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.