15 April, 2019, 4:30 am
FOLOLENI Curr is a proud Pacific Islander.
It is not because she is Tongan but because she is proud to learn that the Fijian culture and tradition is still intact and it makes her a proud Pacific islander.
She is the wife of New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji, Jonathan Curr, and is originally from Kolofoo’u, a district on the friendly isles of Tonga but was mostly brought up on Nukualofa.
The soft-spoken Tongan lady shared her utmost love for the Pacific people and the calling for her husband to take up a diplomatic posting in Fiji was a blessing in disguise for her as she had always wanted to return to the Pacific.
“I was an alumnus of the University of the South Pacific, majored in economics and management, finished my studies and went back and worked for Ministry of Finance in Nukualofa,” Mrs Curr said.
“This was 13 years ago when I met Jonathan, got married to him and moved to New Zealand.
“For me, coming to Fiji is like coming back home. It is such a huge relief and I am just enjoying every moment of it.”
The couple spent the past 10 years in the Middle East having served diplomatic postings in Egypt and Turkey.
When the call came from New Zealand to take up the Fiji posting, she was happier than her husband because she knew she was coming home to meet her fellow Pacific Islanders and away from big countries they have been a part of for the past 10 years.
Mrs Curr joined her husband on their trip to Fiji on February last year and since then it had been the most exciting moment of her life.
She has joined him on quite a few official engagements to officially open projects which the New Zealand government has funded.
These trips have also made her the forever smiling Tongan lady realised that life was always about appreciation and love.
“I was born and bred in Tonga, for me it doesn’t stop me from getting to know more about Fiji, I have just more appreciation of getting to witness that the Fijian culture is still intact though we are in this time and age.
“For me it’s no longer me as a Tongan, but me as a Pacific Islander.
“For him (Jonathan), he appreciates my Pacific connection, he is always telling me to wear my traditional Tongan outfit everywhere we go as an appreciation of who I am.”
Ms Curr will be with here with her husband for the next three years before they complete their term in Fiji.