“Vava’u Son” Chapter One: Fatongia

Fatongia swam after Pota’s boat

After having jumped from the ship where he had sold her to a Palangi, an Indian and a Chinese making cash on three times the profit of her market worth.

It was the obedience and loyalty of Fatongia which

Made this well-trained goat priceless in Pota’s many antics to square-off with the business-minded foreigners in his homeland of Vava’u. 

Fatongia and her owner returned to Pota’s inherited 24-acre lot which sat across from his privately owned island named Lotuma (a Tonganised form of Rotuma, like the Fijian place name which hinted toward his mixed ancestry). His acreage was a fortress for a man who belonged to the land. He grew Papaya, Banana, Pineapple and he raised goats and pigs and there was a huge banyan tree overhanging a steep coral wall on the upper side of his estate. Sometimes, Pota would ride his horse to Neiafu where he would neglect to unmount his transportation pet as he strolled through the market, picking up less than what his horse left in it’s trail. Other times, when weather permitted, Pota would paddle with Fatongia over to Tu’anuku where his relatives settled several generations before atop a raised coral mound which became their village. His mother, Kisaea Taufa live just near the beginning of the village. Pota had already married his second wife, Liliola, who was a strong woman. She played netball the way men played rugby and she was an excellent point shooter. Aside from the zesty aggressive portion of her that Pota loved, she was skilled in the traditional medicine. Her strength and wisdom passed to her thru generations of like-minded women would survive Liliola into a ripe age to having raised all of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.


Pota and Liliola’s oldest son was names ‘Asipeli. Peli for short, was a rascal boy. He did not have the skill for fishing like the other boys so he would sit with Liliola and learn to weave and create like the women did. Sometimes people would tease Peli and imply that he were a booftah. One day, while selling Pota’s pineapples on the road, 4 older boys came to Peli’s fruit stand where they attacked him all at once and stole all that the family hoped to earn. From that day, Peli learned that if he did not fight to defend his position that his family would starve again. So Peli started fighting when he had to and he became very good at it.