Tongablog

Join our adventure in The Kingdom of Tonga

Placement…Pangai, Ha’apai, Tonga

* I know many blog readers have expressed an interest in sending us some care packages.  We are tucked away in such a remote corner of the globe, that any mail or goodies from home would be much appreciated:)  I will be teaching at a Primary school, and I am quite sure that school supplies would be an enormous help.  If you are a parent and/or teacher and would like to involve your children/students in a solidarity project with my students in Pangai, please feel free to email me.  We can discuss what is needed and a possible pen pal project! Thanks so much:)

We finally received our site placement! We will be living and working in Pangai, Ha’apai which, starting south, is the second island chain to the north. The island chains are: Tongatapu (where we were during our first homestay) and Eua, then 240 miles north is Ha’apai, then 210 miles north of that is Vava’u (where we are now), and about 500 miles north of that is Niu Islands where Peace Corps doesn’t work anymore.

Scot will be be doing computer training and setup with the possibility of doing GIS for the Ministry of Lands, and helping with a radio station. Karen is going to be teaching English at a government primary school, and the possibility exists for her to work with the Ministry of Health or an NGO doing health related education. It is the most beautiful of the island groups apparently, and great chances for kayaking, camping, spear fishing, snorkeling, whale watching and diving.

At first, we were a bit taken aback by the fact that we were not being sent to Tongatapu because we felt that our professional skills most matched job/volunteer opportunities in the capital. But after having some time to process it all- we are really excited about being in a beautiful location with such interesting prospects. Out of our group of 33 new volunteers, only five of us will live on Ha’api. It is quite rural, so the change of pace will be an adjustment for us. We will have a new address in Ha’api, but for now, mail can still be sent to the Nuku’alofa address posted on our blog. Peace Corps will forward it to Ha’api. Because we will be so “out of touch,” hearing from you all will absolutely make our day (or weeks, or months:)
Here is a little introduction to Ha’apai- taken from the Lonely Planet. “Sprinkled across the kingdom’s central waters, the Ha’apai Group is an idyllic South Pacific paradise- low coral islands, vibrant reefs and kilometers of deserted with beaches fringed with coconut palms. Traditional culture is not something you pay an entry fee to experience- it’s all around, unexploited and alive. You won’t find the distractions of shops, nightspots (or even running water at times,) but those willing to forgo the trimmings reap the rewards.”

We will keep you posted as we near the next chapter of our lives here in the Kingdom of Tonga. For the next two weeks, we will be in Vava’u. Karen will be student teaching to prepare for life as a teacher in Tonga, and Scot is busy with business practicums. Our language acquisition is coming along, and we are generally feeling pretty comfortable in our surroundings. Thanks for all of your support!

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1 Comment»

  C. Morrison wrote @

Hi I have a huge amount of info on Ha’apai, get back to me via email and I will send you what I have. Love to hear more about your adventures there.

You are really lucky, Ha’apai is the most beautiful part of Tonga.


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