PHOTO: I love my job in Tonga and this is why…
Everyone loves a good game of kickball right? As part of my cultural exchange (and PE class) with the children at my school, I tried to teach them the classic sport. First, I attempted to explain the rules in Tongan at the library by drawing bases on the board and little stick figures running to each base before finally making it home. “Mahino kotoa?” “Everyone understand?” I said. “IO—Yes, Feleti,” all the children replied. I then divided the class 4-6 students into teams. I was lucky we had an even amount of students that day. As a result, the teams were divided up evenly. One team called themselves “Team Lion” and the other “Team Dragon.”
We all go outside to the schoolyard the kickball game commenced. I decided to be the pitcher to make the game fair, since I knew the children loves to cheat. At first, I thought they understood the game, but it turned out not. After the first person kicked the ball, everyone in the outfield ran to the ball leaving all the bases open. In addition, the person who just kicked the ball was running towards the ball also. OAIUE! Timeout! I tried to explain that they must touch each base and not get hit by the ball or else you are out. “IO, Feleti!” all the children told me.
PHOTO: A photo of me as a pitcher and students attempting to play kickball.
We started the game over and I thought they were getting the concept of the game, but it turned out the students have found out a perfect way to cheat. In order to successfully touch all the bases and make it home, each person purposely kicked the ball towards the ocean. As a result, utter chaos and panick struck the kids on outfield. “Kaka, Feleti—they are cheating Feleti!” yelled all the students on the field. This happened on both sides as the games progressed.
After awhile the classic game of kickball turned into soccer. LOL. Field goals showed up on both sides of the field and the students have abandoned the kickball game. Most of them were still pretty flustered about the other team cheating from kickball, so the soccer game was really intense with students fighting to win. Note to self, Tongan children are VERY competitive and REFUSE to lose. I decided to referee the game. Every time I try to play, I always end up kicking the ball to one of the class 1 students head. It was best that I just referee for the children's safety.
PHOTO: The soccer game and the little barbarians.
The soccer game turned out to be a blast. I had to tell the students that school was technically over and that they should go home, but none of them wanted to leave. We ended up playing for awhile and took some fun shots with everyone. Ma’asi took some “barbarian” photos of the boys who insisted on showing off their “muscles” to the camera. These kids are silly. A day like this is why I love working at my school and being a part of Peace Corps. Seriously, it was a priceless. In the end, I was pooped by the time I got home as the game wore me out. Then I realized I still have night school with the class 6 kids. It was just another busy and successful day at Matamaka GPS.
PHOTO: The photo of the girls.