Well, school’s out and you know what that means: one glorious week of the Big Island, internet, and restaurants! Yay!
Wes flew in to Tutuila on Wednesday to attend the island-wide Science Fair with his students. (One of his kids won second place! Two of the elementary students won third place!) I just arrived yesterday and am currently sitting in another teacher’s living room, using the internet in a house. Woohoo!
Wes and I will be flying to Western Samoa on Tuesday for a very short but very glamorous-sounding international vacation. (Right? Doesn’t that sound fancy?) Today is Sunday so everything is closed, and then we will spend Monday running around like ya do when you’re in a big city; ya know, the usual stuff– attending important meetings, shopping, and having clothes made, of course.
I’ve been obnoxiously busy lately getting the kids ready for the spelling bee and science fair, and on top of that I’ve been super sick with this bizarre chest cold that won’t quit, so I haven’t had much time to update the ol’ blog-a-rewski. A lot has happened in the past two months, though. We’ve had a school Spelling Bee, Young Writer’s competition, Science Fair, Fashion Show, two PTA fundraisers, and now we are practicing songs from musicals for an assembly at the end of the month. We’ve also had several visitors from the big island! Busy busy. It’s just like being in college only I am the one who gets to hand out the grades.
We recently had a fiafia night for the elementary school. Fiafia night is a PTA-sponsored fundraiser dance. Different students are chosen to do a traditional dance (siva samoa) and people throw money at them. As I’ve written before, Samoans are very generous: the PTA raised a couple thousand dollars in a few hours! Here are some photos from the dance:
My students & Erin’s have a combined Samoan language class every M/W/F for an hour. Last month, the class had a fashion show and siva to show off their traditional* Samoan clothing and dances.
*Men wear a knee-length wrap called an i’e (pronounced “ee-ay”) and women wear a puletasi, which consists of a full-length wrap skirt and matching top. I’es and puletasis are considered fully Samoan and often referred to as “traditional” dress though they were actually introduced by English missionaries in the late 1800s.
We had visitors in February! Lauren & Kasey (both WorldTeachers) and Tyler (another palagi we met in Ofu) came to visit over a long weekend. We had such a great time with them! Lauren went spear fishing with Wes and caught two fish her first time out! We also took them to Courtney’s favorite spot, a private beach near the village of Ta’u we refer to as Second Beach (because it’s right after the first beach). It was quite a hike through the rainforest, but it was such a beautiful day and the water was perfect. We had a picnic lunch and just lounged on the beach for a few hours. This time, I wore lots and lots of sunscreen! Lauren & Kasey were in the “small” girls room with Erin, Courtney, and I during orientation, so it was a bit like a reunion for us (minus Abby)–like visiting with old friends. I had such a great time!
It’s hard to believe it’s already March! We only have one more quarter left in the year. That means just a few more months until we’re home. It’s gone by so fast! We’re so excited about going back and seeing everyone. I can’t wait to meet Evie and my sweet nephew Gabe and see all our friends and family again. We have missed countless births and engagement parties and weddings and even the funeral of my beloved Grandfather. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember to look around and not take our time here for granted–to just focus on what we’re here for and know that we are exactly where God wants us despite how hard it is to be away. So I’ll leave you with the view that still takes my breath away every day and helps me to appreciate where we are: