ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Want To Be A US Citizen

Updated on September 4, 2016
elayne001 profile image

Ruth Kongaika was born in the Rocky Mountains and has lived most of her life in the South Pacific. She travels, gardens and writes.

Ha'apai Tonga - near where my husband was raised.
Ha'apai Tonga - near where my husband was raised.

My husband has an international face. Often times as we have traveled, he has been mistaken for a Native American, Mexican, Fijian Indian, and even Hawaiian. Actually he is part Scottish, Tongan, Maori and English.

At times, his multinational face has been a curiosity for many. People will come up and talk to him in different languages: Hola, Namaste, Kia ora, salaam aleikum, and Aloha. Actually his first language is Tongan.

‘Isi was raised in a tiny village of Pangai on the miniscule island of Lifuka belonging to the island group of Ha'apai in Tonga. The whole island has about 3,000 inhabitants. The beaches there are so beautiful and peaceful.

Isi's parents were stalwarts in the LDS church. When ‘Isi was about 11 years old, they sold all of their possessions including their home and all their animals to take their family to the LDS temple in New Zealand to be sealed for eternity.

Although ‘Isi grew up humbly, he has Tongan royal blood flowing through his veins. He is a cousin to the King of Tonga.

His paternal grandfather was a true Tongan navigator of the sea. His maternal grandfather was Herbert James Brown, who was an Englishman raised in New Zealand. He is also part Maori from the Ngatiawa tribe.

My husband attended the Church College of Hawaii and ended up graduating with both of his degrees from BYU Provo, which is where we met. We have had some great adventures together.

My husband's parents (family photos)
My husband's parents (family photos)

‘Isi has always provided for our four children and myself a haven of peace and security. We have been blessed to live at two LDS Church schools campuses for most of our marriage. All of our children are alumni of BYU Hawaii University. My husband has an insatiable yearning for knowledge. He has always tried to improve his English, but says he thinks and dreams in Tongan.

Also, he has given much service in our church and community and loves people and they love him. We were surrounded by hundreds of stalwart missionaries as he served as a mission president in Tonga for three years, which has been a great influence on our children.

I know my husband truly loves his native land of Tonga. We lived there for 13 years after we were married, and would still be there if I had not contracted hepatitis B and become very sick. It was determined that we move closer to good medical facilities. We moved to Hawaii twenty plus years ago. My husband went for several years without becoming a citizen of the United States. He said he didn’t want people to think he married me for a green card!

lifuka, ha'apai, tonga:
Lifuka, Tonga

get directions

'Isi with the BYUH Student Leaders (personal photo)
'Isi with the BYUH Student Leaders (personal photo)

His first job at BYU Hawaii was as Foreign Student Adviser. He was fortunate to help students from Mongolia, Fiji, Samoa, China, Philippines, and many others. I kept suggesting that my husband become a US citizen to enjoy the many benefits that come with it. He always said that “not every one wants to be a citizen!” I love American and the freedoms we enjoy. It is not perfect and has many challenges, but to me it is still my home and I will always love America.

Finally, after much prompting, he studied for the citizenship test. He actually became quite interested in it and learned a great deal more than I remembered from my history classes. Finally the day came when he was to take his examination. He aced the test and was so excited to tell me about it. He is still very proud of his Tongan heritage, but has grown to love America nearly as much as I do.

Cool Isi with Waikiki in the background (personal photo)
Cool Isi with Waikiki in the background (personal photo)

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)