Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Zealand

Hey everyone. Just an update that I will be leaving for New Zealand tonight. Sally and I (she's in Group 77) will be flying into Auckland and then heading straight for the South Island. I am really looking forward to it since I think I have been needing a break lately. I will try and post pictures from there since the internet connection is faster and more secure.

Hope this finds everyone well. Will post more soon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tel's Faamavaega (Derek's Going Away)

One of my best friends here in Samoa recently finished his Peace Corps service. In group 74, Derek (aka Tele or Tel) headed out last week for New Zealand for awhile and then finally on back to the states. He has been one of my friends the longest amount of time as well, and I will miss him. Here are a few pictures of the night we all said goodbye to a great friend. (Miss ya Tel)

Me and Derek.

Bryan and Derek walking together deep in conversation.

Tel decided he wanted a roast for his going away and we layed it on think. Him and Dyland reminisce one particularly good (or bad?) incident.

Tim, Derek and Vik posing.

Derek and Vik enjoying a few good cigars.

COS (Close of Service) Conference

Yeah, even tho I am not leaving for another few months still, they like to have our COS conference at least a couple months before our actual leave dates. That way we know what is expected of us to get out of the country and close out everything that needs to be. We learn things like writing resumes (although since our youngest group member is 26, I think we have experience with that), medical close out stuff (they might actually let me out of the country... maybe kick me out), going away speeches and gifts for families... that kind of thing. It wasn't all just meetings and discussions tho, we also had time to enjoy ourselves a bit. It was held at the nicest resort in Samoa, Sinelei, though I don't know if I would say the place was worth the price. Overall it was a blast. Pictures follow.

Who is left in Group 75. Sara, me, Ryan, Holly, Bryan, Marques, Dianne, Candice and John in front. We started with 14, and have 9 left. Here's to those who have been kicked out or just couldn't make it...

Bryan during one of our many reflection sessions

A night of relaxation... Sara, Dianne and Holly and i hung spoons from our noses - they were really heavy! (This picture is for Grandma Steyh.)

Ryan lounging in the amazing pool. The fact that it's a pool makes it amazing really.

Holly chilling in our A/C rooms.

I took a crack at golf, not bad if I say so myself, if you don't include all the practice swings where I missed the ball completely. Ryan, Sara and I played, we weren't keeping score. *Notice the cow in the background of the pic. He kept mooing while we were swinging.

Dianne and I at breakfast. Food was good.

Ok. So maybe the ball didn't always go where I wanted it to... notice there are 2 balls in that sand trap (Ryan's as well).

Candice chilling in a nice comfy chair in the conference room.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Situation Better

The internet situation has remedied itself. I can now actually respond to emails again! Yeah! So, if you feel like dropping me a line (I am bored, please do), I can get back to you!

Hope this finds you all well. Our COS (Close of Service) Conference is next weekend. I will post pictures of that when done. It is going to be awesome. So looking forward to it. They always hold it at one of the nicest hotels in Samoa. And since the rest of my group lives in Apia, it will be nice to see them all again.

Until then.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Emailing Problems & Other News

Quick message out for all of you that I tend to get emails out to every now and then:

The internet connection at the office in Savai'i has been acting up lately and I haven’t had a chance to email anyone. I can view my emails, but I can’t respond back to them. So, if you are all wondering if I have indeed finally fallen off the face of the earth or just tripped over another rock somewhere, I have not. My means of communication seem to be temporarily hindered. How, you ask, am I able to send out this blog update and yet not access email? I myself wonder the same thing. Some sites just work.

So, until we convince our IT guy to really soup up our computers here or let us IT volunteers take a look at it, I am not sure when this situation will remedy itself. I will continue to read emails and try and get a few sent out when I bring my computer into the Savai'i office or I am in Apia next… which funny you should ask is tomorrow and again on Friday.

As to how I am doing, things are just speeding along. I feel like someone put time on warp speed and I can’t seem to slow things down. How do I get up on Monday and then find myself finishing school on Friday. What happens to those days in between? Where did they go? It could be that because I am leaving in around 4 months I just feel like the end is racing towards me. Other volunteers that have come and gone do warn that the last year flies by, but I thought that at least I would be able to savor the last few months. I feel like they are just pulling time out from under me like a rug. Oh well. I should focus not so much on school right now and just learn to enjoy being here and being apart of this world and community because I will never have this again. Every time I come back for a visit I will be just that, a visitor.
Hope this finds everyone well. Until next time…