Map of Tonga in the South Pacific

Map of Tonga in the South Pacific

Monday, April 18, 2011

International Women's Day

March 8, 2011

International Women's Day

The guest speaker, Hon. Fatafehi O Lapaha Tuita

Once again I found myself at the Queen Salote College hall, this time to celebrate women, as it's been done for 100 years around the world. The theme: “Access to education, training, science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.” Along with the prayers, hymns, and speeches, we were entertained by the Tonga Police Band and traditional dance by students from the Tonga Institute of Education (Teacher Preparation). Awards were given for essays written by high school students on the theme, as well as for the winning team of the debate on the subject. My favorite part, though, were the displays all around the room. The Peace Corps was represented by information about Camp Glow, a camp for girls to improve confidence and self-image. I spoke with women who showed their handiwork, and to those there from the Girl Guides. It is also the Girl Guides 100 year anniversary. When I said I had been a Girl Scout they wanted to know if I still knew the pledge. It's been a long time! But yes, I did. All the women were full of joy and excitement and it was contagious. There was morning tea, too, with many traditional Tongan foods. It's a wonderful worldwide tradition.

Three of my co-workers.

Displayed weaving of a kiekie.

Displayed basket weaving.
Three more of my co-workers.
TIOE students performing a traditional Tongan dance.

Displayed jewelry.
TIOE students waiting to perform.
This is a kafa, used to tie the tu'ovala. It's braided from the husk fiber of the coconut.

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