Kolovai Library Kingdom of Tonga is a place to explore (vakai'i), of understanding (mu'aki'ilo), and to connect ideas (fakahoko).
Young or old; shy or adventurous, in a library we can find books to feed our imagination, console our sorrows and strengthen us to deal with shared problems.
Last Thursday, Cyclone Harold smashed into Tonga. Huge waves demolished many of the resorts along the Hihifo coast from Kolovai ( Fala 'o Ata ) to Ha"atafu. Local families have been hugely affected with the total loss of businesses, buildings and homes.
One of the worst affected was the Liku"alofa resort owned by Peseti Ma"afu from Kolovai. Peseti was a Tongan international rugby player and has been a highly successful tourist business operator for many years. Kolovai Library is forever indebted to Peseti mo Tala Ma'afu for their generosity in helping make last year's library opening a very special event.
Peseti shared a beautiful story with us on that day that everyone should hear:
Peseti: My father, Salesi Ma'afu, was a school teacher in Kolovai. He knew the importance of reading for success at school and wanted his two sons to read as much as possible. His way of encouragement was to let us boys stay home and read instead of going to the bush garden ('uta) on Saturdays. But if we weren't reading when he checked on us he would take us to the bush ('uta). Soon, I learned how to get out of going to the bush ('uta). On Friday nights I would always make sure I had a book to read and would leave it by my bed when I went to sleep. On Saturday mornings while still lying in bed I could hear my dad coming to check on us. I'd quickly grab my book (tohi) and pretend I'd been reading. My brother would usually still be asleep (mohe), so my dad would congratulate me for reading and wake up my brother and growl him as they headed off to the bush ('uta).
Great benefit of reading (laukonga).
Please enjoy these images from the opening day of the library!