Welcome one and all to another exciting episode of Fanifo Lofa – Kitesurf Tonga’s building update! More diy on a remote island! In the last six weeks we have been going hard at it ten hours a day attempting to get everything done before Xmas.  We have in the past 7 months built our house, the common fale/meeting house, a kite shed, a man cave, and four accommodation fales.  Not a bad effort in such a short time under some pretty challenging conditions! We are just so excited that our dream is taking shape! The new South Pacific kitesurfing destination is on its WAY!

More DIY on a remote island

Glen, Botti & I reached for some more motivation and finished building fales two three and four since we last updated our blog.  Building the two fales (Fale 2 & 3) at the same time made us work even faster than we were and we got them done in record time.  I think from start to finish those two fales took five weeks…so that is from cementing to finishing the entire shells.  It was hard to think each time we did something on fale two we then had to repeat the process on fale three.  But all in all it was a great effort and we did so well.  The weather has been getting increasingly warmer…i should say hotter…and have only had one rain since August.  So even though we are on a tropical island building sometimes it feels like a desert…the ground is really hot and very dry and dusty.  Watching glen doing the shingles on Fale 2 and getting sooooo hot and then to watch him do it again for Fale 3 was inspiring.  Botti and Glen just kept going and going and going… I would falter around 3pm most days and slink off to make food throwing in a quick swim beforehand.  They worked from 6.30am till 5pm every day….Some days we would just grunt to each other at 5pm because we were so hot and exhausted.  I think my favourite little thing through those days was watching the locals go by in the boats.  You could almost hear them thinking wow they have more buildings…i swear i drove past a few days ago and there was less buildings…’We are just going for it!

Boat Mooring

During the time we were doing more diy on a remote island we also decided it was time to set a mooring for the boat.  Glen made up two concrete blocks weighing a few hundred kilo on the boat.  We had Botti, another Tongan local and Glen ready to haul them into the water one morning.  Glen and i had been worried about doing this for some time.  I was in the water checking out the mooring site with snorkelling gear and Glen was in the boat giving instruction.  Wow…bombs away the first one went and the boat did not tip & the other concrete block did not fall in the boat – thank the stars! and it landed perfectly on the bottom upside down 🙂 And the next one was loose and it also landed perfectly upside down.  It went so well that they landed within 30cm of one another.  We could not have asked for anything better! We spent the next few days joining the chain so that the blocks were linked and then we attached the boat.  It works perfectly!!! YAY TEAM! Phew….

We had our lovely French connection Franck back to Fanifo Lofa to lend us a bit of a diy hand 🙂 Sooo whilst our friend was here we decided to also quickly give our little bathroom some walls and a roof.  Not that we dont enjoy having a shower and going to the toilet amongst the trees but it was time…Holy cow what a bathroom it is…I swear i could live in it – so beautiful.  It is like you are still outside with nature but all protected inside at the same time.  It is the most incredible bathroom i have ever seen.  Bamboo is a fantastic wood and looks incredible…did i say the bathroom looks incredible…guys…the bathroom is INCREDIBLE! 🙂

Lizards giving birth?

Moving on….I was moving some piles preparing for fale 4 to get built and thought that i had squashed a little (3cm) blue tailed lizard. Then Glen was coming past and we stopped to look and realised it was actually giving birth! We could see the baby lizards tongue flicking in and out! Then the mum starts hissing at glen when he got in close to take a photo. Holy crap! Now i mentioned this at Mariners on a Friday night out and was told that lizards dont give birth to live young….well i was trying to remember back to my biology days and seemed to recall in the state that i was in that lizards do have eggs…but i started to go on about dragons and sounded a little cuckoo! Anyway the next day i googled it and found that lizards can in fact give birth to live young…and there are some weird emo tongan skinks around with blue tails! They are quite attractive lizards with florescent blue tails for the males and darker shorter blue tails for the females.

Speaking of animals….i woke up one morning, went to the kitchen to boil some water and make some coffee…looked out of the window towards the common fale and it took me about twenty seconds to realise that there were two horses standing there.  I had to make sure i was awake and not still dreaming…i often walk around in a daze so i said ummm glen who was still in bed enjoying a couple of more minutes …can you come and look at this…you are going to want to see this.  He is responding with what…what is it…i can be quite known for my overreactions and boy/girl who cries wolf ..I said there are two horses here.  He jumps out of bed….and comes to the window and thankgod…there were actually two horses there.  I was not imagining this…there were actually two horses standing next to the common fale drinking the water we collected.  We went outside and tried to approach them but they were very skitty…..and they walked away from us.  The horses came every day to our place and hung around for hours….they were so thirsty all the time…there was obviously no water on uoleva because of the lack of rain so they liked our open space and the fact that they could drink water.  One day they knocked over the water drum as they were both so thirsty and sweaty that they wanted to both drink at the same time. So two horses heads in the opening of the drum at the same time didn’t work…over it goes…and there goes the only water we could spare them.  So i filled up the drum again with the water from the well.  It is a bit salty but the chickens seem to drink it so i thought maybe the horses will be so thirsty that they will drink it too.  It took a day for them to get desperate and then they started drinking it. So we now had horses…

The wind has been absolutely pumping lately! Great for us when we need to take a break from building.  This time during Franck’s visit we thought we would take him on a day trip to experience kitesurfing magic on one of the remote outer islands south of Uoleva.  Wow! Uonuku sure put it on for our visit.  What a place to kitesurf!!! Sandbar after sandbar…it is what dreams are made of! We all had a fabulous time at Uonuku and cannot wait to start taking people there on safari’s!

Glen and Franck were up at the point kitesurfing one day and saw a black dog…who looked very skinny and had obviously been left behind.  A day later…the dog came to our place…and six weeks later he is loving it here.  Gary is his name….he is black and very skinny.  We think he used to hunt pigs …he certainly doesn’t bark at people or do much else.  We feed him specially made dinners every night trying to fatten him up, we have given him a few baths and taken him out swimming several times. He still stinks and is still itchy.  He does however look to be putting on a bit of weight and is getting perkier each day.  He follows the quad bike around daily…and watches the boats that pass.  Not sure how good a guard dog he will be but we love him.

We also thought we should try some snorkelling a few kilometres offshore.  Wow!!! WE just drove the boat out to a reef break and the snorkelling was incredible.  I saw three white tips in half an hour just cruising around the reef and some massive fish and lovely coral. I do love our life here….just taking off in the boat and seeing what Tonga has to offer.

So back to work doing more diy on a remote island….with one more person on site i was free to clean up the land.  We needed to move all offcuts and building materials lying around the place into the fales and lock everything down for cyclone season.  I started with the plumbing supplies that were under a tarp near the kiteshed…i was not allowed the quad bike or the wheelbarrow as they were being used whilst the guys dug the holes for  Fale 4’s piles. So i had to move most of it by hand…it wasnt too heavy and by the time i had to move the toilet i had use of the wheel barrow again. I then started on the pipes ..found a couple of dead rats….with maggots…YUMMO…Phewwww… And then onto the solar box….when i say solar box i mean a 6 cubic metre box full of various items.  I sat in front of the solar box not really looking forward to moving these heavy items with a wheel barrow …by the way i have arms of steel now…..and along came our new dog Gary. Gary was pleased to sit with me in the shade for awhile but then along came Lily our cat….she was not pleased that i was sitting with Gary…she was a bit jealous so sauntered over and sat with me too.  Then all the chickens came….well well…i am in animal farm…SERIOUSLY my cat is jealous of the dog…the dog just wants to be loved…and well the chickens …are hungry. Anyway i finally moved all that malarky into a fale and then it was move all the ‘offcuts’ time…I think i spent a week moving piles of 6×2,4×2,piles,2×2,decking,weatherboard,coconut logs to various parts of the land.  I used the wheel barrow..i used my hands..i used the quad bike..I was EXHAUSTED!

Fale 4 was being erected very quickly during this time.  Seriously guess how long it took to build? From digging the 22 pile holes (1m deep by 300mm round radius) to putting the shingles on the roof….A WEEK AND A HALF! Holy cow very quick indeed. It is a beautiful fale and the last one we are building before Christmas.  Well done boys! What a job! We still have one more fale to build which will be a family fale and we will start this when we return in Jan.

We have had quite a few bookings for next year already which is just fantastic.  We open in April 2015 and cannot wait to share Kitesurf Tonga with everyone.

We are very much looking forward to our little break over Christmas and wish everyone a big MERRY XMAS and a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR! We will write again next year with more updates and more diy on a remote island

Kaz & Glen xx