Friday, September 28, 2012


While we were in Tonga my husband and I decided we would get a tattoo. It is something we had both thought of but the time hadn't been right. We saw an advertisement in a shop window for local tattoo artist George Cocker and after meeting him we knew that he would do a great job. He was very professional and obviously talented in traditional Tongan design.
Paula had his done first-a band around his arm with a combination of traditional tongan patterns (such as spearheads, bird footprints, weaving and sharks teeth) and the names of our two daughters.
A few days later we went back to have mine done. I chose to get it at the top of my back. I love the sweet fragrance of the frangipani flower (and it includes my name 'fran' in the 'frangipani'). I wanted three frangipani's to represent my three children. George came up with the rest of the design using traditional Tongan patterns.
 Initial sketch in pen
 In progress
 Outlines all done and time for a break
George's facebook page can be found here-Kalia Tattoo Tonga Ltd

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


 The resort in Fiji had three lovely restaurants where we enjoyed many delicious meals and drinks.
We had some waiting time before our flight from Fiji to Tonga so we took a taxi to Nadi town and had a look around their market.
The fish market
 Fresh water mussels

Fiji-Another Village Visit and a Temple Tour

We went on another tour while in Fiji which took us to a nearby village and then on a tour of the Hindu Temple in Sigatoka.
 Kava Ceremony
 Hindu temple on the left
 View from the temple


On both of our village tourswe were given demonstrations of local crafts-tapa making, weaving and pottery. It was particularly interesting to learn about the pottery as this is something different from Tongan crafts. Clay is gathered from the river and mixed with sand (by using the heel of the foot). It is then shaped, dried in the sun then baked in a fire. Finally, while still hot, it is rubbed all over with a tree gum to create a glaze.

Fiji-River cruise and village tour

In Fiji we took a trip on the Nahigatoka river cruise and a tour of a small village near Sigatoka
 Sofia and Paula on the Sigatoka River
 Happy fisherwomen
 Na'uli enjoying some fresh melon on the river cruise
 Being entertained on our village tour
 And then being part of the entertainment!
Paula looks so much more at home don't you think?!


We recently went on a family holiday to Fiji and Tonga. While we have been to Tonga lots of times we hadn't visited Fiji before. We imagined it would be very similar to Tonga but were surprised to find quite a few differences-size, landscape, vegetation, service and the Indian/Hindu culture etc.
The weather was amazing such a nice contrast to the heavy rain we had been having here in Christchurch. We stayed at a wonderful resort which offered everything we could wish for. It was so well organised and maintained and the food and staff were brilliant. It was a beautiful, relaxing four days.

Our bure
 Time for a dip
 So warm we could even swim at night
 Fun at the pool
 Sofia was not afraid to hold a frog we found
 A stroll on the beach
Na and Daddy under the coconut trees