25 Things about Peace Corps Tonga

My friend Sarah, who completed her service here in Vava’u in December has put together a list of the 25 reasons “You know you volunteered in Tonga” I think it is a great list and my personal favorite is:

7. You have friends named Loketi (Rocket), Telefoni (Telephone), Vai (Liquid), Feiloaki (Introduce yourself), Venitaleita (Ventilator), Puke (Sick), Makoni (Telegram) and Vaka Puna (Airplane)

The list is growing as other volunteers make suggestions.. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

New Baby

My friend’s “Ofa and Hangale just had a new baby daughter. These photos were taken at the hospital just two days after she was born.

Hangale and 'Ofa with new daughter Hangale and 'Ofa's new daughter

“Ofa’s mother died two months ago and the baby is named after her.

Religious Recruiting?

The Church of Scientology has come to Tonga. The picture below is from downtown Neiafu.

Scientology Tent in Neiafu

Officially the church says it is here to target drug and alcohol abuse in the South Pacific. Of course, I’m guessing they are also hoping to educate Tongans about their church and perhaps even do a little recruiting.

Religious Recruiting is a big business in Tonga and the Mormons have pumped lots of money into the Kingdom to bolster its ranks in this region.

It’s Diving Friday!

I got a chance to get back in the water on Friday. This photo was taken at about 30 feet when I decided to take my mask off to pose for a picture.

Steve with his mask off at 30 feet We dove in the harbor, which was a bit murky but still great to gain more experience underwater. It’s the second dive I’ve done since getting my Open Water Certification.

Peace Corps Tonga Group 75

From my perspective, the most important thing that Peace Corps does each year is to develop sites for new volunteers. That process started this week for the members of Peace Corps Tonga Group 75 who will arrive here in October.

The first step is to meeting with schools who are interested in hosting a volunteer. (Only schools will be hosting beginning this year since the Business Program where I work has been eliminated). Volunteers will either teach English or Business as their primary volunteer project.

Here in Vava’u, I was asked by Peace Corps to attend the meeting and do part of the presentation for new potential sites.

The program was put together by Puke Esau, our Peace Corps staff member here in Vava’u. I thought he did a great job outlining what is required of potential site locations and also the benefits.

Group 75 will start its training in October and will become volunteers in December replacing all the members of my group (Group 73) when we complete our Peace Corps Service.

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