Welcome one and all to our most exciting blog yet!! Kitesurf Tonga has a house…a tropical beautiful house…The vision we have for Kitesurf Tonga is becoming more and more real every day!
During the last four weeks we stopped the build for awhile as we had the AXIS team out for some tropical product shooting for their 2015 range of boards for about ten days….the wind wasnt playing ball but they managed to get their shots. We really look forward to seeing the footage of their time here. It is fantastic that they chose Kitesurf Tonga for their film location.
I think we left off last time at the roof beams being installed and the weatherboard going on…Well we added to the roof some beautiful tropical coconut logs which we have lacquered to protect against the animals getting in. They have made our roof the central focus to the house now! They look incredible…really glad we can use what is around us to make our house strong for hurricane season. Franck was just the most amazing help and friend throughout the whole process, offering advice and really getting us focused! The shingles were about to begin…we thought maybe a couple of days to get them on the roof…eight days it took approximately and apparently it was very hard work – time intensive and hard on the feet being in the one position the whole time. I did not get up and have a go…i did climb the ladder and take a peek and thought i would just come straight through the purlins. Glen and Franck got stuck into the roof and laid out all the shingles…I must say that it was worth the wait. They look AMAZING! They are just beautiful…and better still guess what??? The house is water proof!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yay team!
welcome to the tropics John
Whilst the shingles were going on John arrived to lend a hand for a week… On went the office door…and the little office window…and the large front doors! All doors and windows in and then the kitchen gets put together. Our Tongan carpenter had a blast with that flat pack…i think it took him two days to work out what all the pieces were for…its a 2.6m long kitchen…not huge but it did take awhile. Makes me wonder how long the common room fale kitchen will take to put together…it is second hand and HUGE! anyway will think about that later!! So the kitchen was put together and then it was installed and this was my job apparently to work out where each piece needed to go. Took me a few goes of asking everyone to hold up the cupboards in various positions around the kitchen (much to everyone’s annoyance) but we did it in the end. It got secured and leveled (i think..) and it also looks incredible. The colours in the house are just so natural…well they are all natural hahahaha 🙂 We have used coconut planks for the splash back…we have one up so far but will need to use another two to fill the space under the windows and above the kitchen sink….Oh speaking of sinks…..I came the next day to the house after the kitchen was installed and low and behold the sink was cut too far back into the bench and there was no room to install the taps and spout lol… There is no need for stressing here…it is what it is…There is no need for stress because it serves you no purpose here….things happen in their own time no matter how you feel about it…so hence the most amazing saying i use daily/weekly…It is what it is… The spout we installed in part of the sink and the taps we managed to insert into the coconut splash back… All good!!
Electrician in the tropical tonga
Whilst all this was going on James House joined us on our tropical oasis for a month or so and he revealed that he has a little gift for electrics…just in time as we needed our solar set up and lights installed! Glen and i went around the house and tried to remember where the LED modules were meant to go but in the end we just went with what we thought would be best as we couldn’t quite remember the original plan setup. The lights were installed in the wardrobe, bedroom, office, kitchen, roof and living area…and then the solar panels were set up outside and the inverter and batteries attached. We have had some teething issues with the batteries charging as the controller they sent us is only 600W however that being said we decided to go to the house at night time to check out the amazing new lighting. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! it was such a sight to see the house lit up and very weird too since we have been on the island for four months and not seen so much light. It was such a nice effect and really lit up the house nicely. The power points are all working thanks to James and we moved the internet cable and it works too….YEHAH! John, Franck, James, Glen and I all had a few drinks to celebrate!
wildlife on uoleva
We have had some issues with the cows eating our Papaya trees 🙁 and something needed to be done ie a fence…. There was a night one of the cows was making so much noise in the bush that John and Glen went to investigate…It was almost dark…and then Franck, James and I heard the cow really screaming like a donkey and we all jumped up and bolted for the bush…I did notice that Franck (like a true islander) grabbed a machete on the way..I followed him thinking i would be safe. We got to the bush just behind my temporary vegetable patch and there it was….THE BIGGEST COW i have ever seen…it looked like those massive black angus beef cows and it took off through the bush when it saw us…two minutes later John and Glen appeared and they hadn’t seen it…I cant believe they missed it! Everyone agreed that was the biggest cow they had ever seen. Anyways the day after that John and I started to mark out the vegetable garden..John being John knew exactly what needed to be done and started…We collected loads of Fau tree sticks and started to make the fence. It was hard hot work but it kind of feels nice being out in the bush with a machete 🙂 We rewarded ourselves each day with a kite session…beautiful easterlies back after a week and a half of on and offs. 30knts here we go! I was using my 6m, John on his 9m and Glen on his 8m and Franck used the 8m and the 9m. Awesome, amazing & spectacular is all i can say… I am exhausted after kiting 5 times in a week….but it was worth it.
John taught me how to spearfish in the time he was here which was great however when i went out there i felt the tropical fish were staring at me thinking …you used to be our friend…I know it sounds crazy but you should have seen their faces! Anyways John caught some fish and we had sushimi YUM! I got to keep the spear and the rubber and maybe one day i will try again….see if i feel just as guilty.
The bathroom and plumbing were still to be done along with many other things such as a bedroom wall but we moved in anyway. What a feeling….getting away from that tent! Not that the tent wasn’t spacious but to feel solid ground underneath our feet after four months in the sand and dirt was the nicest feeling. To go to sleep knowing that if a storm or high wind is coming from the NW we arent going to have to be awake all night holding the doors down. The cats also appreciated solid ground. I had been taking them for a walk at night for a solid four weeks over to the house to get them used to it. It did the trick because the night we moved in they were at the tent waiting for me to walk them over and when i did they stayed. Lily is a little unnerved by all the noise and changes in the house by day as she really deep down just wants to be a house cat but its just far too scarey at the moment with drills and hammers making loads of noise. One day soon Lily… 🙂 And yes i am officially now a cat person for those of you that are wondering if i have lost my marbles bringing cats to a remote tropical island in the middle of nowhere.
Digging in the Tropics
Currently we are digging trenches and completing the bathroom. James also has a bit of a talent for digging and we dug a trench for the plumbing pipes from the well to the house. It didnt need to be ultra deep so i could actually be useful digging for a change. That was completed in about six hours so not too bad all in all. Our Tongan worker is doing the tiles and shower floor as we speak and its looking good!!!! Tomorrow we plan to do the toilet and sink/vanity and run the pipes from the well….We could have running water tomorrow…WOOP WOOP! not that i mind lugging buckets from the well everytime we need water…it has really done wonders for my arms.
A bit of a sad day yesterday…Franck our resident French carpenter left us to go back to Australia. Franck stopped by one day about two months ago and ended up staying. He had one pair of shorts….three pairs of boxers…long pair of pants…a few t shirts…two pairs of socks and one warm top…He was a true survivor when it came down to it…Never complained that he had very little…he really loved the experience and he is such a warm gentle beautiful soul and we will never forget him or his time here with us. He has been a part of us and Kitesurf Tonga’s journey for nearly the whole house build. Franck is an amazing truly gifted carpenter and has helped us so much. We Thankyou Franck from the bottom of our hearts and please know you will always have a place here at Fanifo Lofa, Kitesurf Tonga.
“KEEP IT SIMPLE” xx