Article #1: Being “A Part of a Greater Work”
Submitted by: Kristine Saunders, Archive Coordinator
“When you get to be in a leadership position, you realize this organization belongs to the Lord. Because you rely on Him to help support you in your role and responsibility time and time again. I see his hand come through to help you when you’re in need.” Meet Ratu Kalivati (Kali) Volavola, Islands of Fiji Manager.
Kali was born and raised on the island of Fiji. His name, Ratu, is a family name that is passed down through his father’s ancestral bloodline. Kali and his 10 siblings each received the name Ratu as a chiefly title which identifies their clan within the traditional Fijian provincial structure.
The islands of the Pacific are “lucky” because they have church sponsored schools for elementary, middle, and high school. Even though the high school Kali attended was called the LDS Church College of Fiji, it is a high school. While still in high school Kali was the manager of his family farm and loved it mainly because he likes to “see things happen.” He liked to organize the workers to effectively produce the results he wanted. In fact, he liked working on the farm so much, he almost didn’t go on a mission. Two things happened that helped him choose a mission. First, he attended General Conference and listened to one of the prophets encourage young men and women to “go on a mission.” Second, his mom said, “Hey listen, you can always come back here but you only have this small window of time to serve the Lord.” He was called to serve the people in San Francisco, California.
“It was a good mission. It was an interesting mission. It was a huge culture shock.” Kali was from a small town on a small island and found himself in a major metropolitan city. “I was able to survive because I learned very quickly that in order for me to succeed, I needed to adjust myself to think, talk, and act like other people. If not, I wouldn’t be successful in my job. My mission.” While Kali was serving in San Francisco, the first Fijian Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ outside of FIJI was established.
After serving a mission, Kali came to BYU-Hawaii and majored in Business Management. While attending school, he worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center as a guide, presenter in the Fijian Village, and as a dancer in the night show. “I prefer working where I can get to know people. As a guide and working in the village, you get a chance to meet and talk with people on a more personal level. Whereas, a dancer sees people smiling, clapping, and cheering for you but you don’t hear them express their feelings about what they saw. Both ways you make people happy, but I prefer getting to know our guests on a more personal level.”
After graduation, Kali worked in the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Human Resources Department as the Student Development Systems Manager. This position was a brand-new job created by President Grace to support the company’s management in helping students become career ready when they leave the PCC. “We know we’re doing a lot of good things to give students experience so they can transition into the next phase of life.” When COVID hit, student development was not able to move to the next stage of helping students to “showcase their achievements, growth and development to help them move to the next stage of life when they leave this place.” Students were gone and Kali, a trusted employee, was transferred to the Fiji village.
The best part of being the islands of Fiji manager is “working with my team. I like watching people grow, develop, and apply the things they are trained to do. I also like getting to mingle and interact with guests.” In a way, Kali is continuing to work with students in the Fiji village to implement the student development goals he created as the Student Development Systems Manager. It could be said that the job in HR didn’t go away it just got transferred to Fiji.
Kali has always had a desire to serve in the military. His father was a military officer for the Fiji army and his brothers joined the British Army. After graduating from BYU-H in 2011, Kali joined the United States Army Reserve in 2012. He spent six months of military training in San Antonio, Texas. “San Antonio is a very beautiful, family-oriented place and most important, ‘cost-efficient. I tried to convince my wife to live there, but she is an island girl and would rather stay here on the island.”
For right now, Kali and his family are happy here in Laie. However, at some time, later on in life, they are “going to go home to give back.” Kali, his wife, and four children have traveled to Fiji many times to visit friends and family and keep up with what’s happening on the family farm.
“The PCC is a very special place which belongs to the Lord. Unfortunately, a lot of our younger employees do not understand this. I realize that I wish I had understood this when I was a young student. I have been able to maximize my potential to work here, but it took 10 years. We are part of a greater work here. Yes, we are entertaining. Yes, we are dancing and doing the bamboo music activity. Yes, we do connectivity. But it is part of the great work that the Lord wants us to do. Now, I get to be the recipient of people expressing joy and satisfaction. Throughout my travels in the military, I meet many people. When they find out I am from Laie, Hawaii the first question is, ‘Do you know about the Polynesian Cultural Center? We love that place.’ Have you ever heard people who go to Disney or Sea World say they love this place? When they find out I work there, they want to know how I got the job.”
“At the PCC, we are part of a greater work. The guests say, “The night show is phenomenal. It’s the best production I’ve ever seen.” Working in the Fiji village, Kali is the recipient of many positive comments about the PCC and he shares those praises with the students so “they can realize that what they’re doing here is touching the lives and hearts of so many people. It is quite special and very unique.”
Article #2: Vote Now For the 2022 Hale ‘Aina Awards
Submitted by: Nina Jones, Marketing Department
Here’s a chance to list YOUR favorite eatery on the island of Oahu. Of course, we hope that we can help POUNDERS RESTAURANT to be recognized for Chef Graham’s and his staff’s amazing efforts and incredible food – but no matter what, and who, you choose to recognize, we encourage you to be a part of this opportunity!
The Hale ‘Aina Awards are Hawaii’s longest-running and most prestigious dining honors, started by HONOLULU Magazine in 1984 to honor the best restaurants in the Islands. The winners—awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze in more than 30 categories—are chosen each year for their commitment to operating at the highest levels of quality, and offering Hawaii’s most delicious and innovative dishes.
Article #2: Employee Benefits: Discounted Tickets
Submitted by: Delsa Moe, VP of Cultural Presentations
ALL PCC EMPLOYEES NOW HAVE ACCESS TO THESE DISCOUNTS THROUGH OUR EMPLOYEE PERKS PROGRAM.
- REGISTER YOURSELF through www.ticketsatwork.com using your polynesia.com email.
- Click on “Become a Member” and select “Work Email” to complete registration.
These perks are available to ALL our FT/PT staff and Senior Missionaries of the Polynesian Cultural Center.
If you do not have a polynesia.com email, please contact Micah Pascual at email@example.com and he will assist you with your registration.
Article #3: Supoesi: Traditional Samoan Recipe
Submitted by: Quinney Suaava, Blogger and Marketing Assistant
Try this delicious traditional recipe for Supoesi, straight from the Samoan Village at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii. You can make this dish with papaya, but you can also choose bananas (called suafa’i), coconut (called vaisalo), or even combine them to suit your taste. Click here for the full recipe!