Ron Berntson of Saskatchewan, Canada who has been visiting the Cook Islands for the past four years says volunteering work in Cook Island has changed his life.
The retired schoolteacher and librarian spent the past 40 years working as a teacher. And he says his volunteering stint has been hectic, but enjoyable.
He says he enjoys visiting Rarotonga and looks forward to it every year.
“When I was 12 years old I got very interested in the Pacific Islands.
“I begin to read books about the different Pacific Islands histories and that’s when I decided that Cook Islands was where I wanted to go.
“At the moment I’m doing some work at Papaaroa Seventh Day Adventist School just trying to improve their library, and in Titikaveka College I’m always in the computer laboratory making sure everything runs correctly.”
He said he enjoyed the time he spent with the students and teachers during his three weeks on Rarotonga.
“It feels good when you actually do something for other people. Overall, it has changed my life.
“You learn from the students, you’re connected to the community and make new friends and learn about their lives, culture and everything that’s around you.” Berntson says the Cook Islands are the only country in the South Pacific he visits. And he thinks Cook Islanders should be proud of what they have accomplished.
“I often hear Cook Islanders complaining about things on the island and I think it’s important to complain because you want things to be improved.
“So be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
- Atasa Moceituba