Friday, February 24, 2006

Chilling and Working on Savai'i

I haven’t sent out an update in a little while. I just wanted to let everyone know how it is going. I am well. I am just hanging out on Savai’i, not trying to stay busy, just trying to enjoy each day. Last weekend I headed to another village to hang out with another PCV, Sarah. It was a blast. She lives next to the women’s committee house and we had dinner with them both nights I was there. I really practiced my Samoan. Sarah is really good at her Samoan. She also lives near some great blowholes. We went down on Saturday and they were really going that day. The tides were great and the blowholes were really putting up a lot of force. She knows most villagers in her village and we stopped down there to chat with the ladies on duty there. It was fun seeing how other volunteers live. What their houses are like, their living situations, the sites around their place… It was a lot of fun.

I headed back to work Monday morning and it was an adventure. Uesiliana has a school bus, but it doesn’t go all the way to Sarah’s village. So I had to take a regular bus full of students, people going to work, venders going to the market…It was PACKED. People were sitting on each other’s laps, hanging out the doors, and standing in the aisles. (This is actually normal for buses.) The bus was running late because one of our ferries is down. The big ferry broke a rudder; they sent it to Fiji to get it fixed. So it will be awhile until we are back to a normal boat/bus schedule again. The buses usually go with the boat schedule. So, the bus was late. I missed the meeting place when those coming from farther away wait for the school bus to pick them up. I was with another teacher and we sat at the intersection of the main road and the side road my school is located on. We were going to wait for another bus, but it was late as well because of the ferries. So, instead of getting into too much trouble for being really late, we caught a cab to school. It wasn’t that bad, we ended up getting there just after 1st period started.

School is going well. I love my classes. I am really enjoying the kids. Teaching is so different here than it is in the states. I can say that because I have taught a few lab classes in college, and I helped out with a few Spanish classes in high school a few years ago. So, I do have some teaching experience, thought not much. But it is so different here. Not good or bad, just different learning styles. I am not a netball coach after all, nor is Bob a rugby coach. I think we convinced them we didn’t know the sports well enough. They already had a few other coaches, so it wasn’t like we would have been the only ones. I did play volleyball with a few of the faletua’s (pastor’s wives) and a few of the students last night. It was a blast. They are really good. They play most nights. And the guys usually play rugby most nights.

Last night Bob got to do some welding. They are building another building for our Tech School on the compound and something broke. Bob was excited because he hasn’t really been able to use the tools a lot yet. In classes they aren’t to the using part yet, and he hasn’t really had a project. So, he was in his element yesterday. It was fun to see him get all into it. I wandered down there to see what they were doing because my lights were flickering from all the electricity they were using. In my class, I have most of my computers working. I have a bad UPS, so one of the computers is down. And I have a bad outlet to another UPS. I should just switch the 2 until I can get a new one so I only have 1 computer down. All of my classes have gotten onto the computers by now. We switch on and off between practical and notes. The Yr 13 class is aimed at a specific test they all have to take around the South Pacific, so I have to make sure they learn it, and I teach it according to the schedule, so they are ready for the practicum’s throughout the year.

Today I went to bike to La La’s house and ran into Claire, the Australian volunteer, so she, La La, Bob and I headed to that nice beach hidden away near our compound for a nice swim in the ocean. It was a hot day today, but the tide was in. So we looked for shells and played in the tide a little bit. The waves were big today. I loved it. Some of the things I like to do to release stress or just chill are bike and swim. I am lucky; not all volunteers have easy access to the ocean. You would think otherwise since we live on an island and all, but it isn’t true. And most of us are busy doing other things, so it is nice to have a quiet beach so close and accessible to our house.

I will be heading into Apia next weekend for a goodbye bash for a PC office staff member. I think it’s nice to get into Apia every now and then. It’s just nice to be able to go in and watch a movie and eat at a restaurant, and chat with people. I have to spoil myself every now and then. So, I will be going in next week. It will be fun to see all the PCV’s again, see a few people I haven’t seen in awhile. I have some pictures I want to post, not sure if I can this time around. They are of Bob and me after a very long, nice and muddy trail riding day. And there are a few from the blowholes. I will try and post them soon. Until next time…


At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Mom said...

Hi sweetheart,
It was wonderful talking to you last night. Glad you are getting out more and the weather is more agreeable to riding your bike. Had a great time in Calif last week. One of my co workers upgraded me to First Class for my birthday. Don't think I ever want to sit in economy again. Hope you get all of your computers working. Look forward to seeing your muddy pictures. Take care. We are all praying for you. Love Mom

At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Kathleen C. said...

Dearest Julya,
We are thinking of you and enjoying your website. I have tried to imagine myself in your shoes and just, I really appreciate all of your descriptions of the country and the work you are doing and just your everyday life there.
We just got back from a family ski trip to Schweitzer (near Sandpoint, ID) for the mid-winter break. Nate has been accepted to the U.W., Montana State U., and U. of Nevada/Reno. Looks like he'll head to U.N./Reno as he has also been accepted into the photography program and just as important, it's close to many snowboarding opportunities.
Well, this is longer than a comment...
Take care, Julya.
Love Kathleen

At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew with a machete and Bob with a blow torch. I think its time to give the boys a little competition. Bob's Mom


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