Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Let There Be Light

Within minutes of waking up yesterday, I had two men at my door who were here to fix the holes I have in the screen of my screen door and my kitchen window. The other painted my bedroom. I think he would have painted more of the house, but I’ve put a streak of fabric down most of my walls, so I told him painting wasn’t necessary.

It was a bit difficult to occupy myself while the two of them worked, but I decided it would be a good time to figure out why the fluorescent lights in my kitchen and bedroom don’t work. It turns out the light in my bedroom hadn’t been properly snapped into place. So I did snap it into place (I was zapped with electrical current once during this process. It was wiggly.), and now I have a light in my bedroom. Glorious.

As for the light in my kitchen, I’d like to preface this with a short story from a few years back. In the summer of 2003, I was backing out of a parking space at the Hollywood and Highland mall, and the driver side rear view mirror was snapped off when I got too close to a column. I glued the mirror back on. About 8 months later, the glue wore out, and I glued it back on again. The car got stolen, and when it was recovered, the mirror was sitting on the passenger seat. I glued it on again. I kept gluing it on for more than two years. Finally it fell off, and I decided that I didn’t care what the price was, I wanted a new mirror. I went to one of the junk yards just north of downtown Los Angeles, and they took the old mirror off and put a new mirror on in about 6 minutes. They charged me $20. I felt like such a moron for not having done that 2 years earlier.

That’s a bit how the situation with the kitchen light felt. I’ve been going back and forth with my principal since the day I moved in trying to get my kitchen light replaced. But I was so inspired with getting the bedroom light to work, that I decided I’d just pay for the kitchen light. On my walk to town, I estimated the fluorescent light bulb would run me about $50 WST. I heard the deals were good at the agriculture store, so I went there first. They were still in their packing boxes (which held 25 bulbs each), but one had been opened, so you could buy them individually. The sign said $125 WST. Ouch.

But I figured I should shop around, so I went to a different hardware store, but there was no price tag. So I asked the guy, and he calls to clerk to confirm the price. Then he looks at me and says, “6 tala.” I believe the $125 WST price at the agriculture store was for the entire box of light bulbs. If I had known that it was going to cost me $6 WST to replace the kitchen light, I would have bought it the day I moved in. What a moron!

So things continue to get better, and that’s good because teacher inservice for our school starts next Monday. That’s a scary thought. Teaching classes that fulfill the Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate requirements is complicated. There is lots of paperwork to be turned in and lots of figuring out what’s best to teach in order to prepare students for the standardized test that qualifies them for college. Structuring the school year also seems pretty difficult.

Luckily, there’s been Peace Corps teaching this stuff for a pretty long time now. So I went to meet with Sara last night, who has taught for a year. She also seems to have been crowned the unofficial (or maybe official) queen of all knowledge related to teaching computers in Samoa. Sara and Cale are always a good time, and they’re currently housesitting a place very close to where I live. We ordered from the high-end pizza place on the island, talked computers, and watched an episode of The West Wing from Season 1.

My favorite comment of the evening came from Cale. The dog at the house next door, like many dogs on the island, has an aggressive demeanor and will run at you as though to attack. Cale has found that simply turning toward the dog intimidates the dog enough so he stops. Once you turn around to continue walking, though, the dog starts running at you again. “It’s like a really stupid game of ‘Mother, May I?’”

It ‘s funny because it’s true. And obscure.

Anyway, more pictures below. Hope things are well!

The hole that was previously in my kitchen window screen. I admit, it's hard to see. Kind of a magic eye kind of deal. Okay, not really a magic eye kind of deal at all.

This is the man that fixed my screen. He is also a sportsmanship enthusiast, apparently.

My bedroom... with the light on.

Okay, so I was in a rush at DSW. Luisa was pretending not to know me as I tried on the TeVas. I showed them to her before I bought them. And I think every member of my family touched them before they got packed. And none of us noticed that the two sandals don't match. At all. Not even close.

My speedo drying in the sun. Undies in the background. Blakey says boys don't call them undies. Whatever, Blakey.

This man is mowing the rugby lawn in front of my school. Not with one of those lawnmowers that you drive, but with a small mower that one might normally use to mow the lawn in front of an individual residence. The rugby field is HUGE.

At one point today, there were no clouds in the sky, but it got so humid that it spontaneously started sprinkling. It was hot. And these drops appeared on the lens of my glasses.


Anonymous said...

I swear I did not see your sandals before you left! Or maybe I only saw one of them. They aren't that similar.

Amanda said...


this is funny.

i like the sportsmanship enthusiast.

i'm glad everything is coming together there!!

Manaia said...

"My speedo drying in the sun. Undies in the background. Blakey says boys don't call them undies. Whatever, Blakey."

Yes! they do; Men don't call 'em undies!<< he-he-he >>