Justin & Rebecca's Tonga Peace Corps Service


Rebecca and Justin ended their Peace Corps service on the Tongan island Nomuka in October 2004 and now reside in Hollywood, Florida. Contact them.

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2022 note: Nomuka and its surrounding Tongan islands and their people were severely impacted by the 2022 Hunga Tonga eruption and tsunami. Many houses on Nomuka have been destroyed, as well as most homes on Fonoi and all on Mango. Through GoFundMe, they are collecting funds to provide relief to the people of these islands. Read updates from their daughter, Lucy 'Ofa Ki Nomuka Freedman.

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Rebecca and Justin were among 16 voho started training in Oct. 2002 for Peace Corps service in Tonlunteers wga in the South Pacific. Following 10 weeks of training, including intensive language classes, staying with a Tongan family and shadowing an experienced Peace Corps volunteer, they were posted to Nomuka, an island of 350 residents that can only be reached by a lengthy boat ride. Justin taught computer skills and science to secondary school students and Rebecca taught primary school English.

At the time,
Nomuka had no internet connection, only one phone, electricity a few hours nightly and mail service once a week by boat.

So where the heck IS Tonga??

Journal of their life in Tonga
August 2004:
Friends from New Zealand visit and kayak with them around the Nomuka group of islands.
March 2004:
Justin shares joys and frustrations of living in a different culture.
December 2003:
Rebecca's parents and sister visit the couple on Nomuka.
December 2003:
Justin explores the high and low points of the past month, including the advent of electricity and the King's visit.
November 2003:
Peace Corps volunteers Erin and Mark, based in the capital, visit Justin and Rebecca on Nomuka as electricity comes to the island.
September 2003:
The couple celebrates their first anniversary and reflects on the past year's experiences.
May-June 2003:
After six months they're in tune with Tongan life, until the family that owns the house they're living in returns to Nomuka and moves in with them.
April 2003:
Trouble in Paradise:  Drunk youths commit murder
March 2003:
Cousin Nora pays a visit, takes photos of Rebecca teaching
Feb-March 2003:
PHOTOS taken from video they shot of their daily life on Nomuka, including farewell party for the previous PCVs, their students, Sports Day activities, families gathered for a funeral, and Rebecca performing her first Tongan dance.
Insights and stories from the first three months:
Christmas 2002 Adventure   Feasts   Kava   Church and basketball   'Umu   Kayaks   The fat kid   Dogs

Feb. 2003:
Along with a puppy they begin to settle into their new lives; a young Tongan dies at sea

Dec. 2002:
They move into their house on Nomuka and look forward to the start of their volunteer service

Photos of their house and homelife, Dec 2003- Jan 2003

Oct. 2002:
Journal begins with observations from first month
About their training and Peace Corps goals
PHOTOS of their arrival and training period, Oct-Nov 2002




VIDEO (24 sec.) of 'Aho Faka Tonga ("Day of Tongan Way")—Justin's performing debut! Dec 2002
QuickTime Movie—945 KB
Windows Media Player movie—746 KB

VIDEO (16 sec.) of Rebecca scoring in netball. Feb 2003
QuickTime Movie—576 KB
Windows Media Player movie—680 KB


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