Summer Break : November and December 2009 brought graduation, Awards Assemblies and Summer Break for the CES schools in Tonga. Nia, superb principal of Havelu Middle School, leads her teachers and students with a Christ-like love. [BYUH Interns with Nia.]Lovely twosome, Monalisa and Ina, smile greetings from Havelu Middle School: The Havelu Middle School Christmas party, prior to summer break, was celebrated in fine style. Nia surprised Elder Hawley and me with a “Running with the Bulls” Award! Hmm! Wonder why? Lutimela Ahokovi, the gifted newly appointed principal of Pakilua Middle school, held an outstanding end-of-the year Awards Day for students and parents. Elizabeth Ramsey was Student of the Year 3 times at Pakilau Middle School. She is now attending Liahona High School as a scholarship recipient. Lavenia (honored guest and principal of Havelu Middle School) gives her a Tongan kiss: Some of our talented Pakilau Middle School teachers at the closing awards program in November--Kalisi, Vaivalo, Tupou, Folola, Mele and Satini:Inoke and Moana Kupu were honored guests at the Pakilau Middle School Awards Assembly. Pres. Kupu, formerly the CES Country Director in Tonga, is newly appointed principal of Liahona High School. Moana, a caring teacher, is now counselor for the three CES middle schools.Mele and Lita smile greetings at the Form 7 graduation dinner sponsored by the Liahona Alumni: Meanwhile, Sione Tafuna, Liahona HS principal, danced his farewell prior to teachers placing leis on him: A goodbye to our dear friends Semiti and Sera Leqakowailutu now retired school teachers. Sera is a superb English teacher. They were here at Liahona for 6 years and have now returned home to their family in New Zealand.Liahona graduates of 2009: Tapa cloth and beautifully woven mats provide ambience. The talented Jorgensens taught at the high school for three years and were soon to leave us. Inoke and Sione award the graduates their diplomas:JANUARY 2010 BROUGHT BACK-TO-SCHOOL PRECIOUS MOMENTS: [ITEP missionaries enjoy an evening out]During summer break in November and December, Elder and Sister Checketts invited us to help them develop a career guidance program for the Church Education Schools of the South Pacific. They are highly qualified to develop programs and train counselors. The pre-school training sessions for about 100 teachers in the CES middle schools and high schools of Tonga were a success. What a joy it is to work with these gifted principals, teachers and students whom we love so much. We hope to make a difference in the lives of those we teach.I especially like the school theme chosen for 2010 Pacific Area schools. Joshua 1:9 Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord they God is with thee withersoever thou goest.
The last weekend before school began at a secluded beach near the blowholes…no need for swim suits when it’s more convenient and modest to swim in their clothes. Sister Checketts and I shouted for joy when the blowholes spouted during low tide one Saturday: A beautiful pathway leads to Umu beach. Ofa ‘atu to Elder and Sister Checketts who are now serving in Vava’u, then Samoa, Kirabuti and Fiji as they continue training counselors for the CES schools in the Pacific. [Elder Checketts performs his silly magic to the delight of the Liahona students at the farewell party.]