For the past couple of months, my sisters and I have been busy organising the idea of hosting our ever first family reunion since we been married. After months of planning, we decided to have our reunion in ‘Eua and we were all so excited because it meant; foki ki ‘api (going back home), back home to where it all started. I was excited especially because this time around I will be bringing my husband and daughter so they can see where I grew up and where I call ‘home’.
As our boat approached the gateway to ‘Eua, I got abit emotional as I slowly observed a sight that looked so familiar, a sight that I re-call so many memories, a sight that I call home. It was so good to be back home once again. Driving from ‘Ohonua (this is town) to Ha’atu’a (name of the village where I’m from) everything seemed so small. I don’t know if its because I gained over 60 pounds in the last couple of years lol, but everything seemed like it shrunk in size. I got to meet up with some of my childhood friends, high school teachers, sunday school/primary teachers and what a sweet reunion it was!
One of the most exciting part of this reunion was being able to reunite with my sisters after 4 long years. Living apart in separate countries honestly felt like 40 years lol so this reunion was very special to us. This reunion also allowed Lyca to spend time with her little cousins and I know its these memories they will remember and share together as they grow up. Unfortunately due to work commitments, Paane was unable to be with us but boy did he miss out! lol- its ok Paane, the next family reunion will be your chance to redeem yourself lol.
Included in our family reunion was a service project, and as a family we all agreed to sponsor a student from ‘Eua Middle School; and this scholarship will look after all her school tuitions for one year. It was such an emotional morning as we presented our scholarship to the family and what a humbling experience it was to see how grateful they were for our service. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
Came the morning of Christmas Day, my aunty Ati Lahi (whom I’m named after), came early to our Motel with our breakfast- and it was a tray full of cakes, biscuits, cream buns, sandwiches etc..not your typical bacon and eggs on toast kind of breakfast lol- it definitely brought back memories growing up in ‘Eua. Every year, each family will prepare a plate of goodies and then it is distributed to families in the neighbourhood on Christmas morning. By the end of the day, we are left with a whole heap of food from all the neighbours- which explained the tray of food my aunty came with early in the morning to our motel lol. It’s these sweet memories that I miss most about ‘Eua especially on Christmas Day.
As we stood and gathered around the table to share a meal on Christmas Day, there were no christmas presents, no fancy christmas decorations, no christmas tree; just like the good old days. Not because we couldn’t be bothered putting decorations up or a christmas tree let alone buying presents, but simply because we couldn’t afford it. All we had was a meal to share together and that was enough, enough for us. So being back home brought back all those sweet and humbling memories of my childhood.
As usual for all trips and vacations, there is an end and this is the part I hate the most. I hate goodbyes. This past 2 weeks has been an enjoyable time for me and my little family. I am so grateful for the opportunity that we had to be together once again and especially creating new memories together as a family. I know this is not a goodbye but rather a ‘see you later’. So from my little family to yours, we hope you all had an amazing Christmas and wishing for bigger and greater things this new year!
‘Ofa lahi atu.