By LULU MAGINDE
THE first girl in her family to become a teacher, Fabiola Sindol says she owes it all to the love of a dedicated family, seeing her through to graduate from the University of Goroka (UoG).
Born in Lorengau in 1989, the last child and only girl of Kanawi and Raiwa Sindol, who is now a mother of two, Fabiola (or “Fabi” as she is affectionately called) is of mixed parentage with her mother hailing from Aroma Coast, Central, and father from Rambutyo, Manus.
“I wouldn’t have been able to go to UoG and wouldn’t have been able to graduate with a diploma in education without the support of my husband (Lawrence Suri),” she said.
“He was actually the one who pushed me to further my education and be a teacher while he had to struggle with a little help from his family, having sleepless nights loading passengers from Bogia station to Madang town and vice-versa driving our own PMV Chaukafox.”
The post graduate diploma in education programme is a year long and normally for people who have gained their first degree and would like to teach, noted Fabiola.
She recalls how he spent less time with her and their sons just to make sure he earned enough to pay for her school fees.
“There were times when we had arguments because of the distance and him getting all the pressure of taking care of our infant child, Paiwa Suri, because I had to study, but he never gave up and supported me all the way,” she said.
Fabiola completed her primary school, grade one to eight at East Lorengau Primary School and continued on to do grades nine to 12 at Manus Secondary school.
After receiving her first degree in tourism and hospitality management from Divine Word University in Madang, she looked around for work in Madang and in Port Moresby and was able to find a job in Port Moresby, working at Airways for a bit.
After the pandemic hit, she was in a precarious situation having no secure place to stay in the city and unsure of whether Airways would be downsizing.
Eventually, she chose to return to Madang as she had initially left her oldest son, Pwenchalau Cam Suri with her husband in order to work and save up in the city.
Upon her return to Madang, Fabiola decided that if she couldn’t find a job in the hospitality and tourism sector then she would return to school to get a degree to teach about it.
“I chose to go to UoG because I wanted to change profession and become a teacher as I believe that was what God had planned for my life,” she said.
Due to limited finances, Fabiola was not able to have her parents with her to witness her get her second degree but she was told from family in Manus that her mother cried upon hearing her daughter had received her second degree.
“I felt so heartbroken not having my parents attend my graduation, but they were so proud and my mum just couldn’t stop crying,” she said.
Fabiola is now a teacher at the Mike Morrison Memorial High School, located at Bundi station in the Usino-Bundi of Madang.
“I checked the Catholic diocese headquarters for any vacant teaching positions to apply for and that’s when I saw a notice about Bundi high school, now known as Mike Morrison Memorial High School,” she said.
“It is a new high school and I am one of the pioneer teachers.
“They had four positions open so I decided to express my interest by texting the number written on the notice board.
“Later in the afternoon, I received a call from the principle saying I was accepted to be part of his team and teach.”
Fabiola acknowledged her mum and dad and aunt Vavine for never giving up on her through their hard work and powerful prayers and endless support throughout her life.
“Big thanks to my primary, secondary and university teachers as you all played a big role in moulding my life as well,” she said.
“Lastly, without the good Lord above, I would not have seen this day graduating with flying colours so thank you Yaweh for your love, care and protection and for all the many blessings that you poured upon my family, friends and myself.”
Fabiola’s words of encouragement to family and friends is that if she can do it, you can as well as nothing is impossible if you get your head in the game with the Lord beside you every step of the way.
By LULU MAGINDE