Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back to Matamaka! 23 months and going...

Photo: My students preparing an awesome art project for the library.

I am finally back in Tonga! The last month has been a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs, but in the end I am happy to back. I was officially "medically cleared" from Peace Corps Office of Medical Services the 29th of July and flew back to Tonga that next Sunday. The flight back was a bit crazy, since I almost missed my flight connection to LAX from Dallas. I had two minutes to make it to the D terminal and arrived to my gate with the gate door already closed and "Washington Dulles" on the TV monitor. I was lucky enough they were still fueling the airplane and they let me in. I loved how everyone stared me down for causing the plane to be delayed as I walked down the aisle to the back of the plane. Woops.

Photo: Tina painting away.

The flight to Fiji and Tonga were more pleasant than going to America. My little TV screen actually worked and I wasn't sitting next to the toilets. A woman next to me named Sia was a Tongan and was very interested with the Peace Corps. She was nice enough to offer me a lift to the Peace Corps office in Nuku'alofa. I had a nice package from 'Eseta Schaaf a Tongan residing in Salt Lake City, Utah. She had sent numerous school supplies and goodies. THANK YOU!!!! In addition, she had informed me that she is doing fundraising project to help purchase recycling containers for VEPA--an environmental NGO in Vava'u. Good on her!

Photo: The new school supplies from Salt Lake City, UTAH

A couple of weeks ago, we also had some members of the Australian Police visit Matamaka GPS for motivational speech to the students to carry on with their studies in the future. One of the police officer was actually a Matamaka native who studied at Matamaka GPS a long time ago. During their visit they informed us that they are sponsoring five Class 6 students scholarships for their entire high school studies. We only have four students graduating this year, so another person will chosen within the community. This is GREAT NEWS!

Photo: The students with the Aussie Police Officer.

On another note, Ma'asi's older brothers Samiu and his two sons are visiting Vava'u. Samiu married a Japanese volunteer and they all currently reside in Japan. The two boys are so cute! They do not speak English and understand very little Tongan. It is amazing watching the Tongan kids interact with them. Sayonara!

Photos: The Japanese/Tongan boys and the students from Matamaka.


  1. OMG, Glad you made it to your plane!!

  2. Thanks for the updates! I enjoyed reading this post! Good on the Australian Police Officer and his efforts! Very touching. But most of all, THANK YOU FARFUM!!!