I came across your website for the first time approximately 3-4 years ago, and since then, it has been very educational and entertaining. As such, it has been a tremendous pleasure for me to utilize the same to learn more about our Kingdom Island. Thank God for the internet and thank God for Matangitonga.
After 20+ years, I had the opportunity to visit the Kingdom Island last month and also invited some of my friends--what an awesome experience! As far as the trip, we had the best time of our lives and enjoyed every moment of it, specifically visiting Pangaimotu and our 5-star lodge, Harbor View Motel.
Pangaimotu's sandy beach and clear warm water were just a fantastic treat. To witness the fish with bare eyes was a stunning experience, and of course Big Mama and her staff were very accommodating. On the food menu, we enjoyed their "miti" and went back for more a few days later.
Harbor View Motel friendly front desk personnel (GM Saane, Loma, Paita, Seini, and Mele) set the tone right for the rest of our trip. The housekeeping personnel was just a bonus, our beds were always clean and fresh compliment of Dina, Laite, and Teleso...even when they were tired, they were still able to sneak us a smile. And, a security guard is always there for the guests' safety. And to top it off, the girls prepared this huge dinner/buffet for us right before we left....we were in Friendly Heaven.
Finally, we had the opportunity of visiting Vaiola Hospital and Popua, and we were astonished with the horrifying images of these two places. The outer image of the hospital was very disturbing. The entire hospital looked like a vacant building, with zero maintenance. It had no life. I cried when I saw Popua. People camped across the street from the waste, as if the waste is the only hope. We witnessed people shopping from the waste, and even walked by before our taxi with a smile; it was heartbreaking. The odor from the waste was so strong, and we had to leave in a hurry.
As such, I hope that the on-going political changes in the Kingdom Island will bring hope, fairness, and chance for the poor people of Tonga to live comfortably--just like their superiors. How can the government and its high officials sleep well at night, knowing their people are suffering?
Best wishes in 2006,
joe [dot] kc [at] juno [dot] com