|Kava trees as they grow.|
The Tongan farmer looked at the visiting Paalangi. “This is kava. Kava is a royal crop, Brother. I have more than 200 acres of it growing on my plantation. This is how I shall provide an education for my children and for my grandchildren, from the sale of kava. We make juice from the roots. Will you honor me by trying some?”
|Squeezing the juice from kava roots.|
|Dried kava roots|
The Paalangi left, and Brother Vai sat down to think. Then he stood, and thought some more. And then he walked, and thought some more. Much, much later that night, he went to bed.
The next morning, Brother Vai called his plantation workers together. "We will uproot every kava tree on this plantation,” he said, stunning his workers. “I will not grow kava any more.”
The workers would not confront their employer, but later they complained among themselves. "He can't be serious!" said one. "The other plantation owners will say he's gone mad," said another. "What is he thinking? He will have no money, and we will have no jobs!" protested a third. Still, they obeyed their employer. He was firm; every kava tree had to go.
|A banana grove.|
|This is what kava drink looks like. It used to be used only |
in ceremonies,but now is popularly used as a pastime.