Thursday, March 23, 2006

Weekend of the 19th

This is a journal like entry so people can see what I experience on a day to day basis. Hope you like it.

Friday, March 17th: Today was a good day at school. We had shortened periods; they are usually 45 minutes each and were only a half hour today, because field day (Friday game day) was at our school. It was hot today during field day. I walked around and took a few pictures. Our netball teams all won and our rugby team tied with Marist Center (where La La and Josh teach). I think that netball is a little boring to watch. There is no backboard though and so making baskets is a little harder to do, although they can’t guard you closely. I walked around after awhile looking for ice cakes. They are this frozen fruit drink they make that tastes pretty good, but I waited too long; it was so hot everyone else had bought them all out by then. So I sat down in the shade of the big trees near the water in the dirt with one of my Yr12 students and chatted with her for awhile. She asked me if I like wearing a puletasi everyday. I am getting used to them, and how many were in my family and what I did back in the states. She is a pretty smart student and wants to be a lawyer when she is done with school. She lives on the compound with another family.

During the games our school all sat together under the shade of the Tech school building and cheered and chanted. I am starting to get to know a few of our school songs. It’s fun singing along to “If you’re happy and you know it,” in Samoan.

Meaalofa, my new counterpart, started today. I was thinking it would take a little longer for them to get her, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw her. I was walking to the staff room and got there a little early like usual to put my stuff inside my lab. I looked towards the secretaries’ office when I rounded the corner and there was Meaalofa standing talking to another teacher, she used to go to school here. She accompanied me in each class to get used to the teaching and to observe which classes I had and what we were going over. This first year she is going to take over my Year 10 and Tech1 classes. I find that now that I finally have a counterpart—the one thing I have wanted for awhile—I am having problems giving up the reins. Funny how that works. She is really nice. She is going to come over to my house on Sunday after the big to’ona’i meal and go over some of the papers I use that Travis left me. That should be fun; I hope I really get to know her.

After the games, Josh was over visiting so I headed over to Bob’s house and drank some ‘ava with them. So we drank ‘ava until we had very full bellies from all the water and then we biked over to Josh’s house. We wanted to beat sa, which started soon. It hurt biking on a full stomach. Then we hung out at Josh’s house for awhile. La La came over, Koichi and Manabu (Jica) showed up, and Lafi and Maka showed up (other PCV’s that were visiting). Koichi showed up all in green, even down to his shoes. I wore an all green tee-shirt with snoopy on it that I got from Cecilia. (PC shares a lot of stuff). It wasn’t a big St Paddy’s Day, but enough to make it special.

Saturday, March 18th: I woke up pretty late this morning, like 9am. It was nice since I am having problems sleeping lately. I got up and biked back to La La and Josh’s since Lafi and Maka were spending the day with us there. La La and I had planned to hike the Tafua Crater. It is a short and easy hike in a rainforest protected area on Savai'i. It is an old crater; very beautiful. You are supposed to be able to see a lot of near extinct birds that live only there out of the entire world, like the tooth-billed pigeon. But, no one else seemed to want to go on the hike; it was a pretty hot day again. So we all ended up doing the short bike ride to the nearby waterfall. It’s the one I take all friends to that visit. It is supposedly the nicest waterfall in all Samoa. There is a lake at the bottom of it fed by a fresh water spring, so it is always clear. There are little shrimp in it and a few fish. It is so cool and worth it to visit. At first, when we got there, a ton of students were hanging out. La La and I sort of chilled treading water in the middle of the lake talking. I jumped off the side a few times. After they left, it was fun to chat with the other volunteers for awhile. We don’t get to see each other often if we don’t live close to each other. Manabu showed up again, so there ended up being a good amount of us: Bob, La La, Josh, me, Lafi, Maka and Manabu. It was fun. This artist couple showed up who lives on Upolu so we ended up talking with them for awhile. Bob was really into chatting with them…he was an art major.

Then Lafi, because he works on coral restoration here, wanted to see the beach near Bob and my house. So Bob headed home to eat and I headed to the beach (and the fun trail ride) with Maka and Lafi. Maka and I collected shells while Lafi swam around and looked at the coral. I got some great shells. We explored a little and there are some caves nearby as well. It started to look like rain, so the guys headed over to Bob’s place for the night, since we were on bikes. Bob cooked pasta and I made a special treat of brownies and fresh squeezed lemonade from our lemon tree for our friends. After dinner we watched Zatoichi, one of the only movies I have on my computer. It is a Japanese Samurai movie. It is really good.

Sunday, March 19th: Man that was a long church service today. For some reason I was sad today at church; I missed my mom. Aufata preached today. It was nice he said some of it in English so I could follow along.

Meaalofa is supposed to come over later today after the to’ona’i meal to go over papers. I have a sore throat today. I think it’s because I haven’t been sleeping well again. I think today will be a day of malolo (rest). On Wednesday I have to head into Apia for a meeting for Year12 computer teachers. I am not looking forward to it. I will be heading over on the 6am boat that morning. Meaalofa will teach my classes while I am gone. I have to be back for classes on Friday because I am reviewing with a few Year 13 students second period. They have a massive test coming up next week. So, since the meeting ends late Thursday, I will have to take the first boat back on Friday at 6am. Long week.

I think for Easter I am going to hang out with Claire. We can hard boil some eggs and color them with crayons and hide them around her place. I recently received some Easter candy from my parents (THANK YOU) and so maybe I can try and save it for Easter. I know the holiday is huge here too, so we will see what happens. I just know Claire doesn’t have any set plans either yet, so we have combined our day. I was thinking of trying to sew a stuffed animal for her or something simple; some small gift to remember Easter here. She leaves the end of this year.

Until next time…


At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Mom said...

I miss you too Julya. Everyone is always asking about you at church, so I talk a lot about you every Sunday. Course that is not counting all the people that stop me everyday in town and at Thrifway or the Bank or True Value etc. Looking forward to seeing you in May. We will have some restfull time hopefully.
Love you bunches MOM

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Julya Steyh said...

I miss you too, dad!!!


Thanks for the encouragement mom!!!


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