Thursday, July 30, 2009

Odds and Ends Thursday 21

After 5th period on Tuesday, it was decided that we would be finished with school for the week. Some schools like Phil’s and Blakey’s required teachers to show up at the regular time, only to sit around and do very little for hours on end. I was luckier: my pule referred to the rest of this week as a “holiday”. I was invited to teach my year 12 and 13 classes if I felt it necessary, but I didn’t, so I haven’t. Here are some other odds and ends from the week:
  • Supy eats his corn on the cob in incredibly neat rows pulling out entire kernels. He said he does this, “so the corn doesn’t get stuck in your teeth.” Supy and Sara ate some of their corn on the cob while interspersing bites of other food while Cale and I ate our corns on the cob first and then moved on to the rest of the meal. We tried to extrapolate on these habits to find some deeper meaning. We did not succeed.
  • In Sunday’s post I left out the fact that the road switch is still being challenged in court and there is still a legal decision pending. It seems like most Samoan natives I’ve talked to are hoping the law will not change, but most have resigned themselves to the fact that it will. I asked someone to give me their estimate of the likelihood of the road switch going through. He guessed there was an 80% chance the switch will happen.
  • Making travel plans with other volunteers, particularly jetsetters like Blakey and Supy, can be a bit like herding cats.
  • Christian and AJ spent today biking around Upolu. They asked me at 9 o’clock last night if I was interested in heading out with them at 4 this morning. I had no pressing appointments today, and I guess I could have done it, but 7 hours isn’t enough mental prep time. So I declined the offer.
  • I finished David Grann’s “The Lost City of Z” last weekend. The biggest lesson that I got out of it is that bugs may be annoying in Samoa, but this is a dreamland compared to the Amazon.
  • On Tuesday morning Vaifale asked me to type up a letter he was sending home to parents. I always get a little nervous typing up documents that are written in Samoan because I have little means of proofreading. But on Tuesday after I typed it, I projected it on to the students’ monitors in my year 13 class, and they shouted out corrections. It was thorough. And humbling.
  • How about those San Francisco Giants? Can they keep it going? Can they hold out for a wild card spot? Do it, Timmy. Do it.
  • Next weekend is Father’s Day in Samoa, which is celebrated on Sunday, but observed on Monday. I admit that I am totally pumped to have 2 long weekends in a row.
  • I think I’ve reached capacity on weekly podcasts. I’ve got the NPR Shuffle, This American Life, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, Fresh Air, Acoustic Long Island, and The Moth. There’s no way I can keep up with this load. That said, it’s quite amazing that I can get fresh content weekly. Peace-Corps-wise, it feels like cheating.
  • Does anyone actually use Microsoft Access? It seems like database managers use SQL or something else highbrow. Why isn’t there a simple, user friendly database program? It’s not like there aren’t many ways that small-scale databases would be handy. Off the top of my head, uses include:
    • School grades;
    • Charity auctions;
    • Project planning; and/or
    • Record-keeping for Mario Soccer tournaments.
  • Really, I’m just feeling guilty about having nothing to show for the database that I agreed I would create last Friday. It’s not for a lack of effort though.
That’s all I got. I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

Supy, Jenny, and Spencer checking out Koa's camera.


Riding in the van with the matais from Supy's village.

Coconut truck.

1 comment:

Arseneault Family said...

did you ever notice that Samoan men seem to have a pretty consistent way of sitting in vehicles?? they seem to be either sitting as formally as they can - without being cross-legged or simply they are scared stiff throughout the drive. (my nana would pray throughout a car ride for her safety) it's hard for me to tell. possibly i'm just making it all up. the above pic was just all too familiar for me. *shrug*