SISTER Mele Vavatau Tu'ineau yesterday bid farewell to the St Christoher's Home in Nakasi, Nausori, where she lived and worked for over 27 years.
Sitting in her favourite garden at the orphanage, Sister Mele told The Fiji Times it was hard to leave the country.
"Fiji is different to any other place," she said.
"You can't erase the memory of working with children", she said.
"I have so many beautiful memories".
She remembers every single orphan who had gone through the home during her time with the orphanage and many had gone on to have long and successful careers.
"Some of them came to say goodbye," said.
"Some of them are teachers, some are nurses. I am so proud."
She said despite her sadness she looked forward to returning to Tonga.
"I am going home after 40 years â€¦ to help my people in Tonga," she said.
Sister Mele was keen to express her gratitude, through this newspaper, towards the people who had helped her and the home throughout the years.
"I would like to say thank you to the people of Fiji for their support of the home."