What’s New at St. Joseph’s College

Many VICS people served as volunteers at St. Joseph’s College, Abaiang, Kiribati.  Though there have been many changes, some things are the same.  Here are some views of the campus.

Remember the cross marking the entrance to the school?  It’s still there, but has been shored up to prevent more erosion.  As you walk toward the school (third picture), there’s a new, bright SJC Tabwiroa sign.

cross on the lagoon side marking the school entrance cross from the lagoon - notice the change in shoreline new SJC sign

Keep walking and you will again see the St. Joseph statue.

School entrance

The admin block and ‘U’ haven’t changed much, either.

The 'U' admin building

The main mwaneaba is new – or at least was a few years ago.  The other one burned down.  The new one is even larger than before!  Between St. Joseph’s mwaneaba and the U are a number of small kia kias.  When I was there students used them to study or visit.  Remember the assembly?  The day I was there, students were dressed in the same uniform, but girls were on one side and boys on the other – a change from when I was there and everyone sat by Forms.

St. Joseph's mwaneaba morning assembly small kia kias by the mwaneaba to study or visit

The volunteer house has now been converted into a guest house – with another building between the house and the ocean side, and a few ‘hut’ kia kias guests use to sleep or rest.

The old volunteer house - now a guest house guest house view from the ocean side small house behind the guest house kia kias between the guest house and the ocean side

The clinic is exactly where it was before.  Fifteen years ago few water tanks could be found.  Now they are everywhere!

clinic water tank nurse

There are two other new guest houses.  One is a designated volunteer house, though they get few volunteers from Canada or Australia now.

volunteer house guest house

The soccer field is still there, but now the edges have solar panels!

school view from across the field soccer field with school on the other side

The church is still there, but the ceiling needs some fixing.  Nothing like a little rain during mass!

inside the church inside the church  church ..and a little rain will fall...

For those of you who worked in the library, here it is…still functioning.

library building inside the library

And last, but not least – students still cook on Saturday, and the boys bake bread.

stoking the fire to make soup baking bread