American couple heading home after 29 years here.

AN American couple who have lived and worked here over the last 29 years are heading back soon to their country.

Joyce and Don Boykin first came to the Solomon Islands in 1993. 

Don was an architect and Joyce a teacher. 

“We have continued in those careers throughout the three decades we have lived in Honiara, plus doing many more activities,” Joyce said yesterday.  

The Boykins are from the Baha’i Faith and came here to serve in that community. 

“We are leaving because of the pull of family and the desire to know our grandchildren,” Joyce added.

Joyce taught at KGVI, Woodford and USP. 

She worked for the Ministry of Education and then decided to create her own NGO focusing on literacy. 

With READ SI (Resources for Education to Advance Development in the Solomon

Islands) she taught youth to set up literacy schools in villages and

provided books for a small library. 

After two years, 274 villages across the country had people teaching basic literacy and reading books up to third grade level. 

For the past two years, she has been working with ECEs and training teachers how to teach spoken English. 

This is important, she says, before children learn phonics and to read they must be able to speak basic English.

Don designed over 80 buildings, residence and commercial. 

He designed Hyundai Mall and the Paul Tovua Center by the parliament building. 

After the coup and evacuation, Don taught science, technology and sports at Woodford International School and later at SINU. 

Don has always been involved with sports. 

Coaching first basketball teams and then children’s tennis.

Both Joyce and Don are also writers and contributors to this newspaper on many occasions. 

Joyce has also written 35 informational books for her NGO and Don has written a novel and book of poetry. 

Leaving after 29 years means selling everything and giving away other things. 

From 17 – 21 October Joyce is selling books for children through adults from $2 – $5.

She is offering teaching materials for $2 each. 

“These funds will go back to READ SI for the new co-directors to carry on the projects,” Joyce said. 

So, come to the Public Library and the building next to it. 

Starting Monday from 10 – 5:00 the book sale will go on. 

The following week, Don will be selling and giving away many different types of materials for learning and teaching.

“We wanted to leave this beautiful island we’ve called home for 29 years with just two suitcases plus a heart and mind full of memories and loving feelings,” Joyce said.

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