The dentist came to our school on Wednesday. Apparently the dentist comes to Ta’u once a year; if you need to see him any other time then you have to fly to Tutuila. Since there’s only a small health clinic here, the dentist has to set up shop wherever he can (like, in our computer lab) and sees every student in the school in one day (and several from the high-school too). That’s about 70+ patients in a day. He rubs iodine on their teeth and looks for cavities and then sends them back to class. The children whose parents do not sign the waiver authorizing the dentist to give fillings or pull teeth are sent to class and the others are placed on the “recall” list to come back after every student has his initial check. My kids claim that they brush their teeth twice a day, but the evidence suggested otherwise; most of them were recalled and had to have teeth pulled.
Here are my kids in the dentist’s “office”:
Here they are after the initial check-up (but before any teeth were pulled):
Later, they were called one-by-one back to the dentist to have their teeth pulled. Several of them came back to class with gauze stuffed in their mouths and every few minutes I’d see blood pouring over their lips. I know this is a weird thing to post on my blog, but I can’t help but laugh about the whole thing. They are the toughest kids I’ve ever seen. Not even the site of a mouth full of blood pouring onto their desks seemed to phase them. I just had to let them go outside to spit the blood out every five minutes or so. Oh ya know, no biggie.
Here are Save (Sah-vay) and Sitika (stee-kah) looking thrilled about their dental visit:
We also had the tsunami rememberance assembly on Thursday and a pep-rally on Friday. We found out at the pep-rally that we came in first place in our cluster (we competed with K-5 and Level 1) for the 9/11 song, the tsunami song, the tsunami banner, and our pep-rally cheer. The kids were so excited about winning! Erin filmed the tsunami song and the pep-rally cheer (which was hilarious because they kept forgetting the words) so I hope to have them uploaded to google+ sometime in the next month or so… After the pep-rally we had cake & ice-cream and let the students go a little early. Then we had a PTA meeting (all in Samoan, of course) about the fa’alavelave collection for our late-V.P.
This is our tsunami banner:
View of the water from the wharf (where we gathered to sing and pray for those who were lost):
Sometime during the chaos of this week I spotted a segaula (sang-uh-oo-la) in the banana trees behind our house. They are a type of parrot that only lives in the Samoan and Tongan islands. It is also Manu’a High’s mascot!
I followed it into the jungle behind our garden and took a million other pictures out there:
Saturday was pretty spectacular because our neighbors let us use their washing machine! What would’ve been 6-8 loads in the sink (and thus an all-day chore), was only 2 loads in a machine!! It was awesome! We also went snorkeling beyond our usual reef-spot, past where the waves break. We weren’t out for too long because the tide was coming in and beating us up a bit, but it’s like being on another planet out there. I really felt like I was in a dream.
After a long, busy week, I just want to spend the day today finishing up my lesson plans for the week, reading a book, and maybe walking upstairs to get some cinnamon bread before the store runs out. :) So finally, because it’s been such a crazy week and we all need to relax:
P.S. Thanks to those of you who sent packages in the past few weeks, whoever you are! The boat hasn’t come for three weeks but we know that we have packages in Tutuila that will be sent as soon as the boat is fixed! We’re so excited! I’m hoping it will come on Wednesday or Thursday so that I’ll have something to open on my birthday Friday. :) Thank you so much for thinking of us!