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The Polynesian Boy Who Stole My Heart


Ruth, aka Elayne Kongaika, was raised in the orchard town of Orem, Utah. She married a Polynesian boy and has had amazing travel experiences

Once there was a small boy who grew up on a little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He was a happy and curious little boy. He thought his island was the center of the world. He grew up eating manioke, coconuts and lesi. He played with toys that he made himself and swam in the ocean. His home had one big room in his house where the whole family slept. The kitchen was separate from the main house so they could cook their food and eat there. They also had an outhouse that was far away from the house where they would run each night before they went to sleep. At night the family would light a gas lantern so they could see until they went to sleep. He thought all little children in the world lived like him.


One day, when he was about twelve, the boy from Ha’apai traveled on a big boat to another island to go to school. He had to leave his family behind and all the wonderful things he had grown up with. He was growing into a man. When he arrived, he saw many things he had never seen before. He went to a store and they had food to eat called ice cream. He asked for an ice cream and the storekeeper handed him a sweet cold round ball on a cone shaped cracker. He had never tasted such delicious food before. The storekeeper told him that he had to return the cone so the next child could use it . He was very careful not to break the cone. He tried to lick all the delicious ice cream off of the cone and drink every drop of it without breaking the precious cone. After he was finished he handed the cone back to the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper laughed because it had been a joke. Then he asked the little boy Where are you from? The little boy answered, Ha’apai. The shopkeeper then said No wonder!

When the young man moved into his new room, there were many beds and many rooms for the students. When night came, he was very surprised when no one lit a gas lantern. Instead he saw one of the students pull a string that hung down from the ceiling and the light in the middle of the room came on. He was so curious that he turned the light on and off many times as he tried to figure out how it worked. He had never seen electricity before.

Before going to sleep, the young man went to find the outhouse, but discovered that there was a room close to his that had several white toilets he could use. At first he was very curious, but then he became very scared when he heard the flushing sound that the big toilets made. He went to pull the handle that made the water flush and jumped away from the toilet since he was afraid thinking he might also go down the hole.

The little boy grew up and discovered that his little island was not the center of the world, but that there were many lands and many people who lived in different ways. Although he learned so much and had many great experiences, he still missed the simple life of his little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

This story is the true story of the man I married. He eventually traveled to America where he got an education and where we met. He loved learning new things and eventually got his Master’s Degree from a University. He has been a vice president at a university and continues to learn loving. His love of learning rubbed off onto his kids as they also all graduated from college. He has taken very good care of me and our family and he still loves to reminisce about his life in the little island kingdom in the South Pacific.


Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on June 27, 2010:

Thank you Pegcole17. Yes, life has gotten so complicated hasn't it. With progress comes stress somehow. I appreciate your comments.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on June 27, 2010:

Wonderful story of your husband's childhood experiences. How easy it is to imagine the island after your beautiful description. My Dad would tell us stories of his childhood before they had electricity or indoor plumbing. Ah, the simpler life.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 23, 2010:

Well Polly, the story began back in 1947, so I hope the island my husband grew up on, Ha'apai, has changed a bit, but not so much as you would think. Glad you enjoy reading about his experiences.

Polly C from UK on May 23, 2010:

This is a lovely story and beautifully written. It was a bit like the beginning of a book - I was ready to read more of your husband's experiences! I had not heard of the island of Ha'apai before - is it still the same or has it changed? Anyway, thanks for a great read :)

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on November 12, 2009:

Yes 2uesday, I feel very lucky to have found him. Aloha!

2uesday on November 12, 2009:

Lovely hub, how lucky you both are to have found each other and also that you are both aware of it.

breakfastpop on November 11, 2009:

What a wonderful story. Thanks so much..

Tammy Lochmann on November 11, 2009:

Nice. Inspirational Thanks- Tammy

Juliette Kando FI Chor from Andalusia on November 11, 2009:

How sweet, Elayne. And how lucky you are to have gained such great insights through your own circumstances.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on November 11, 2009:

A lovely, great story and I enjoyed every bit of it. Thank you for sharing. Keep writing, you have a lovely style.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on November 11, 2009:

I'm the little boy's biggest fan.

itk on November 10, 2009:

And the truth shall make you free. You are the best friend a little lost boy could ever dreamed and asked for. And you shall know them by their fruits. Our Children are the best inheritance and fruit of our labor. Cheers

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on November 10, 2009:

Not bad for a boy from Ha'apai, as we all say. Thanks Liana for stopping by.

Liana on November 10, 2009:

I love this story, . . . I have been to Ha'apai and yes, he has come a long long long way :)

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