Sunday, May 30, 2010

Postcard Project Update and more SHOUT OUTS :D

PHOTO: Students checking out the new books from the States.

Hello Matamaka GPS blog readers. I just wanted to give a quick update on how our postcard project is doing.'s going really GREAT! I have been getting a stack of postcards every week from the post office here in Neiafu. The ladies who work at the post office have been surprised at the amount of mail Matamaka GPS receives every week. In addition, we have been getting packages from awesome people from around the world who wants to help out with the school.

What do I do with the postcards? Every time I bring the new postcards to school, I usually have them all laid out by the blackboard in the library. All the students have an opportunity to view all of them. “Tika atu,” most of them would say which means “cool” in English. Some of the more interesting postcards, they would ask me, “Feleti, ko ia oku mo’oni?”--“Feleti, is this real?” Yep, it is real. Most of the children have only seen photos and some movies about cities and places around the world. As a result, when they see a postcard of the city of Seattle and Pittsburgh it seems surreal to see all the tall buildings.

After all the students walk through and see all the postcards, I then divide all the cards evenly to the students. Their next job is to walk over to the world map and US map in the library and identify where the postcard came from. To make it easier, I already marked all the location with sticky tabs. They just have to match their card to the “right” sticky tab. For the most part, they do a good job finding the place. It has been more of a race to see who can find their cards first. Tongan children are very competitive remember.

PHOTO: Where are all the cards come from? Our maps and postcards from around the world.

Once everyone finds their location, they all take turn presenting their postcards in front of all the students and pinpoint it on the map. Soon after, I place a little sticker on the sticky tabs that are current Peace Corps countries. I have been grateful that so many PCVs from around the world have participated with our little project. In the end, students can now identify which countries in the world map are places where Peace Corps volunteers work. In the future, as the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps approaches, I will highlight different projects of PCVs on the map (especially those PCVs who have sent postcards). It will be a great way to present the wide array of projects volunteers pursues around the world to the students as well as the people of Matamaka and its visitors.

Lastly, the library at Matamaka GPS has been more beautiful than ever with all of the new books we have received from the States. I have been busy creating little arts and crafts for the children to decorate room. See for yourself how cool our library has become!


PHOTO: Earth Day and our library in January compared to May 2010.


- A huge fakamalo to Brian and Jan Harvey of Iowa City, Iowa for donating a box of children’s books and goodies for the school.

- Mrs. DeCarlo’s second grade class of IKM-Manning Community School District, Iowa for donating over one hundred books and materials.

- Miraneta and the SPREP office out of Samoa for sending a box of environmental resources, posters, books, cards, and more for our library.

- Ann Blum of Harlan, Iowa for sending a variety of seeds for our school garden.

- To all of the others who have sent letters and cards of support as well as postcards from AROUND THE WORLD. Thank you for taking the time and helping us out here at Matamaka GPS. YOU have made an impact to the current success of my Peace Corps service as well as all as everyone in Matamaka and TONGA. THANK YOU and MALO ‘AUPITO.

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