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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Home Is Where the Heart Is

As most of you know I was extremely lucky to spend Christmas back home in the states with my family and friends! For those who came to visit me, I thank you so much! I really appreciate your efforts to stay in contact with me and for your understanding in knowing that it is not always easy for me to do so in return. However I love writing to you all and I very much enjoy reading your comments! So, one of my resolutions for 2011, is to blog atleast once a month. I know it's nothing big but it will be an improvement :)
I had a wonderful holiday break which consisted of a lot of family Yahtzee games near the Christmas tree, fun 'sistes-only' outings to the Boston aquarium and the local YMCA (for mainly hot-tub and sauna uses...haha), long nights sitting with friends- catching up on all that has happened over the past year; and family parties at my grandparents, which always consisted of delicious holiday food and fun :)

I very much enjoyed going to resturants again and going to the movie theater. I had a blast going shopping with all the gift cards I got for Christmas :) Thank you again for those fantastic presents! I was able to get so many toys and books to bring back to Tonga with me for the use of my school library and to share with my community.
My favorite times were when I was just chatting with my family and watching tv together in our warm home beside the Christmas tree. Brit and I even spent many nights sleeping on the sofas in the living room just admiring the lit Christmas tree :)
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I thank you for letting me be apart of it once more this season. It was so wonderful to spend time with each of you and I feel so blessed to have such AMAZING, and loving people in my life.
God bless each of you as you move forward into the new year!
Hope you enjoy some of these pics from my time at home :)
'Ofa atu!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Goal # 3

Peace Corps Volunteers work hard to complete three very important goals: share our American culture, values, and knowledge to our host community and country; learn from the host country's culture, values, and knowledge, and lastly, return home to America and share your experience with your fellow friends and family. This cycle helps promote peace and acceptance through the sharing of the experiences and lifestyles of Peace Corps Volunteers during their service. It helps to break down the ignorance and prejudice in our world while at the same time encouraging people to embrace those differences and be reminded of just how unique we all are.

Today I hope to expand on Goal #3 as I visit a local elementary school in Weymouth, MA to give a presentation on my Peace Corps experience thus far in the Kingdom of Tonga.

Almost one year ago, my mother, a second grade teacher at Ralph Talbot Elementary School, proposed an idea that would forever change the way this small Weymouth public school would communicate with the world.

She suggested that before I left for Tonga, I speak to the students on the mission of Peace Corps and describe my upcoming journey to the South Pacific country, Tonga. While I had but only Google images of the islands, and Wikipedia facts on Tonga's culture, housing, and fashion, I spoke to the students and left them with a Tongan dictionary in hopes that perhaps my mother's classroom could stay in touch by writing to myself and my Tongan community.

That short presentation was a wonderful opportunity to share why I wanted to become a PCV and where I was going and now, after almost a year and a half, I plan to visit Ralph Talbot again to share pictures and stories from the islands of Tonga!

I do hope to continue contact with the students for the remainder of my time out there. It has been a lot of fun sending pictures, letters and fun postcards to the kids and I know it really widens their perspecitve of the world and encourages them to learn about other peoples and walks of life.

Wish me luck! I hope I get through the school doors in my full Tongan dress!

'Ofa atu ka kimoutolu!