Mele’ana Puloka, our teacher, is a former pupil of Queen Salote College who had the opportunity to study overseas and afterwards chose to return to Tonga to teach. We have classes in regular classrooms, with posters on the walls, desks for students to sit on and often heaps of noise just to let everyone know we’re here.
The goody goodies like to sit up front so they can listen to the teachers, while some of us prefer to sit back and relax as far away from the teacher as possible, while staying close to the wall.
We bring our school books with us in carry bags, some like the palangi bags, some like Tongan style bags. Most of the girls like to buy the hard cover note books, although the soft cover books are cheaper, and we all have our favourite style of pens although the ones given to us as gifts from parents and friends seem to last longest.
Sometimes our teachers are exciting to work with, listen to and learn from. Other times, well …
We take most of the subjects we think others overseas are taking. We have history classes from teachers who like history, we get confused by the Biology and Chemistry teachers, while we work very hard to scribble all those numbers down from the Maths teachers. Oh yes, and we have to take English and Tongan studies as well.
But we don’t work all the time…
One of the greatest events, at least for some of us, is when the boarders visit the Tupou College boys for our regular fellowship programs. Naturally, being Tongans, it would be very very remiss of the boys not to treat us all to a nice little feasting as part of the fellowship.
On these events, the boys are responsible for organising the bible study, fellowship program, and the meal. Its a good time to get closer to the boys, and a chance to visit some place outside school.
Queen Salote College has had its own identity, but we still reserve very vocal and parochial support for Tupou College. Hence, whenever the boys from the bush invite us over, or come into town to play rugby, you can always find the ‘blues’ from QSC cheering support. Brothers are nice to have around.
[ref: Photos used © Sarah Raasch]