4th of July, Tonga-style

By Peace Corps Tonga
July 10, 2017
On July 4th, Volunteers joined Tongan staff and community members to celebrate two versions of a national holiday.

In Tonga, July 4th is a national holiday, set aside to celebrate the birthday of the current King, Tupou VI.  And, of course, it is our own Independence Day.

Preparing for take-off
Preparing for take-off
Interns from the business college
Mele and Ana, our two great interns from the business college
The team assembles
The team assembles


Our Volunteers and staff and various friends of Peace Corps (including one Volunteer’s parents visiting from the U.S.) were prominently featured this year in the annual Heilala Parade through downtown Nuku'alofa.

Contestant in the Ms. Tonga pageant (representing the Tongan community in Oakland, CA)
Contestant in the Ms. Tonga pageant (representing the Tongan community in Oakland, CA)


We marched with two Peace Corps vehicles decorated in red, white, and blue; American and Tongan flags; Peace Corps t-shirts and traditional Tongan clothing; and lots of positive energy, smiles, waving hands, and fun.

Mormon marching band
Mormon marching band
Leading the pack
American flag-waver


On-lookers (many wearing clothing featuring names of  American cities, states, universities, consumer goods, and movie heroes), shouted greetings, and cheered for “Amelika.”


One elderly lady spectator cried out “Malo, Pisi Koa, malo!”  (“Thank you, Peace Corps, thank you!”)


We had fun – and exercise -- on a beautiful day, reminding the thousands of spectators that Peace Corps is still going strong in Tonga, as we celebrate our 50th year of providing service and building friendship and cooperation in this beautiful Pacific nation.

Truckin'
Truckin' in Tonga
Happy Birthday to His Majesty
Happy Birthday to His Majesty
Spectators, spectating
Spectators, spectating
Volunteers, demonstrating hand-waving technique taught in Pre-Service Training
Volunteers, demonstrating hand-waving technique taught in Pre-Service Training
Future Tongan super-heroes
Future Tongan super-heroes
"America" on a t-shirt
"America," an idea on a t-shirt
Friends of Peace Corps/Tonga
Friends of Peace Corps/Tonga
A pause that refreshes
A pause that refreshes
South to Alaska
Southern Alaska
A bit more traditional version of Tongan attire
Tongan attire (more traditional version)
With friends on the 4th of July
With friends on the 4th

No Comments

Add comment