Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Help Camp GLOW!

Camp GLOW (Girl's Leading Our World) is a camp that many Peace Corps countries run which promotes leadership among girls. Our Camp GLOW is going to be held in September, and we still have lots of fundraising to do. Please help us meet our goals! Check out this website for more information and how you can donate. Feel free to contact me with any questions!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Library Fun Day

This Saturday morning was fun day at the Vava'u public library...woooo! Fun day consists of lots of carnival games, food, and music. There are lots of local businesses that sponsor the event and the food and games also raise money. I helped out at the food table selling some yummy baked goods. There was also a cake walk and a pinata. The kids had a great time and the volunteers had fun, too!

Some other fun activities that started recently are the college rugby and netball games. Rugby is the sport of choice in Tonga, and it seems like the whole island comes out to watch the games. Rugby is really important to the boys because it offers opportunities for them to get scholarships and jobs overseas. They take it very seriously! The girls play a sport called netball which is a combination of basketball and handball. Players shoot baskets, but there is no dribbling and you can't run when you have the ball. It looks really fun, even though I have yet to attempt playing. Both the rugby and netball games are very fun to watch, and I'm excited to see which school wins the championship this year.

Another exciting event that just started in Vava'u is the annual Church of Tonga conference. Members of that church from all the islands groups, Australia, New Zealand, and America have gathered for a week long conference. Everyday there are church services, meetings, and tons and tons of food.

A quick update on my music class...they now know 3 notes on their recorders! Perhaps soon they will learn a song. Or perhaps not, hahaha.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hey It's May

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms reading, especially my mom. Ofa lahi atu (lots of love to you)!

A quick note about last week's entry; children's Sunday, or "Faka Me" in Tongan, is held the first Sunday in May every year. The children do the scripture readings, songs, and prayers...basically everything except the sermon. All the kids did a fantastic job!

This Sunday was Sapate Fa'e a.k.a. Mother's Day. To celebrate, Tongans do almost everything the same as American families. The moms are given gifts and honored during the church services. The only difference is that Tongan moms receive flower and candy necklaces. We don't usually have flower necklaces in Pennsylvania!

This week in school, I taught a unit about diversity. It was a challenging topic to cover because Tonga is such a homogeneous society. Racially there is little diversity, and the same is true for religious diversity. However, we also covered topics like age, special needs, and gender, all of which the students experience on a daily basis.

One of the interesting subjects we talked about was the gender roles of Tonga's third gender, fakaleitis. Check out this website for an explanation of fakaleiti: There are many fakaleitis working in the hospitality industry, and it is likely the students will work with them in the future. We talked about showing respect for our co-workers, regardless of gender, age, religion, or any other area of diversity.

Another fun class that I started teaching recently is a music class at a kindergarten. We are learning to play recorders, which can be a little painful on the eardrums at times. However, the kids are adorable, and I really enjoy teaching them. I also get to sing all the fun songs my mom and dad taught me growing up..."Little Bunny Foo-Foo" and "The Beehive" are two favorites!