Friday, March 30, 2007

Back on Upolu

Hey everyone,
Sorry for the lack of pictures lately, but my house was broken into when I was in Apia last time with dengue fever and they got my camera. We aren't sure who did it, but I have my suspicions. They litterally pulled the lock out of the wood and bent the metal. I now have 2 new locks on the door and feel fairly secure when I leave for Apia.

In other news, I am doing a lot better. I have a bad case of the coughs and the doctors are worried it might be bronchitis or pneumonia, I will find out later today when I go to the doctors office.

In school, I have a fun story. My a/c has been broken lately (fixed yesterday) and I was getting tired of lecturing my Year 13 class. One day I headed to class and about 5 students were there. The rest of the class was on a field trip for History. So, I decided to do something different and fun. I taught them pig latin. They loved it. They are speaking it all the time. The only problem is, they are doing it in Samoan. My Samoan isn't great enough that I understand it all! So I am totally confused when they speak it to me! :) Plus, I have caught them swearing in pig lating. So, I had to make a rule, no swearing in English, Samoan, Samoan Pig Latin, or English Pig Latin! :)

Hope this finds everyone well. Until next time...

Friday, March 23, 2007

On the mend!!

Just a quick update to let everyone know that I am doing a lot better and am back on my island in my own bed. School is going okay, my students were good when I was gone, but didn't really learn anything.

Career Day on Savaii was 2 days ago. I think it went really well. I was there, but not really a big part of the planning. All but 4 schools came and the students seemed to be getting a lot out of it, which is really all that matters. The rain held out, thank goodness since we weren't exactly totally under cover. My school had rented us a 50x50 foot tent and there was a smaller fale for the booths, but it didn't really hold all the kids in. The vendors seemed to have good feedback too. I think maybe even a few students might have secured internships or volunteer jobs.

This weekend is going to be recovery time for me. I want to feel the best that I can, so I am taking it easy. Sally from group 77 is coming to visit for the weekend. Should be nice and relaxing. We are going to watch movies and make good food.

Hope this finds everyone well. Until next time...

Friday, March 16, 2007

The rash has made it official!

I never thought I would be so happy to see a rash cover my body. I officially got the rash yesterday. That signifies the end of the dengue! It was not fun. The rash is pretty extensive all over the body and the itch just would not let up. But, today it is almost gone. Just a few spots here and there... :) Lovely details, I know.

However, I am still in town holed up at the hotel. Last year around July some of you may remember the time I jumped from that waterfall near my house and hurt my back; well I tweaked my siatic nerve that day as well. Ever since then every now and then I tweak it again and it hurts something fierce. With dengue you do a lot of laying around on your back, which sometimes aggrivates it. On Thursday afternoon I started feeling some terrible pain in my lower back shooting down my legs to my feet. I mean blinding pain. And my high fever came back. So, they put me back in the hotel to watch me and gave me a hot water bottle for my back. Since I am allergic to codine, really the only thing I can take for the pain is tylenol. I would say the pain this time is worse than the dengue was. So that is where I am right now. My fever has reduced quite a bit though.

Today I was wondering if maybe I could get a body transplant. Maybe get a newer one more durable. I mean, I am only 28, this shouldn't be happening to me right now. :) We need velcro body parts so we can easily exchange parts that go bad. Arm hurts, take it off, replace it with a new one. I think someone should patent this...

Our Career Day for Savaii is coming up next week. Since I have pretty much been dead to the world, I haven't helped in the planning for this one. I just hope it goes well and is as big as a success as the Upolu one was. At the one last week we had 41 businesses show up (best before was 20) and all schools but 2. 1,500 students. It was amazing. A few blips here and there, but for the most part the best we have ever thrown. Hopefully Savaii will be just as good. We have less businesses since less people are willing to come to Savaii, but that is expected.

I am planning on finally getting back to Savaii this Sunday. My counterpart needs a break. She had a pretty heavy load these last 2 weeks. Maybe once I am 100% I will give her a few classes off and cover for her.

Hope this finds everyone well. Have a great St Paddy's Day tomorrow! I just bought some green material to wear as a wrap around tomorrow since I packed light when I came in (dengue clouds your brain). Until next time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dengue Fever

I know that I promised everyone last week that I would type out a very nice detailed account of our successful Career Day on Upolu. That however never happened. Upon returning home Wednesday morning, I showered and got ready for school. I only had one class at the end of the day and I felt really lethargic all day. I figured I was getting over just a long weekend in Apia and needed a good nights sleep.

I had planned on doing nothing that evening, maybe watching a few episode's of Grey's Anatomy on my computer. I felt a little cold so I turned off my fan. Then my legs started hurting a bit. A little later in the evening I was really cold and I thought to take my temperature. It was 103! Dengue fever is going around and so I got a little concerned and called our PC nurse. She told me to wait it out that night. I was miserable. By Thursday afternoon it was clear something was wrong. I couldn't move from bed, my whole body ached, my eyes even hurt and I had a steady fever. The PC nurse agreed to bring me into Apia the next day and i have been here ever since.

It is no fun. I am not done with it yet, but the doctor figured I needed a to get out of the room for awhile so I got a little internet time in! There isn't really anything you can do for dengue. It is caused from mosquitos. Nicknamed break your bones fever. All you can do is take tylenol for the pain and drink A LOT of water. I didn't get it as bad as other volunteers did, so I was lucky in that aspect. The last part I am still waiting for is the rash that signals the end of it. It has been pretty miserable and I have NO energy now from it, but it will be over soon. For about 2 weeks after you still have low energy and feel very lethargic.

After I feel closer to 100% I will post an update about Career Day and the one coming next week. Now, as I lay in bed I start feeling bad about missing so much school; it's not fair to the students, but they were a little ahead anyways, and I try not to focus on that. I will teach them when I get better. I feel loved and well taken care of so don't worry about me. :)

Until next time.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Quick Update

I realize that it has been awhile since I posted anything, and I just wanted to post a quick note to let you know I am still alive and functional... for the most part. :)

Life here has been so crazy these last few weeks. In fact this month is going to FLY by. This month is the 7th Annual Career Days in Samoa. The NGO I help with, Avanoa Tutusa (pretty much run by Peace Corps, but we are now working more closely with the Ministry of Youth in the country) throws a Career Day on both islands here once a year for Years 12 and 13 students (like juniors and seniors in High school). I am one of the event coordinators. My area is the schools. It has been my job to send out all letters inviting schools to attend the event. We are throwing it in connection with the National University of Samoa's Open Day. It's going to be HUGE. 'Upolu's Career day is this Tuesday. And Savaii's is March 21st. I then had to call all schools to follow up and make sure that they are in fact attending. This proved to be a huge headache. Most schools don't have the most reliable phone systems. A good majority of the schools I tried to call did not have phones. Those I did call couldn't find the letter or never received it. So, one of the days I had to come in to get my sinuses x-rayed, I ended up getting a PC driver to drive me around the island and deliver letters personally and answer any questions to all schools on 'Upolu. This was a feat! School starts at 8 and ends at 2. There are 34 Secondary Schools on the island and we didn't reach them all, though we did get the majority of them. Talk about busy. The driver and I had fun chatting about schools we visited, comparing them and sharing a nice cold Fanta at the end.

I am in this weekend to prepare for the upcoming Career Day then we have to turn all of our focus to the Savaii one. Therefore, March 22 I will finally calm down some, get a much needed chill break where I just teach all day and don't go anywhere for a good month! Then my parents come to visit in May! That will be fun.

Health Update: I went to the Medical Center here a few weeks ago and had my sinuses x-rayed. I haven't heard the official results back from Washington, but the doctor did tell me there was definite cloudiness there. So, until further notice, I am back on another dose of antibiotics for a very long extended period of time. Other than that, it's going as is expected.

Well, this turned out to be a bit longer than what I was planning to write, but better for you all! "Until Next time..."