27 Sanuali Monite
Frocked ourselves up and walked into work for an 8.30am start. The year kicks off with a gathering of all Catholic Education teachers at the Basilica. The spoke with passion acknowledging the important role teachers have in modelling good behaviour to students. He especially emphasised the zero tolerance of violence.
Of course any Tongan gathering is about the food so we had a very hearty morning tea before heading upstairs for a special mass.
28 Sanuali Tuesite
The thing about living in the tropics is that tropical = rain. You can’t have a lush green environment without regular precipitation and this morning our island home lived up to its reputation and doused us on the short moped ride into town. The great thing about this is the automatic cooling effect and when the sun comes out you dry off very fast. We took refuge at a cafe that serves wonderful local coffee and by the tip we wiped the foam from our lips the sun was out blazing, we were no longer damp and the humidity began to soar.
The first day of our staff development began with a reflection ceremony focused on leadership.
The forever wise and gentle Sr Annuncia ran the opening session and she does this so beautifully. The theme followed on from the Bishop’s speech yesterday with the message – Responsible leadership is about membership. It is an organic process and not mutually exclusive. I really like this concept. So often we put all our focus in developing effective leaders without much thought to the concept of the ‘community engagement as integral to effective leadership’. We all have roles to play.
We need to continue to identify and facilitate meaningful ways to have everyone participate in the leadership journey by creating an atmosphere of inclusion and respect.
The relationship of leaders and members comes from the understanding that we are social beings and tend to enjoy living in a ‘communal’ way. We like share our experiences with others. This relationship can sometimes be challenging for both leaders and members. We need to give as much attention to the qualities of community membership and work together as individual ‘works of art’ sharing our light and strengths together to effect change.
We finished with a mammoth lunch plate which could have fed a family of four!