Sunday, May 28, 2006

HILT week and SAF Fashion Awards

This last week has been pretty busy. Monday through Friday was Group 75’s week long conference, the HILT (High Intensity Language Training). It was very nice and laid back. It was at a place on the other side of the island called Boomerang’s. I must say that it was not a hotel as I had previously typed. It was in open air beach fales right along the ocean. The guy that owns is was super nice and the food was AMAZING. Now I am not sure if I am saying that because we have been eating our own cooking for so long or just because it was great.

Language training was helpful. We went to a few sessions and could choose the topics that we wanted to do some review on. It was all mostly review, but often I found myself just practicing my Samoan with the trainers and learning new words. We had a few other sessions on health and safety and security measures. It was nice for me to come in and spend time with others in my group that live on the main island. It is just Bob and I now that live on Savai'i from our group, so I enjoyed seeing everyone else and just hanging out without worrying about getting back to grade papers or where I was going to eat that day. Although, about half of our group was there because the conference fell at the beginning of our 2 week school break, some of us were not done with school yet and others had left for vacation time. It was still relaxing and much needed at the time in your service where you start to get frustrated and tired. The first term of school is the longest and everyone is always read for a nice break.

We got back on Friday afternoon. My friend Sara from Group72 was getting ready for the fashion awards that SAF (Samoan AIDS Foundation) was putting on Saturday night. She has been helping them get ready to host this HUGE show and so I thought I would offer my help since I was not all that busy Friday or Saturday. If you want more information about the Fashion Awards or SAF in general, follow the link on my side bar to Sara’s blog. So, I showed up on Friday afternoon and they put me right to work. We were so busy that night, everyone decided to go home fairly early and get some sleep for the huge day ahead.

The day of, I headed to the office around 9am to help them out. I was printing, proofing, cutting, pasting, selling tickets, it was crazy in there. But, I enjoyed the familiarity of being busy at an office and working real hard. Around 1pm I remembered that I had a meeting with Avanoa Tutusa (an NGO in Samoa that works with building opportunities for youth). So, I took a break from working for one NGO to head to the other one. Avanoa Tutusa is an organization I want to become more involved with. They do things like throw Career Days; provide grants to schools; things like that.

Then I headed back to the SAF office to finish Sara with her errands. Around 5 we headed out to get dressed and dolled up for the function. I had been recruited to help escort people to their seats during the function. I forgot how much heals hurt my feet. The show was amazing. There were so many designers there that were Samoan but have worked around the world. The biggest one is named Lindah Lepou. We had a showcase of all her stuff and Selima (the PC) modeled 2 of her outfits. Marques got some amazing shots from the thing and I will put a few up when I get the chance.

So, now I have some down time for a little while. This week I have a few doctors’ appointments and then I am going to try and head back to my own island to get a few errands done before second term starts back up again. I still have tests to grade and lessons to plan. If I don’t head back soon I won’t make it at all I am afraid. This coming week is Samoa’s Independence Day on Thursday. There will be a ton of activities like boat racing, marching, parades, and horse races. But, since it is a holiday buses won’t be running and boats will be limited. I want to try and beat it all. Maybe next year I will be apart of it. For now, I am feeling a little unorganized with school and I want to get back on the ball again. Friday will be a holiday too. Then the week after that the new group comes in. It is just starting to fly by. I will try and post pictures sometime soon.

Until next time….


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