Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Prizegiving 2010

Amanda, me, Tafale.

Standing room only in the Great Hall.

Me with a couple of year 12s.

Suasami and Bernie are also leaving after this year.

Me with a bunch of 11.1s.

A couple of year 11s stopped me outside the hall and requested I take their picture.

Colleen wins best in computers for year 11.

A bunch of the 11.2s.

Staff meeting after clean-up.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting with the Program

Though Prizegiving is tomorrow, I was expecting today to be high on the ceremonial side. There are a bunch of teachers leaving, and the year is drawing to a close, and it only seemed appropriate for there to be some intimate acknowledgments of the bonds we’ve formed as a staff and as a school and while tomorrow is a large celebration with pomp and circumstance and family and friends, I imagined today might be a day for some calm before the storm.

But today was all business. The moment I arrived at school the secretary handed me the agenda for tomorrow’s program and asked that I turn it into a booklet handout. I had last year’s design saved, and I substituted some of the graphics with a bunch of vector-based graphics I built for the Peace Corps t-shirt, and by the time morning assembly was over—mark the time, 10:00 a.m.—I had a draft ready for my pule’s approval. I handed him the design as he walked out of the Great Hall. He nodded emphatically, said, “This is very nice!”, and then walked away without waiting for feedback.

I went over it again with the school secretary, who had some changes of her own. She wanted to put the starting time for tomorrow’s event at the top of the agenda, “8:30 – Taimi Amata”. I smiled and nodded and ignored her suggestion.

We’ve been having a talent competition of sorts at my school over the past few weeks, and though the entire agenda was written in Samoan, the talent events were written in English: Soloist Finals, Duet Finals, and “Agapela Champs 2010”. That last one seemed a little ridiculous to me, so I changed the invented Agapela to the traditional Italian-borrowed “A Cappella”. This caused a brief controversy among staff, as many thought I had no idea what I was talking about.

Once we finally started making copies of the program, my Vice Pule asked, “Did you fix fa’aisuaso?” Apparently the word should have been Fa’aiuaso, translation unclear at press time, but no one had told me this until the copy machine had started. I quickly hit cancel and fixed the mistake.

As the day wore on, I made 360 double-sided copies for tomorrow’s program, and after the secretary got sidetracked, I ended up folding about 250 copies of the program in half. The entire project took about 4 hours, and I was all too happy to get out of school this afternoon.

Once I was got out of school I went to the Peace Corps office, picked up the brand new Peace Corps t-shirts, headed to Italianos for dinner, and then went to the airport to see Dan and Jordan off.

I got back to my house around 1:15 a.m., only to be greeted by my pule who emerged from the campus’s shadows. “Can you come early tomorrow morning? The programs are wrong. We need to re-print them,” he told me.

Even though I’d received his cursory approval, the thumbs-up from the school secretary, and my vice pule’s (late) blessing, my principal wants me at school at 5:30 a.m. to redo the program. How fun.

I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

In order to make a big show of the Dux award (in America we'd call this the Valedictorian), my school gives the winning student 4 different trophies, all of which must be returned next year so they can be awarded again. In order to document the 4 trophies, the Prizegiving Committee asked me to take a photo of them today. I suggested Ms. Peteru be in the photo. She happily agreed.

My folded programs in the foreground. All of which must be discarded.

Blakey and me out for Dan and Jordan's going away this evening.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving III

Wednesday marked the third year in a row I missed my family’s annual Martha Stewart viewing. The night before Thanksgiving every year, we invite friends over to watch the same Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Special, circa 1987. For most major holidays our family would go to someone else’s house to celebrate, but we always hosted Thanksgiving, so it’s always strange to spend the holiday without home-field advantage. But I must admit, part of the benefit of staying in Samoa for my school’s Prizegiving was it meant I’d get to spend one last Thanksgiving with the Peace Corps.

As I’ve said a thousand times before on the blog, we go all out for American holidays here—Thanksgiving, Halloween, and the Fourth of July tend to be big, jolly affairs. And yesterday was no exception.

Our monthly stipend provides more than enough for food, and certainly none of us is hungry, but it’s still a rare occasion to have a large American-style meal served. Sitting with a bunch of trainees from group 83 who are still used to either American-sized portions or the luxury of training itself, many of them filled their plates with small, sparse piles of mashed potatoes and turkey. You eat like a bird, group 83.

At the other end of the spectrum were those of us who’ve been out in the cold for 2+ years. Looking around at the other picnic tables, I saw a bunch of group 81s gorging themselves on plates of food piled to the point of absurdity.

After last year’s failed garlic mashed potatoes, I went in on a bowl of Poor Man’s Macaroni and Cheese—i.e. macaroni shells with parmesan cheese—with garlic-infused olive oil. It was not the most appetizing side dish on the table, but it at least it was served this year.

There was college football on TV, but few volunteers sat inside to watch. After dessert was served a bunch of us threw on our trunks or two-pieces and took a dip in the pool. A rather intense game of Three Flies Up ensued—the kind that ends in tears and broken fingers. It was a good time though. At one point I decided I was done and began to climb out of the pool, only to have my third fly land directly in my arms. It was cool.

Though the party was set to end around 7:00, the 83s were scuttled away at 5:30, which was sad.

The rest of us sat around chewing the fat until it was time to go.

Yeah. Third Thanksgiving is in the books. Bring on the Christmas music.

I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

Admin Officer Denise dines with Supy, Paul, Otis (her husband), and Phil.

Lindsey, Jenny 83, and me.

Kyle and me. Kyle went to Notre Dame. Congratulations, Kyle.

Me and Jenny S. 82.

Joey and Mika dive for one of my Three Flies passes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Movin’ Out

The night of my college graduation, Sara and Jen came to my RA suite to help me pack up my possessions. Even though my room was furnished and I had no kitchen, I had somehow acquired a lot of stuff, and it was a headache packing and loading everything in the car. Moving apartments after college was even more of a headache since by then I had kitchen stuff and a futon and furniture and the like. But moving out of my house in Samoa is a whole different animal since I can only keep a suitcase or two.

My goal is one suitcase. Air New Zealand charges a whopping WST$140 for a second suitcase, and since I’m already paying to register the cat as cargo, I’d just assume keep the baggage cost minimal. One suitcase after two years is certainly a challenge, but I think it may also prove to be a good way of separating the wheat from the chaff.

I still tell people that ideally my house will burn down the day before I leave, and I won’t have to lug any of my junk home. There are things here that I like, but very little that I honestly need to take with me.

I plan to take as few articles of clothing as possible. According to RPCV Cale, the nicest clothes he had in the Peace Corps didn’t hold a candle to his clothes in The States. The Peace Corps lifestyle is rugged and unforgiving to clothing. I brought my OA uniform from college and my lucky USC football t-shirt, and last night I started mulling over whether or not I should bring those back to America for sentimental reasons. Right now I’m leaning toward no.

Books are a little perplexing. On the one hand, they are some of the easiest stuff to unload since the Peace Corps has a healthy library and volunteers tend to have nothing better to do with their time. But then I have a couple books on my shelf that I actually want to read, and it seems silly to get rid of them only to return to America and go through the trouble of buying/borrowing the same book again.

Besides moving out, the one other major problem facing my exit is I have a lot of gift-giving to do: teachers, students, the host family in the training village, the Indian missionaries, etc. My hope is these two problems will cancel themselves out. If I give everything away, I won’t have to worry about getting it to fit in the suitcase.

I think this will work without too much difficulty if I keep an eye on things. I’ve invited people to come “shopping” at my house.

PCV Kyle asked how much I wanted for my cinderblock bookshelf. I told him if he was willing to pay to move it, then it was his for free.

Just get it out of her.

I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

Bag of clothes by the door ready to go to the Peace Corps free box.

There's so much crap in the kitchen. Hey Samoan readers, anybody want anything?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Odds and Ends Thursday 75

Last year I remember talking to Cale and Sara around the time they had 2 weeks left, and I told them they should think of it as essentially a 2-week tropical vacation before they returned to America. Presumptuous fool. This last week has been just as busy as the rest of my time here, and the rowers show no sign of slowing. I will be busy all the way down to the wire. Here are some other odds and ends from the week:
  • The phrase “interpersonal politics” from Sunday, November 14’s blog post caught on for a hot minute among group 81. I think Dan used it 19 times the day after the post went live.
  • Blakey, in addition to housesitting, is watching a kitten. Everyone swears this kitten is more well-behaved than Scout, but I beg to disagree. Scout’s manageable.
  • Oh by the way, I’ve been using my old camera that I broke during training. The viewfinder is still broken, so the photographer doesn’t have an exact idea of the photo (s)he is taking, but it still takes photos. Yes, mostly I am the photographer, but I figure at events like Prizegiving and such where I’m asking people to take pictures of me, this will be more of an issue.
  • The other fun part of this is that this is the first camera I used when I arrived in Samoa, and now it will (hopefully) be the last. Full circle. Book ends.
  • Finishing the Peace Corps is really expensive.
  • Finishing the Peace Corps involves a lot of paperwork.
  • I finally finished “Six Feet Under” today. I can understand why fans and critics enjoyed the series finale so much, although I must say in the time leading up to then I really hated just about every character except for Keith, Maggie, and Federico. And Nathanthiel, who I think was the best character for the entire 5 seasons.
  • I briefly mentioned the Avanoa Tutusa Health Fair in Sunday’s post. I want to briefly mention it again and say that it was amazingly successful. Props go out to Joey and the rest of the Avanoa Tutusa crew.
  • Samoa is obsessed with Brad Paisley/Alison Krause’s “Whiskey Lullaby”. Many of my students know how to play it on guitar. No one seems to know and/or care it’s about severe alcoholism. Oh well.
  • Tomorrow night is the Peace Corps Book Club’s second meeting. I ditched the first on account of not being interested in the book. This one I’m going to have to miss because I never acquired the book. I’m still going to have to pay for the book. I’ll read it once I get back to The States.
  • Apong was dying to buy my laptop off me, and in the end I’ve held out to sell to Suasami and her Ecumenical Women’s church group. Unclear on whether or not the latter will actually come through with payment. Worse comes to worst, I’ll have to bring my laptop back to the United States.
  • I only voted for one student award during Tuesday’s meeting: Best All-Rounder. It came down to Fou and Lanuola, and while I don’t know either that well, Lanuola just seems like a nice person. So I voted. She lost.
  • One thing I didn’t realize was we delineated between “Most Reliable Student” and “Most Honest Student”. I think Most Honest might be syntax error. Just a thought.
  • The furniture at Blakey’s housesitting house is right out of “The Golden Girls”. Check out the photos below for proof.
  • My school is getting a JICA volunteer to replace me in March! I'm so excited!
That’s all I got for this week. I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

Blakey's Golden Girls furniture.

The boys dressed up as girls dancing for the school.

Christina and Umuafu from my 9.2 class sing a duet for the school.

Losi and Akari sing their duet.

The year 13s put on a show.

Blakey's obnoxious kitten Good Times.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tea for the Tillerman

In addition to our principal, there are 4 staff members leaving at the end of this school year. The head of the Commerce department prematurely resigned his position when he received a verbal job offer from the Ministry of Education that didn’t pan out, one of the Samoan teachers received a scholarship to attend a Masters program at the National University of Samoa, I am returning to The States, and Suasami—the English teacher I sit next to at Interval most days—is retiring. The Commerce HOD has stopped showing up to school, and the Samoan teacher isn’t really leaving per se, so Suasami and I are in a club of our own. And today we bought tea.

As I’ve said many times before on the blog, most schools don’t have tea. If teachers want to drink tea at Interval, they have to buy it. And most schools certainly don’t offer a small pastry with daily tea. But my school, with all of its functional money management, is able to offer staff members a cup of tea and a panepopo or a scone or a muffin for just about every day of school. But now that we’ve essentially reached the end of the school year, and the tea committee has set off for India, daily tea has become less of a guarantee. So Suasami and I stepped up to the plate—errr—the saucer.

Celebrating your own special occasion by buying stuff for others is how things are done in Samoa. When Apong’s son was born he bought lunch for the staff. When the secretary got married she bought lunch for the staff. For my friend Dev’s birthday a few weeks back he bought rounds of drinks at the bar. And it was somewhat obligatory that Suasami and I would buy tea in observance of our own leaving.

Had I been going it alone, I would have bought Pinati’s for the staff. Pinati’s is sort of like Samoan Taqueria food; i.e. voluminous and cheap. But it still works out to between $3 and $4 per person, and Suasami thought that too expensive. She suggested we get cinnamon bread from some bakery she likes in Mata’utu, panekeke from the same place (deep-fried balls of dough somewhat similar to doughnut holes), and Sky Flakes crackers.

As the non-Samoan half of the duo, I decided to stay out of the decision-making process. Whatever she thought best was cool with me.

We went to the bakery this morning. “We have to wait until nine o’clock,” she told me when I arrived on campus. As it turns out, the bakery needed a couple hours to come up with 80 balls of panekeke. In fact, they needed until ten o’clock.

But we rolled in an hour early, so we killed time browsing the shop next door. Have you ever been really bored so your mind fixates on things to read even though they’re not particularly interesting? I read the warning label on the packaging for a bath mat, and I think Suasami was ready to buy it for me. I had to talk her down.

In the end, the bakery worked out just fine, and we got back to school with lots of time to spare. Once tea was served, art teacher Kolenio did the traditional Samoan announcement that is said when someone provides a meal. Ears perked up when my name was called out, and many staff members came to thank me and shake my hand once the meal was over.

Ehhh. I do what I can.

I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

Business Studies teacher Tone, Art teacher Konelio, Tafale, and Lofale.

Today was a cleaning day on campus.

Dance practice was held after school as everyone gets ready for next Tuesday's Prizegiving.

This billboard went up near my house a couple weeks ago. Tonight I realized Miss Samoa's sash is written in Monotype Corsiva.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I assumed too much. Students Filifili and Marie from last year’s graduating class wanted school magazines, and I proposed meeting up for lunch, and we’d all agreed to meet at noon today at the fish market. Yes, the school day typically ends at 1:30 p.m., and even by Peace Corps policy I shouldn’t be off school grounds until that point. But given the lackadaisical nature of the last two weeks on which no day have students and staff dispersed after 11:30, I figured making a lunch date for noon would be no problem.

Murphy’s law. I sat down at 11:00 a.m., well after other teachers had gathered in the Staff Room for Interval—I’d been printing colour photos on the vice pule’s machine because hers is the only colour printer in the school that still has ink. We sat and ate buttered masipopo and drank tea for a while before my pule started the meeting.

This has happened before. I’ve gone through the blog archives, and I can’t find any other mention of it, but it’s certainly happened enough times, as soon as the meeting started, in my gut I feared the worst.

There’s no warning. In my text to Phil, I used the word “ambush”. Most staff meetings last 20 minutes, if that. But every once in a while—often on the rare occasion when I have somewhere else to be—a staff meeting will go on for 2+ hours.

At 11:57 a.m., I asked the teacher sitting next to me if she thought the meeting would go on much longer. She laughed in response and said, “Maybe two more minutes.”

Yeah. Right.

It’s true, I should have seen it coming. Prizegiving is next Tuesday, and since there’s probably not going to be school on Friday, there’s a lot of logistics to work out between now and then. In addition to forming committees and working out what teachers will wear and who is in charge of what, there’s also the rather obvious issue of what students should be awarded which prize.

It was sophomore year of high school when I first heard the quotation, “The worst part of democracy is that everyone gets a voice.” We sat there as a staff this morning, collectively mulling over which students should receive awards like “Best Sportswoman,” “Most Reliable”, and “Best All-Rounder”.

Note: When I made the label for the Best All-Rounder trophy, I typed out Best All Around. Both the Samoans and the Indian Missionaries thought this was hilarious. What a fool I was. Clearly the award should be titled Best All-Rounder. Whatever that is.

There were long discussions with debates that went on and on. For Most Reliable, there was a tie in the voting, so arguments had to continue.

During all of this, I’m receiving text messages from Marie and Filifili wondering where I am. At one point I feigned receiving a phone call as an excuse to leave the room to go pack up my laptop so I could get the hell off campus once the meeting finally ended.

I finally ended up leaving at 12:45 p.m., nearly 2 hours after the meeting started, and 45 minutes after I was supposed to meet up with my lunch party.

But at least we’ve all had input on who should be awarded Best All-Rounder.

I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

My pule mid-meeting.

Filifili, Marie, and Marie's friend (he told me his name, but it escapes me now).

Me, Marie, and Filifili.

Marie, in true Matt's Samoa Blog style, couldn't resist a blurry self-portrait.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Passage to India

Every Monday night—at least through January 2011—there are three flights that leave Faleolo International Airport (APW): one to Los Angeles, one to Fiji, and one to Auckland. There are a bunch of other flights to Fiji and Auckland, but Monday still ends up being central in terms of departure dates. For group 81, this means weekly departures scheduled between 15 November and 20 December. This week we have a bye, but I’m staying in Goodbye Mode anyway because the Indian Missionaries leave for the connection in Fiji tonight. Their departure provided a strange preview of what my own goodbye will look like.

As soon as I arrived on campus this morning, there was a rush to finish the list of awardees for next week’s Prizegiving. Somehow the fact that I and the Indian Missionaries are not Samoan gives us an air of impartiality in deciding which students should be awarded prizes. I don’t necessarily agree with this perception, but I agreed to take on the responsibility if only because it meant I got to make flashy Excel spreadsheets.

Once the list was checked and re-checked, and everyone was satisfied with the list, it was time for Interval. It’s funny how 2 years ago I may have missed the subtle hints that seating at luncheons like today’s was special. I knew the Indian Missionaries were leaving today, and I figured there would be some sort of program at our staff meeting, but I maintain there were still subtle, subconscious cues that helped the event run smoothly.

Thanpuii made a speech in which she thanked the staff on behalf of her, Apong, and Maengi, and she apologized for any shortcomings or faults. After 9 years of living here, Thapuii and Maengi know the drill.

Then our staff sang a goodbye song. Tolo, the other computer teacher, accompanied on guitar, and staff around the room swayed to and fro. A few times it sounded like the song had ended, and then a teacher—twice Peteru, once Tuuau—called out the beginning of the next verse, and the room broke out into song once more.

I admit I had to hold back tears, which doesn’t bode well for my own goodbye. I’m going to be a mess.

I wanted to give gifts, though I hadn’t purchased anything. But as it turns out, I have a house full of stuff I’m looking to give away in the next 2 weeks, so I went shopping in my kitchen and bedroom.

For Maengi, my small wok and my tea kettle (she’d asked for these). For Thanpuii, my mini MagLite I never opened in my 2 years here. For Apong, my electric guitar tuner. And for everyone—I admit this was a little bizarre—an Australian keychain! I bought a bunch in Sydney in January, and they’ve been collecting dust in my bedroom ever since. Oh well. Better late than never.

Dan and Jordan leave next Monday night. And then a week after that, me and Phil. We’re down to the wire.

I hope you’re well. Pictures below!

My shelf has become pretty bare with books and DVDs going to the Peace Corps office and papers going to recycling.

Maengi and I took pictures tonight before we said goodbye.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hello, Yeah, It’s been a While

The last week has been busy. Time has sped up to a fever pitch, and keeping up with everything seems impossible. Several times this week I’ve felt like I briefly stopped paying attention to the calendar, and without my knowing, two days had past. Now that exams are over, school has become far more casual, and the rest of the day is spent either preparing to go back to The States, or finding new ways to remain in denial about going back to The States. Either way, the blog has been put on the backburner, and I apologize. The following is a brief re-cap of the week:
    Monday, 15 November
    Teachers start turning in their marks to me to be compiled by my fancy Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. It’s becoming an increasing problem that I have not taught anyone to use said spreadsheet. At 5:30 p.m. I meet up with a bunch of the 81s who’ve gathered to see Erin and Chris to the airport. We (i.e. Me, Koa, Dan, AJ, Blakey, K8, Erin, Chris) take a taxi van to pick up Chris’s cat, and then we all head to the airport. It takes Chris about an hour to sort out registering her cat as cargo. It provides a nice preview for checking Scout. Blakey and Dan sleepover at my house.

    Tuesday, 16 November
    More compiling marks at school. Blakey and Dan are still at my house when I’m finished, so the three of us walk to Pinati’s for lunch. I spend the afternoon napping. Dan comes over for dinner, which consists of uncooked toast (i.e. bread) and over-medium eggs. Dan falls asleep in the middle of “Rain Man” while I finish marking my science exams. I finish marking around 11:30 p.m. and proceed to watch 5 hour-long episodes of “Six Feet Under”. An important character disappeared, and it took 5 hours to resolve this. I couldn’t turn it off.

    Wednesday, 17 November
    I show up at school briefly to hand out print-outs of compiled marks, and collect a few more mark sheets from teachers. I sneak out to attend the Avanoa Tutusa Health Fair at the National University of Samoa’s gymnasium. Jordan and I end up leading aerobics classes for two hours. I’m all about the cardio-kickboxing. Later in the evening, a bunch of us go out to dinner and drinks with Kaelin’s friends who are visiting from America. My camera disappears. Sad.

    Thursday, 18 November
    Teachers become increasingly annoyed with me as I am the keeper of the marks and I show up late. I can’t help but cop to being ka’a. I rent a car for a day so I can move some stuff out of my house. Most of my books and DVDs go to the Peace Corps office, and I have $35.60 worth of glass bottles to return to Apia Bottling Company. After running errands I take the rental car to the south side of the island and hang out with my host family in the training village. No photos since my camera disappeared Wednesday.

    Friday, 19 November
    I told my school the day before that I would be late on Friday. It takes a while to get from one side of the island to the other, and I roll in around 11:30 a.m. School has essentially finished for the day at this point, but my vice pule wants print-outs of all the compiled marks. This takes an obnoxiously long time because besides me and the vice pule, the secretary and the librarian get involved, and there are way too many cooks in the kitchen. I return the rental car and head to the Peace Corps office where the 83s are in a state of shock over visiting their permanent sites. After they head back to their host villages, a bunch of us head back to Blakey’s for dinner.

    Saturday, 20 November
    Saturday morning involved a heated exchange between me and the Samoan Port Authority. I probably shouldn’t get into details in this forum, but I will say that all ended happily, and there was an incredibly fancy lunch once the situation was resolved. I spent the rest of the day napping and accidentally watching a bunch of “Six Feet Under” episodes out of order.

    Sunday, 21 November
    Blakey is housesitting this weekend, so I have come up the mountain to watch TV and mooch hi-speed Internet off the hotel next door. Although can it really be considered mooching if I had to pay for my log-in? My conscience is clean.
It’s true. If I had budgeted my time better, I probably could have posted this week. But time management is not one of my strong suits right now—not with time going by at warp speed.

I’m not clear on how the camera situation will resolve itself, but I hope to start uploading photos later this week. Maybe not til next Saturday. I hope you’re well.

Good News

New posts start tomorrow!

Yes.  I took a week off.  But starting tomorrow, I'm guaranteeing one post per day for my remaining 16 days in Samoa...

And I'm going to go ahead and match that with 16 additional days from America.

So I'm going to promise 32 days in a row of the Matt Experience (the one caveat being the day I arrive in The States during which Internet access may be difficult.).

Starts Sunday, 23 November at 8:00 p.m.  See you then.  I hope you're well.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Last Hurrah

Just after midnight tomorrow, Chris and Erin will board an airplane headed back to America, and that will mark the official beginning of the end. Group 81, who arrived in Samoa 8 October 2008, will begin leaving Samoa 15 November 2010. In order to celebrate (drink away?) this transition, the group—sans Joey on account of him being sick—headed to the Sa’Moana Resort on the south side of Upolu to spend one last night together.

Though we all ended up eating dinner together, there was no toast. No one made speeches. No tears were shed. Had there not been a myriad of conversations about what’s next in life and the schedule of layovers and the headaches of moving out, it would have been difficult to tell that this night was different from all other nights.

There was some tension due to interpersonal politics, and at times the night felt like a group divided. But like any big, dysfunctional family, differences were swept under the rug, and our final night together passed without incident.

This morning was a haze of continental breakfast and coffee. There was a little bit of snorkeling and bocci ball, and then it was time for the first wave to return to Apia.

Before boarding the van, we all got together for a group photo with members perched in the branches of one of the trees along the beach. And with the flash of a camera, it was over.

Chris and Erin said their final goodbyes to Supy and Phil, who had to head back to Savai’i. Everyone else is expected to be in town tomorrow for the lead-up to the airport.

Until then, we’ll all be in denial a little longer.

I hope you’re well. More pictures from the weekend below.

Supy and Phil.

Erin, Dan, Rob, Paul, Rebecca.

Dan and AJ.

Dan and me.

A bunch of 81 surveys the pool upon arrival at Sa'Moana Resort.

The view eastward from Sa'Moana's pool.

Australian Volunteer Rebecca and Group 81's Paul.

Me and Blakey.