Sunday, April 24, 2011


Names and Answers! Thanks for everyone for playing! (AKA Sarah and Kathleen, and kind of Mom, haha). Those of you who didn't... you're totally lame.

Viniseni- Vincent

Sekope- Jacob

Kulisi- Chris

Taniela- Daniel

Siaki- Jack

Tevita- David

Siosiua- Joshua

Sione- John

Female Names

Mele- Mary

Malia- Maria

Siniti- Cindy

Sela- Sarah

Suli- Julie

Telesia- Theresa

Lepeca- Rebecca

Sinitalela- Cinderella- no, this is not a common name, but yes, I have a student named Cinderella! She's in my class 6 and she's adorable.

Okay love and miss you all! Will write more real stuff soon!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Stupid Formatting

I apologize that all my blogs are in stupid one big paragraph format. The interweb is being ridiculous sooooooo they're just going to have to stay that way until I can figure it out some other time. Hope it doesn't give you a headache! xoxo k

Camp GLOW!

So normally I hate asking people for money. As many of you know, I could barely stand to sell Girl Scout cookies when I was little- and everyone loves a good Girl Scout cookie! However, I'm in Peace Corps and projects need funding so this is a shameless plug for a project I'm working on. Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) is a week long sleep-away camp that is designed to empower it's participants by providing them with the knowledge, support, and skills necessary to set and acheive their own goals. It takes place in various Peace Corps countries around the world through the cooperation of Peace Corps Volunteers and local organizations. Camp GLOW first came to Tonga in 2001 but did not continue past that. It was restarted last year by a fellow PCV, Sandy, who used to run the camp in Benin (this is her fourth year in Peace Corps- 2 in Benin and then she extended two years in Tonga). We'll be having Camp GLOW again this year. There will be 5 camps across the four islands. A Girls' Camp in Ha'apai in June, and in 'Eua, Vava'u, and Tongatapu in September. There will also be a Young Women's Camp in Tongatapu in September. The Girls Camps are for 9th grade girls (around age 14) who display academic excellence and leadership potential. The young women's camp is for school-leavers ages 18-21. The camps include speakers, activities, and games geared to educate and inspire the participants, and are run like sleep-away camps. Last year was a lot of fun and very successful, and we're hoping to expand the number of participants this year. I'm working on this as a secondary project and am in charge of doing fundraising within Tonga, but we also have a link online that allows people in the US to donate directly to our project. The awesome thing is that 51% of our budget is already covered by the local community- through venues, labour, etc., not necessarily cash- so it isn't just a handout, it's something that people in Tonga are already investing a lot in themselves. I know a lot of people have asked my mom about sending me stuff in Tonga and that kind of thing, and while I absolutely appreciate that, I would prefer that you use the money to donate to Camp GLOW. The donation is 100% tax deductible and this is a project that means a lot to me. I also request that should you decide to donate, you check the box that allows your information to be released. I promise it will only come to me and my fellow PCVs working on this project, not to other people who want your money. Having the information will allow us to send you a thank-you note later in the year! So, here is the link: No obligation or pressure, just an opportunity to get involved in my Peace Corps service if you so desire. If you have any questions about Camp GLOW or want more information, feel free to contact me at any time and I can tell you more about it! Thanks everyone! Love and miss you tons. xoxo k

Guess This Name

So there are some Tongan names that translate into certain English names. For fun, I've decided to provide you with a few and see if you can guess what the English translation is. This really only works if you actually comment and tell me your guesses, though. I'll give you the answers next week! (Hopefully.) Male Names

  • Viniseni

  • Sekope

  • Kulisi

  • Taniela

  • Siaki

  • Tevita

  • Siosiua

  • Sione

Female Names

  • Mele

  • Malia

  • Siniti

  • Sela

  • Suli

  • Telesia

  • Lepeca

  • Sinitalela

The last one of the female list is a bonus because it's not really a very commonly used name but it's a super fun one! Good luck!

Love and miss you all!



6 Months in Tonga!

First, I apologize that it's been fifteen million years since I last wrote. I've been pretty busy and keep neglecting my blogging duties. So if you happen to still actually read my blog, sorry about that! Second, it's official- I've been in Tonga for 6 months! As of April 4th. I've been at my site for 3 months as of March 17th. One school term is over. I can't even begin to say how craaaaaaazy that is! I feel like it hasn't been nearly that long, but at the same timeit seems like I've lived in Tonga forever. Time is absolutely flying and I feel as though I've barely accomplished anything, yet I've learned so much. It's a hard sensation to describe. The first school term just ended. I missed the last week because I had TEFL training in Nuku'alofa for a week, and then our In-Service Training for a week. So I've been in town for two weeks without returning to my community and it's incredibly weird. I miss my kids and my friends and my Tongan family! It was great to see all of my training group (everyone was flown in from their own islands) but I'm ready to get back home and start school again on Monday. I have a lot of ideas for this term that I got from the TEFL training, so I'm excited to start putting them in place. I also have 8 weeks of teaching under my belt (woo-hoo!) and know my kids better, so hopefully we'll be able to accomplish more this term. A lot of my students have already improved their English just by being willing to practice and speak with me. I rarely speak Tongan with them (even though I probably could), so usually if they want to talk to me they are forced to use English in some capacity. Cute story about this. First, a little background. My principal, Viniseni, and his wife, Vao, (the class one teacher) are my neighbours, and also kind of my Tongan parents. They have 8 children (although one is really a niece but she lives there). There's Lolini, Akesa, Kalea, Mafi, Siniti, Neomai, Senileka, and Tupou. Lolini, Akesa, Kalea, and Mafi all attend boarding school in town and so are only home Friday afternoons through Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Siniti and Neomai go to the Weslyan English speaking middle school and come home in the afternoons. Senileka and Tupou are my students. Senileka is in class 6, and Tupou is in class 3 which means that he's 7 years old. Siniti, Neo, Senileka and Tupou often come in and out of my house after school and in the evenings to colour, read, and get homework help. Apparently at some point Tupou decided that only English is to be spoken in my house, although that's not a rule I have. He's great about practicing his English and not even remotely shy. If he needs to know what something means, he'll just ask and then use the English word. He's also decided to enforce this rule upon other children who come play in my house. One day he and a classmate, 'Ofa, came over and were looking at all of the pictures I have on my walls. 'Ofa started to ask my something in Tongan and Tupou immediately yelled "USE ENGLISH IN KATALINA'S HOUSE!" Poor 'Ofa just kind of looked at me and I shrugged my shoulders. I didn't mind if he used Tongan, but if Tupou wanted to make him use English then I certainly wasn't going to discourage it. It's a great way for them to practice and if it means they'll also practice with each other, then that's even better! So speaking has improved at my school and this term I'm really hoping to work on writing- especially with my class 6 students. I'm starting to get a little nervous about their exam (although I won't tell them that!). I'll let you know how it goes! Love and miss you all! xoxo k

Sororities in Tonga?

This is a shout-out to all my Gamma Phi Beta friends. Tongans wear the most random t-shirts, and half the time they don't even know what they mean because they're in English, slang is involved, there are innuendos, etc. Example of this: I recently discovered that my 11 year-old neighbour girl has a Gamma Phi Beta tshirt. It's for intramural sports. On the front it says "Gamma Phi Beta IM Sports" and on the back it says "Always looking to score..." I'm going to go out on a limb and say that my neighbour doesn't fully grasp the joke (and I'm certainly not going to explain it to her!).