Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Home again, home again...

Well, as many of you already know, Matt and I returned home in June/July. We learned many things while we were away, and would recommened to anyone to visit a tropical island in their lifetime! It is amazing how many times I read something island related and have such a clearer understanding now.

Tokelau, being so isolated is only for the 'Hard Core', (a quote from a Fakaofo screen printed T-shirt that I saw while on the atoll!), for the less hard core I suggest a nice holiday in Rarotonga, or Fiji!!!

When doing a volunteer stint it is important to 'keep it real' and not go into things with too many expectations of changing or improving anything. What will be will be. If you manage to bring about positive change then well and good and if you don't, then at least you tried! 'God loves a trier!' Sometimes people just don't want change.

Those of us who are teachers know that at times, change means a lot more extra work, and that can definately put people off! Over time the extra work becomes second nature and the kids benefit tremendously.

I wish future VSA volunteers in Tokelau the best of luck, and make sure you pack more than the usual amount of 'hard core' in your luggage!

Over and out.

11 comments:

Tricia said...

I came across your blog when I was looking up Learning @ schools information. (I am going to attend the 2010 one. ) I have loved reading your blog about Tokelau. My partner is from Tokelau and I always dreamed about going there to teach like you did. Unfortunately my Timoteo was killed in a car accident 4 years ago, so we never ended up going. However reading your blog has meant that I feel like I can 'experience' second hand what it might have been like -so thank you for sharing your experience.
I am a new entrant teacher in Rotorua and I am learning to be a 21st century teacher. (i do struggle at times as I have spent 30 years teaching in the 20th century.
I do like blogging though and do a lot of my reflecting there. I have a blog -rumaruatamariki.blogspot.com
I hope you write more about Tokelau
Tricia Dender

Fievels said...

Hi Tricia, its been a while since i looked at my Tokelau blog and what a lovely surprise to find your message there! I'm glad that you enjoyed reading my blog. It wasn't always easy, I'll tell you that for free! But it was a great learning experience! Its great to be back in NZ now teaching a lovely class of Yr4-6 children in rural north Canterbury. Some people think the countryside is isolated, but after being in Tokelau, there's no excuse to fel isolated her in NZ, it is simply a state of mind! 1.5 hours in the car to Chch compared to 30 hours in a dodgy looking boat?! I have had a look at your blog and have put my twitter link on there (fievels). Would be great if you'd become a part of my twitter network too :0)
Thanks again, it has made my evening to know that my blog is still being read somewhere out there!

Blair said...

HellO Fievels,
I hope this finds you and finds you well!

I'm looking for traditional Tokelau recipes and I was wondering if you know of a good resource (person, place, &/or thing).

Also, I'd love to know what foods you miss the most and miss the least.

Live Easy,
Blair

Fievels said...

Hi Blair,
I really loved the Breadfruit. I had cravings for that for a long time after leaving Tokelau. You can bake it in the oven or on the fire in tinfoil, and even make deep friend chips out of it. Delicious!
Another traditional food is raw fish, marinated/'cooked' with lemon juice or white wine vinegar. Add some diced onion and coconut cream.
Tokelauns eat a lot of fish and coconut. Not much grows in Tokelau, as there is no soil. There is a fruit called Pandanus. I quite liked it, but it is quite fibrous and gets stuck in your teeth.
A lot of food is brought in by ship fortnightly from Samoa. People often have their friends or relatives in Samoa send them fresh fruit and vegetables from there. Oh, they ate a lot of raw tuna cut into slices and dipped in a Hellman's Mayonaise and tomato sauce combo... was quite refreshing. They also eat lots of rice, and occasionally turtle.
I hope this helped!

Fievels said...

Hi Blair,
I really loved the Breadfruit. I had cravings for that for a long time after leaving Tokelau. You can bake it in the oven or on the fire in tinfoil, and even make deep friend chips out of it. Delicious!
Another traditional food is raw fish, marinated/'cooked' with lemon juice or white wine vinegar. Add some diced onion and coconut cream.
Tokelauns eat a lot of fish and coconut. Not much grows in Tokelau, as there is no soil. There is a fruit called Pandanus. I quite liked it, but it is quite fibrous and gets stuck in your teeth.
A lot of food is brought in by ship fortnightly from Samoa. People often have their friends or relatives in Samoa send them fresh fruit and vegetables from there. Oh, they ate a lot of raw tuna cut into slices and dipped in a Hellman's Mayonaise and tomato sauce combo... was quite refreshing. They also eat lots of rice, and occasionally turtle.
I hope this helped!

Lā Photographer said...

Hello Fievels

I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your entire blog about your experience living and working in Tokelau. Especially your work within the education there.
My family are from Nukunonu, Tokelau and I was born in New Zealand. I have been to Nukunonu once when I was 11 in 2000. While I was there from September to early December, I was able to attend Matiti school for a few weeks. Even though you were on a different atoll, many years later it sounds as if not much has changed and I feel really bad for my tiny home nation.
To this day, I know education in Tokelau has yet to reach its potential and finding your blog has sparked something in me to really consider what I can do to, dare I say it, "help change" lol. Thank you for sharing your blog, I wish there was more to read :)

All the best
M.M

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M&C_Craw said...

Hey Matt and Fiona, I just found your blog online, we have just got home to NZ after 6mths in Tokelau, Fakaofo, Fenua Fala ...we had hoped to go for upto 10mths but came home slightly early. We went with our family of 7 and it was really full on for us having four of our kids in the school system, which doesn't seem like it has changed alot since you guys were there. Our youngest was at preschool and I went with him, but that also was jusst so differnt and challenging. Our little dude is 4, and we have a 5yr old,9yr old,11 yr old and 13 yr old. It was a good but full on experiance for them all. I've never experianced anything quite so hard, from the boat ride over to the huge social,cultural,climate etc differences. Feels really hard to explain to people just what was so hard, they look at you like what? living on a tropical Island...how hard can it be? Anyways found it really encouraging to read your blog and know that someone out there gets it. Hard to not feel like we failed somehow but at least we gave it a go. anyways thanks for sharing. Our blog is here if you're interested in our Tokelau experiences.
http://crawsintokelau.blogspot.co.nz/
Godbless, warm regards Chrissie

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