Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Island Trips and Meetings

These last few weeks have really flown by. I could start by saying that they have been busy, but then I feel like I always start my blog entries with how the last few weeks have been busy. So I will just say that time seems to be on fast-forward right now.

First, although Father’s Day in Samoa was the 7th, it was not for Methodists. Our Father’s Day is September 3rd. So, it was nice to still have the national holiday that Monday. We still had the break; we just had church as usual.

I haven’t really done a whole heck of a lot these last few weeks. School has been taking up a lot of my time. It is the end of Term 2 this week and like always I am preparing for my Year 12 and Year 13 CATs (Common Assessment Task). I have been busy trying to get the students ready. They are working with MS Access and it’s actually a difficult concept to teach, but they are getting it. In my Tech classes I introduced MS Excel and they love it. They are really getting the hang of it and want to learn Access next term. So, hopefully they will be prepared for the computer world when I let them go. Who would have thought that I would enjoy this teaching thing? Although I am still not sure if it’s what I want to do when I get back to the states. I have been thinking a lot about grad school or looking into working for UNICEF. We will see. I still have a long time to think about it.

Last Friday Clair, La La and I headed to the main town on Savai’i. We headed to Lucinda’s to relax for the afternoon. We ordered some food and sat out on the dock over the water. It is a really nice beach fale area with fales over the water. One of the ladies that works there used to go to my school, so she sat and chatted with us for awhile. It was a very nice and relaxing afternoon. The only thing that was sad was that it was a pretty windy day and I had worn my Vashon True Value hat to the docks with me. Well, a huge gust of wind came up and blew my hat right off my head into the water. It was very sad. It blew far away out in the water; else I would have jumped in and tried to rescue it. I was very upset because that is the hat that I wear whenever I go biking or hiking. Maybe I can convince them to send me another one… wink, wink.

Last weekend I went to the island of Manono again. Clair is leaving soon to go back home and her and La La had never been. The last time I was there I stayed with a family and we decided to try and stay with them again. When we got to the dock I couldn’t remember the name of the family or the village that they lived in. But, I could remember where their house was. When we arrived at the dock a man asked me where we were going and who we were staying with. I asked him to name the villages and he named one that I thought sounded familiar. I said we were staying with a family, but that I couldn’t remember the name. Just then a man walked down the dock and it was the father of the family I was trying to stay with. He remembered me and I introduced La La and Clair. (Samoan name for Clair is Talea). I didn’t have to ask him if we could stay because he offered his home again to us when we saw him. Samoan people are always so nice to open their homes up to people like they were family. It was very fortunate for us. The whole weekend just went smoothly. We stayed with the family for the weekend. There is no running water on Manono so we had to take bucket showers. We played bingo with the oldest daughter, walked around the island, saw the “star mound” that is pretty much gone, and just hung out with the family. We played with the kids a lot – Clair brought cards, hung out on the dock, it was a nice weekend.

Now I am back in the thick of teaching. I have this last week to make it through and then we have 2 weeks off between the terms. During the break I plan on visiting my family from training again for a few days and visiting a few other volunteers in their homes and villages. The second week is Teuila Festival. I wasn’t in country yet for it last year, but it’s a big deal. For those back home it’s a lot like the Strawberry Festival. Teuila is our nations flower and it is a festival. Schools and villages compete with traditional Samoan dances and there are food booths. In fact, I am helping at one. I am helping Avanoa Tutusa sell Funnel Cakes. It should be a blast. My school won last year or a few years ago and they are putting on a special dance performance in the evening. I am looking forward to it. Our school has really been practicing hard these last few weeks.

Alright, until next time…


At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Dad said...

Sorry to hear about the hat, but your local True Value has come through and another hat will soon be on the way.

At 8:26 PM, Anonymous mom said...

Hi Sweetie
Well you should be all finished now with the 2nd term. Did you get the tests in time to give them to the students? So you are going to head out to the villages and visit families and volunteers. Which villages are you planning to go to and on which islands?
That should make for a great blog update.
You should have lots of fun at the Teuliftu festival. Just pretent it is our strawberry festival and you are selling for the young life. I bet you sell lots of funnel cakes and set a record for the school. Bryan's ship came into Bellingham yesterday and they unloaded the vessel there, so we drove up with his car and had dinner with him. He is looking good. He will be back on Vashon Friday, and will be working out of Tacoma for the next couple of months during Seahawks season. He has a trip he would like to take with you when you get home in the grand canyon. It sounds exiting and I am sure you would both have a great time. Hope you can both swing it.
Enjoy your two weeks off.
Love Mom


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