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: http://www.tongaatoz.com/f.html 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!