PHOTO: Meet the pen pals!
The Third Peace Corps Goal: Helping promote better understanding of other peoples on part of Americans.
I had the privileged to meet with my US penpals from the IKM-Manning Elementary schools. The second and third graders were able to do a meet and greet with me before their winter break. It was a great opportunity to promote the third Peace Corps goal with the youngsters and staff of the school. The children were very eager to learn more about Tonga and see more photos about their Tongan penpals and Matamaka GPS.
PHOTOS: Talking to the kids.
Before the presentation, I prepared a quick slide show highlighting various facts about Peace Corps and Tonga. The kids were really eager to ask questions. Some of the questions were very funny like "Does Santa come to Tonga?" or "Do the kids play a lot of video games?" I think they realized how their lives are so much different than other children from the other side of the world. Furthermore, I had brought some cool things from Tonga to show the kids like tapa cloth, kiekias, ta'ovala, drums, fans, etc. In addition, I gave them all handmade bookmarks from my island and Peace Corps stickers (compliments of Meredith from the University of Iowa recruitment office).
PHOTO: Some of the artifacts of Tonga.
In the end, it was a lot of fun talking to all of the kids. The third graders sponsored a book drive last year for our school and Matamaka GPS received over 100 books from the kids. The second graders this year will hopefully be doing a similar service project this year. Furthermore, we will continue on writing letters back and forth to one another this year. Before I left, I surprised the kids with brand new letters their pen pals which they had written before I left for America. I want to give a special thank you to Mrs. DeCarlo for setting up the event. Malo 'aupito.