Thursday, March 05, 2009

Odds and Ends Thursday 4

This week has been far less stressful than last, and I’m not exactly sure why. Perhaps it was the lack of fever (although I did have godawful diarrhea last weekend), perhaps better sleep, perhaps a better balanced diet. Due to some weird scheduling last week, I had to move last Thursday’s quiz to Monday of this week, and I couldn’t justify giving another quiz today. But it turned out today was Sports Day, and we ended school halfway through the day anyway. So another easy Thursday is in the books. Here are some other thoughts from the week:
  • It’s difficult to podcast efficiently over the dial-up connection, but I found a wireless connection in town to which I can connect cheaply, and I can get all of my downloading for the week done in roughly 20 minutes. It’s kind of awesome.
  • My school hosted sports day today. I had a difficult time discerning exactly how many schools were represented. I believe there was my school, Koa’s school, Papauta (an all-girls school up the mountain), and the Congregationalist Senior College. In any case, there were always three games going on: 2 netball and 1 rugby.
  • I’ve been riding my bike a lot lately. It’s shocking how much my body sweats. And even after I’m done riding my bike, the sweat just keeps coming. It takes my body a good 20 minutes to figure out that the ride is over.
  • I’m unclear as to whether there is any traditional Samoan reaction to another person sneezing. People have claimed to me that “Manuia” is equivalent to “Bless you,” but I’ve never heard one Samoan say “Manuia” to another.
  • Continuing my listening habits from The States, I podcast “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me…, ” “This American Life,” and “The Sunday Puzzler with Will Shortz”. Those are in addition to the daily “NPR Shuffle,” which gives a smattering of NPR programming from the day. Often I’m about 3 or 4 days behind, but it beats 2 years of living in the absence of news.
  • Highlights from Sports Day include:
    • Being served a glass of juice from a tray by one of the student prefects (a la the horse races in My Fair Lady);
    • The art teacher blasting mediocre house music over large speakers; and
    • Watching some of my poorly behaved 11.3 students get laid out in rugby.
  • Yesterday in the computer lab after school, a student asked if I could take a picture of her and her friends with my camera to give to another of her friends who is moving to New Zealand. So I took the picture. Then they insisted that someone else take the picture so I could be in it. It was strange. But I went along with it.
  • I’ve sneezed several times during my year 13 class (which only has 5 students), and one of the times, a student called out, “Bless you!” And I responded with the obligatory, “Thank you,” and continued as normal. After this exchange, all 5 students shared smiles, as if to say to one another, “Wow. That’s really a thing.”
  • I typically listen to “Wait Wait” and the NPR Shuffle while I am cooking or doing dishes. I tend to listen to “This American Life” while I am sweeping. I cannot explain why this routine has worked itself out, but it’s to the point now that it would feel weird to switch things up.
  • I think netball works like ultimate Frisbee where once someone passes you the ball, you can’t move until you’ve passed it to someone else, but the shooting part is just bizarre. Overall though, a surprisingly engaging sport.
  • I went to the movies by myself on Tuesday night to see a mediocre-looking romantic comedy, “Feast of Love,” because I didn’t think I’d be able to convince anyone to go with me. Apparently this was a bigger problem: They didn’t sell enough tickets for the movie so the showing was canceled. In fact, all movies showing on Tuesday night were canceled. Oh well.
  • Now EVERYBODY calls out “Bless you!” when I sneeze in the year 13 class. I sneezed the other day mid-sentence, and they all called out the “Bless you!,” I finished my sentence, and then took the time to go back to thank them for the “Bless you.” They found this hilarious.
That’s all I got for today. Another SPBEA meeting means Koa and Phil are in town again tomorrow. Should be a good time. I hope you’re having a good time too. Pictures below.

Putting together the meter flags.

"This shall keep me safe from the hot Samoan sun."

Serving drinks to the teachers on a genteel tray.

Doesn't this girl look like Amanda? No? Am I crazy?

The cheering section.

One of the teachers, Tevaga, coaches a netball team.


Anonymous said...

Hi Matt
I've been reading your posts since day one. Very engaging. I'm a Samoan born and bred in New Zealand, and work in a legal firm in Auckland. Whenever I have time I try to read your blog as often as possible. I've even passed your blog on to the only other Samoan lawyer here hahaha. Keep up the awesome work. Really enjoying the read. I miss Samoa so much!

Fa Soifua

Jane said...

I love that sneezing story. How cute.

Isn't This American Life a good show? Glad you can get some NPR there. "This American Life" is one of my favorites.

Amanda said...

i thought that was me!!


Anonymous said...

Hey Matth,

Very cool photos. And yes, that girl looks a little like Amanda...same beautiful cheekbones. Ok...that sounds weird but it's true.

Great stories today. I really enjoy reading all that you write! We miss you.

Love, Kaky

The Limey Git said...

The netball phenomenon is an odd gift from the S. Pacific's colonizers. In England, it's exclusively played in the school setting, but nowhere else (no clubs, not professionals, and not at the college level). I'm not an expert, but I think you have the rules down -- when a player has the ball, she must be stationary. there is no dribbling, and when they shoot, it's one-handed. Rather odd. Maybe I'll google it for some more info.