Downloads from Tonga

I'm in Nuku'alofa this week attending Peace Corps Training. I'll write about that when I return, if not sooner, but while I'm away I thought I would share some downloads and links that may be of interest to you.

NOTE:  Most links below have been removed because they are no longer valid.

Maps of Vava'u

I now have a high resolution map of Vava'u if you want to download it. It is in PDF format and it allows you to zoom in to see details on not only the main island, but also all of the islands that are part of the Vava'u Island group. If you find Neiafu and look west, you will see Talau, which is a mountain. That is the neighborhood I live in, even though I am not near the top. If you find the intersection of line 35 and line 18, that is very near my house. These lines actually cross in the water, but if you go north on line 18, the first full block is the block where I live. You should be able to download the map at this link: Vava'u Sheet 1 February 2008 dem (NOTE: I have not used this location to host content previously so please let me know if you have any problems downloading from here. I usually use Google Documents, but they do not support pdf files)

My Favorite Tonga Photos

Part of my job at the Tonga Development Bank is to help prepare workshops for current and prospective small business owners. At the first workshop, I put together a slide show that we played on the screen while people were arriving. It is a collection of my favorite photos from Tonga. The photos from Tongatapu, 'Eua and Vava'u were all taken by me. The three photos from Ha'apai are from my friend Scot. (I haven't been to Ha'apai yet) You can download the presentation in pdf format at Photos from Tonga (NOTE: This file is in the same location as the one above and hopefully you can download it okay. The PowerPoint file I used was larger than Google Documents accepts.)

Tips for a Great Website

At the conference I'm attending in Nuku'alofa I'm facilitating two sessions. The first is on tips to keep your web site in great shape. I've called the session: "So you've got a web site: Now What?" It has been tailored to Tonga but has some useful information for people anywhere with web sites. You can view and download the PowerPoint Presentation and use it or edit it as you see fit.

Search Engine Optimization Tips

One of the very last projects I was involved with before leaving Television was working with a company that we had hired to help make our TV station's web site show up better in search engines. I learned a lot about optimizing web sites to make them friendlier to the search engines. I never thought that information would be useful to me in Peace Corps, but I ended up putting together a two hour presentation on SEO or Search Engine Optimization strategies for Tonga. You can watch and download the PowerPoint Presentation and use it or edit it as you see fit.

Useful Tonga Links

Many years ago, I interviewed "Miss Lillian", Lillian Carter, the mother of former President Jimmy Carter. Then just a few days after leaving my job in TV News, I had the chance to attend a reception with the former President where he honored Peace Corps Volunteers like his mother. Now President Carter has written a book about his mother and it is reviewed in USA Today (Where my sister Maria works).

Several months ago, a former Peace Corps Country Director wrote an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times. Now the same guy has another negative article about the Peace Corps on a web site called that mentions Tonga.

I previously posted an article about sailing in Tonga written by my faithful blog reader Larry who has sailed in Tonga. He now has his own web site and has the article posted there if you want to visit it.

There is an article in the Christian Science Monitor about the Peace Corps as well that my friend Kirk send me.

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