At the beginning of this year, I started working with 14 year old Ramona Pagai and her 10 year old brother Howard Pagai (pictured on the left with their Mother, Tia Emelda Pagai). They are of Samoan ethnicity, born and raised in New Zealand. They reside in Glen Innes which is a suburb that I grew up in as a child. Their mother, Tia, was actually my first friend that I had made in that neighbourhood. She and I attended Ruapotaka primary school together until my family and I moved to another suburb when I was the age of 8 years. Tia is a wonderful Mother and her love for both Ramona and Howard is evident in the way that she encourages and supports them in everything that they do. I admire Tia’s resilience and determination.
Howard is a wonderful young boy who enjoys rugby and he never fails to talk about the solar system and our existence in the world that we live in today which is awesome! Interestingly, I have noticed that he always selects non-fiction books to take home to read at the end of each session that I have with him and Ramona. Similarly, Ramona is interested in the world of Science and she is also currently learning how to play the keyboard which is fantastic! Furthermore, she is interested in writing and reading poetry. As part of her English assignment, she has decided that she will submit a poem, entitled The Fight, Power & Honour, that she wrote while we had met this weekend. It is with great pleasure that I share Ramona’s poem with you all today. Enjoy! 😉
The Fight, Power & Honour
By Ramona Pagai
(14 year old student at Edgewater College,
Pakuranga, Auckland, NZ).
My family, my wife, my children
The three things that I need to keep me going
My friends, my work, my county
The three things I have to keep me going
My life flashes right before me
Gun shots! Smoke! Bombs!
Everywhere! Surrounding me!
Blood splatters all over my body
Bodies scattered every place I go
I see people dying all around me
Cries of agony saddens me
I collapse onto the ground
I can’t take this no more
BOOM! His family, his wife, his children
The three things that used to keep him going
His friends, his work, his country
The three things that once kept him going
Lest we forget
Photo: Ramona and Howard Pagai