Toki Sio Tonga ♥
Writing this on the plane returning from a very quick visit back to the Kingdom.
Given it was my first trip back to Tonga for over 2.5 decades, I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was honestly heartwarming being back home after so long and the experience was everything I had hoped it would be.
There was plenty of family time, heaps of Haveas to meet, loads of sun, plus lots of eating, laughing and singing too. I can now sing the Tongan alphabet, perhaps a new tune for my cultural repertoire at shows.
One thing that struck me is how incredibly small Tonga is. For example: the same guy at airport immigration checked me in and out of the country, he also had the same first two names as me (Sioeli Bulu in Tongan). I joked that we were probably cousins and we probably are! As I left this morning, the other Joel greeted me by name, asked me how my trip was and wished me bon voyage, not your typical exchange at customs. I’m certainly not expecting that back in Germany.
Most Tongans have an amazing natural musicality which is best experienced during the singing at church and I look forward to recording an album there sometime in the next few years, but will need to work on my Tongan first…
Right now I’m heading back to Hamburg with I cold that I somehow was able to pick up on a tropical island. Perhaps it’s my body telling me to stay in the sun, nevertheless see you soon Europe!!