Thursday, April 08, 2010

18 Months!: The Story So Far and FAQs

This morning marked exactly 18 months since we landed here in Samoa. It’s weird how in some ways it feels like we just got here, and the last 18 months has gone by in the blink of an eye—and on the other hand, it feels like we’ve been here forever. Being here this long, life has become a lot more routine, and the stuff that used to stick out as great blog fodder is starting to become ordinary and banal. My sense of shock has been dulled, I guess. I’ve got to work on keeping fresh. In any case...

The Story So Far (as continued from January 9, 2010)

I flew back into Apia roughly 72 hours before Chris flew in to visit from The States. I showed him the sites. We hit up the Falese’ela River Fales with Jordan, Blakey, and Briony. After seeing the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks on Survivor Samoa, we went there. And I introduced him to Pinati’s.

Chris’s visit and Group 81’s mid-service conference overlapped by a day, so I saw him off and then got in a van at the airport and went directly to the conference. At the conference we in Group 81 patted ourselves on the back and confirmed how impressed we are with ourselves. Then it was on to the All-Volunteer Conference where morale was a bit lower.

In January, I also revealed I adopted a cat, Scout, back in October. My life has come to this: living alone, owning a cat, and posting things on the Internet. Thanks, bachelor’s degree.

School started at the end of January with the obligatory week of cleaning. I got to use the spreadsheet I developed last year to aid in putting together the school schedule. It doesn’t make the schedule, but it does damn near everything else.

There was brief controversy when I had to cut my year 12 class down from the 55 students who were showing up down to the class limit of 24. There was begging and hurt feelings. It was ugly.

All was forgiven once school got into the swing of things in February. We had a big celebration to commemorate the opening of the new art building on campus, my year 13s fared well on their presentations from around the world, and I started singing with my year 10 English class.

Volunteers got together for the Superbowl and the  Ministry of Education’s awkward computer teacher conference, where I gave a presentation on the Peace Corps textbook volunteers have been developing for the past 7 years. Quite the party.

February marked the first time my group has experienced a hurricane warning, and we also evacuated to higher ground when tsunami warnings were issued after the earthquake in Chile.

In March I was asked to teach Science and coach rugby—two positions I am seriously under-qualified to hold (Although I must say, I’m a pretty competent science teacher.). I mostly just watch rugby and keep time on game days. Incidentally, my team finished their season today. They finished 5 and 0. That’s right. Undefeated.

A squad of travelling veterinarians came through town to hold free animal de-sexing clinics in and around Apia.

I also noticed a Guinness shortage in the country, but that didn’t wreck Group 81’s coming together for St. Patrick’s Day. There were, of course, lots of other Peace Corps there as well.

On the actual St. Patrick’s Day, I headed to American Samoa for a dental check-up. And a Carl’s Jr. check-up, of course.

Finally, I spent 4 days in Savaii this past weekend on the big island, Savaii, spending Easter snorkeling and shooting the breeze and generally having good time.

Oh, one last thing... It’s been ridiculously hot these last 3 months. Relentless, unseasonable heat and humidity. It’s been rough.

And that’s the story so far.


When do you come back? You come back soon don’t you? You’ve been there a long time.
    I will be back in The States in December. I do not have a specific date yet.

Well are you coming back to visit? We should hang out. Get lunch. Or get drinks.
    I’m going to Hawai’i in May, but I won’t be back in the lower 48 until December.

And then what?
    What do you mean?

After the Peace Corps? Then what?
    I still don’t know. I’d like to go back to school in Fall 2011, but I’m still unclear on what degree I’d like to pursue, or where I’d like to go. I’m taking the GRE next month, and from there I’ll start narrowing things down.

What’s up with the sidebar? It says you only posted 9 times in March? Slacking off a little?
    I’m not sure what’s up with that. Blogger updates that automatically, so I don’t know what’s causing the problem, nor do I know how to fix it. I believe I posted 31 times in March. The last day I missed was February 3. Something's up though.  March's posts show up in February, February's in January, January's under the 2009 heading.  Very strange.

Tomorrow starts a new round of cultural exploration. If you have ideas for cultural exploration, please submit them in the comments section or email them directly. Tomorrow’s topic will be Pets. I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

The River Fales Hike in Faleseela, Lefaga.

Cat and mouse.

Art teacher Isaia shows off the schedule in chalk.

Ulas ready to be distributed at the Art Building Opening Ceremony.

Phil and Koa (and their beards).

Me and Phil's host sister Fipe evacuating to higher ground in the middle of the night.

Rugby Practice.

Akanese and Asolima.

The parade for the Manu Samoa, fresh off their victory at the Hong Kong 7s Tournament, at the end of March.

Good Friday at Lusia's on Savai'i.


LA said...

LOL @ cat and mouse pic! love it

ESALA said...

:( sure do hope the weather gets cooler....