The Jews money handling is to be admired. But would you like to adopt everything else that is Jews? I’ll let you in on a secret. My Dad’s grandfather on his mother’s side is a full blooded Jew. That makes me part Jewish. I spend sometimes in Israel wit the Israeli Special Forces. I was treated with special attention not only as a US Marine Corp Officer but they confirmed that the Bloomfield, my great grandfather was a Jew. I was all over the country and into places that only Jews are allowed. But looking back at the experience, I can’t change the fact that I have Jewish Blood in my veins but I am proud of the fact that I am a Tongan with strong ties to Tonga. Living in constant fear of wars and suicide bombers in Israel makes my little plot at Hala ‘o Vave a sanctuary and a place worth longing for.

I can’t understand your last question but hear this out. My

contribution to life in Tonga is to stand by and allow those in power now to work out the plan that they have in mind with the loan from China. At the same time, I’ll educate my children hoping that this will lead to more earning power so that they can help pay the loan when their time comes..

There is a call from Tonga to Swan and Mariner and all of us looking at our homeland from the outside. “We appreciate your suggestion and input, at this time we have a plan that we a working on, please allow us to run with it, what we want from you is either lean in and help push the wheel of progress, jump in for the ride or get the hell out of the way. The choice is yours but please do it quietly.

Respectfully

Mafi ‘o Amerika Samoa

slkava [at] samoatelco [dot] com