Thursday, April 16, 2009

Odds and Ends Thursday 9

The first term of school is winding down as we head into the May break, and that means things are frantic as we try and pack everything in before we all leave for a month. I’m just as guilty of procrastinating as everyone else, although part of the problem is I was budgeting this cram time for my own stuff, and I hadn’t anticipated picking up so much extra work. I’ve been surprisingly functional for only getting 4 hours of sleep several nights this week. Here are some other odds and ends from the week.
  • Many of the Savai’i volunteers came in and spent Easter weekend in Apia. With all kinds of people in town, the weekend was a weird juggling act of going to church, going to nightclubs, having people sleep on the guest couch, etc. But it was a good time.
  • There was talk of going to the Baha’i temple on Sunday morning, but the guy heading up the excursion didn’t call anyone the morning of, so we all ended up at McDonald’s, which was less spiritually moving, I think.
  • McDonald’s started serving breakfast just as group 81 was finishing up training. I take this as a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy. And if that wasn’t proof enough, they now have a deal where you get 2 Egg McMuffins, 2 orange juices, and 2 hashbrowns for $12 WST. Remember, that’s $4 American. It’s exciting times here in Samoa.
  • I finished Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” on Tuesday. His books are so easy to read and so fascinating. I highly recommend this one as well as “Blink” and “The Tipping Point.”
  • My neighbor Maengi and the other Indian missionary, Thanpuii, have gone back to India until June. Maengi has been sick with something serious enough it warrants travelling back to India for treatment. A crowd of teachers left school early to see them off at the airport.
  • I spent 6 hours last night typing up math tests for the year 12 and year 13 math teachers. Microsoft Word is not fraction friendly. Or variable friendly. Or exponent friendly. Or radical friendly.
  • I downloaded “With Arms Outstretched” from Rilo Kiley and “Cotton” from The Mountain Goat, both songs from Weeds. Weeds has really good music.
  • School is kind of a mess. We have mid-year exams approaching, and I am seriously skeptical of my students’ abilities, so I’ve been trying to cram as much information into their heads as they can stomach. But Culture Day is also quickly approaching, and that’s kind of a big deal around here. So we’ve been ending school early most days so the kids can practice their singing and dancing, which is cool… but they do have to take the test before Culture Day. So I’m worried.
  • Also, my server crashed. On our first day back, I went to turn it on in the morning and it let out this dying sound that was the audio version of the blue screen of death. At one point before interval, it came back to life, but I didn’t rescue any files before I came back from interval. And by then it was dead again.
  • I think the blog moved up the ladder in Google’s eyes, and I’ve been getting a fair amount of hits from people doing image searches (for pigs and buses). A few more random Google searchers have come across the blog too. My favourite was someone who’d searched for “Bowhunting PowerPoint Background.” I can’t decide if that presentation sounds terrible or awesome.
  • I had a random instrumental break in my head yesterday and it took me a couple hours to figure out that the song was Pavement’s “Cut Your Hair”. It’s weird how much triumph there is in trying to remember something like that and finally getting there. I remember one time at CNET I was trying to place the piano solo from the end of Eric Clapton’s “Layla”, and it was such a great feeling that my brain decided the moment was worth storing.
  • Okay. After I just typed that last bullet, I played “Layla” on my iTunes, and just as the opening lick was playing, an angry rooster crowed outside, and the shared reckless male yawp was spectacular.
  • I finally hiked up to Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave. I went with one of the guys that works in the Congregationalist Church office. He does it all the time, so it’s just a workout for him. And he was setting the pace. It was serious speed-hiking, which was fine by me. But I would like to go again and take my sweet leisurely time. The trail is beautiful and amazing in its seclusion.
  • Oh! I forgot! Season 19 of Survivor will take place in Samoa! They are shooting over the summer. I heard a rumor back in January, and then I heard another rumor this past Monday, and the internet has confirmed. No April fool’s joke. Aggie Grey’s Resort has cleared out their hotel for the entire summer for the crew (and I assume those that get voted off the island?). This is the same resort where we went snorkeling last October.
And on that note, I’m going to go back to typing up math tests since they’re due tomorrow. I hope you’re well. Pictures from the past week below.

Wine, cheese, and bread on Friday night.

Robert Louis Stevenson's grave. He was only 44.

So this creepy doll was sitting around the Peace Corps office, and at one point Dan knocked it backwards and it fell off the bookshelf it was sitting on. So when Dan was on the computer, I grabbed the doll and sat it right behind him so when he turned around, there she was... staring. So then Dan put the doll in the freezer, knowing that Supy needed to retrieve the water bottle, upping the ante by adding the knife to the equation. It was funny.

Supy's reaction.

1 comment:

Leone Samu said...

Hi Matt!
Thanks for writing such an in depth blog about your time in Samoa. No pressure or anything but please please keep it up. I know that whenever i start a new journal or something, my first entries are real detailed and then i crap out. there are a few notebooks around the place that ive begun as journals and then left neglected. I really enjoy reading yours and have done since a couple of weeks ago when i came across Peace Corp Volunteers' Samoa blogs randomly. So im all caught up and i check every couple of days.
So yeah, just letting you know you have a couple of fans/followers/devoted readers in New Zealand: me and my brother. We're NZ born Samoan and our grandparents live in Alafua but even though we like to think we're staunch, in comparison to real samoans we're actually kind of 'bourgeois'. we've been reading with interest your perspective on aspects of Samoa we normally take for granted (tatau, fa'afafine, to'onai), or have never done in our lives (bucket showers, ava ceremony, killing live animals for dinna)and... yep, just are pretty happy for you that you decided to leave your comfort zone and live in Samoa for two years.schweet. take care now :) oh and i might just randomly pop in comments on future entries every now and then ua iloa? :D