Tanya McQueen

November 26, 2006, Episode: The Pauni Family

Having never stepped foot in the state of Utah, I was more than amazed by its beauty — rustic and dramatically changing from every point of view. The beauty of this state was matched only by the beauty of the family we were there to surprise: the Pauni family. This family's enthusiasm and spirit was contagious. From the moment Ty yelled, "Good morning, Pauni family!" we were hugged, lifted off our feet and honored by chants and dances from their Tongan culture. I must confess, Tonga was not a place I knew of nor had ever heard of. After spending a week in Utah with the Paunis and with their friends and incredible community, I felt the need to pack my bags and go to Tonga to try to capture some of the magic this incredible family exudes. Janet Pauni was left a widow and a single mom on one tragic day. Without ever questioning, "Why us?" the children and Janet joined hearts and grabbed onto that family bond they possess and began trying to make it. When I met this family, I fell ... read more

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