From Fiji to GH; New Student Finds New Home


Aris Sanders

Reporter, Aris Sanders, highlights the personality and experience of new student.

Aris Sanders, Reporter

On February 22nd, Adimaitoga Sorowaqa moved all the way from the South Pacific, paradise-like island of Fiji to damp, not so paradise-like Washington and joined the PHS family. The first few days upon Sorowaqa’s arrival, Lacy Brooks acted as a helping hand. They first met when a mutual friend introduced them.

“I could tell she was a new student so I went up and introduced myself,” Brooks said. “I was trying to be nice to her because you want new students to be happy in their school.”

The first time meeting Sorowaqa, Brooks said she was really shy but she’s really cool. “She has already opened up more and yeah she’s really nice.”

Brooks and Sorowaqa aren’t too close, considering how long they’ve known each other, but Brooks thinks Sorowaqa has warmed up and gotten comfortable with her and Washington.

“I think she likes living here but I think she misses the nice weather and the sandy beaches,” Brooks said. “She told me stories of what it was like to live there and it sounds awesome.”

Mrs. Johansen, Sorowaqa’s English teacher, also has only good things to say about Sorowaqa.

“She’s delightful really, funny, She’s always smiling, works really hard. She also sets really high expectations for herself and just seamlessly moved right into class, which has got to be really difficult, I mean Fiji is a little different than Washington state,” Johansen said. Brooks and Sorowaqa’s friendship is evident. “I know Lacy Brooks has been really helpful guiding her around.”

Johansen and Brooks had the same first impression when meeting Sorowaqa.

“She was wonderful, very friendly. Just even thinking about where Fiji is in relation to where she is now, I mean what an adjustment. The way and pace of life is really different.” Johansen said.

Mrs. Johansen finds new students that are trying their best and working their hardest, like Sorowaqa, quite admirable.

“I just find all students like this incredibly inspiring because they’ve come from somewhere really different and just jumped right in. She seems to just try. She’s persistent, she doesn’t give up. She’s made such a huge change in her life and she just came right in and is taking care of business. It’s pretty amazing actually.”

Just as Brooks and Mrs. Johansen predicted, Sorowaqa is liking Peninsula so far.

“I can learn more things here than I did in Fiji. The education isn’t that good where I’m from.”  Said Sorowaqa.“The students are friendly here.”

As for Washington, Sorowaqa is experiencing a taste of our unpredictable rain instead of her sunny, not a cloud in the sky weather.

Though Sorowaqa is enjoying her new life in Washington, she misses her family back in Fiji. “During the holidays we would go to my mom’s village. It’s like paradise over there.”