I can’t believe I thought I’d be able to post a blog a week. Ha! I just want to say that I made that outrageous promise back when I thought this year would be just like last year. (It’s not.)
We are still working long, exhausting hours and teaching several different classes without any prep time. Until this week, I had been prepping for eight different classes. Luckily our tutorial workshops just ended so I’m back down to seven! I wish I were keeping up with this blog, but I’m too tired/busy most days to sit down and write anything. Mostly we come home, eat, grade/prep, watch something on TV, shower, and sleep. It’s a very exciting life here in paradise.
Not too much has happened here in the last few months, but there were a few highlights:
We were invited to participate in the White Sunday activities this year. All of the families in our village were separated into groups and asked to come up with a performance for the service. My group sang a worship song and recited some verses in Samoan. I don’t even know what my verse was, but it went like this: “Ona ole tiga o lona agaga nate iloa ai lana fanau.” And I said it all by myself (applause!). It was really cool to be involved in White Sunday.
One of the things I love about our high school, and our administration especially, is that we don’t have that many activities/assemblies. But that means I don’t have much to write home about, haha. We have had few activities—class competitions and that kind of thing—but nothing like last year for sure. I am the sophomore class advisor, and the Beard has the juniors. I love the sophomores—I really do!—but they get pretty out of hand sometimes. We have been disqualified from a lot of the competitions for poor sportsmanship (like destroying another class’ decorations) and cheating, and at one of the assemblies two sophomores actually got into a fight with each other. But for the most part, I really enjoy being their advisor.
We had Thanksgiving this year with our incredibly generous neighbor, Leafa, and our friend Peter from Tutuila. Peter was in our WorldTeach group last year. Two other former WTers were supposed to come, too, but instead they got to experience the joy of Inter-Island Air’s exciting reservation policy, which is something like this: make your reservation, but don’t expect us to hold it. Even though we missed them, we had a nice break. The Beard cooked the turkey and we had some other American staples like mac n’ cheese and mashed potatoes. Leafa brought over some yams and taro. It was really nice. Peter brought a bocce ball set (so awesome) so we got to have a very typical holiday weekend way out here in Samoa. We spent a lot of time lounging on the beach and playing games.
In other news, I made the terrible mistake of adopting a puppy. I didn’t mean to do it; it just sort of happened. One of the perma-preggo dogs had another litter in our neighbor’s bushes but we didn’t see them until Thanksgiving. I’d say they are about 3-5 weeks old now. When I first saw them there were five, but now there are just two. They are so stinkin’ cute, but one of them is like a super-runt and it’s just the cutest thing ever. I knew I was in trouble right when I saw it because it looks just like Mr. McPants. So, it was being all cute and I was successfully ignoring it until the other day before school when I saw another dog, Spot, about to kill it. I immediately stepped in and then spent about 20 min keeping Spot away before realizing that as soon as I got on the truck to go to school Spot was going to kill it anyway. I knew I had to either make myself okay with Spot killing it (that is what happens out here…), or take it somewhere safe. I decided that I’d just leave it be. Usually I am pretty okay with the dogs dying—you get used to it. Besides, every puppy you save becomes one more dog in the village that will either become another perma-preggo momma pup or fight/starve to death. Really it’s more cruel to save them.
But something about this dog just made me help it. I read somewhere once that to name a dog is to save it. It’s so true. Last year I made up my mind to not become attached to Mr. McPants. We named the dogs for the convenience of it. But the more I used his name the more I cared about him. (And, of course, the more heartbreaking it was when Spot finally did kill him.) The same has happened with Laikiki. (Laititi means small or little in proper Samoan; in casual, familiar speech, Ts are pronounced as Ks, so Laititi becomes Laikiki.)
Now, Laikiki is super tiny—she may even be stunted judging by her lack of growth—and we don’t think she can hear, so who knows how long she’ll survive out here. But we named her and put a little collar on her and are doing what we can.
There are only three weeks left until Christmas break. I hope I’ll be able to post again before then.
We are going back to New Zealand but this year we are visiting both islands. We’ll be spending Christmas with our good friends Brian and Susan in Wellington, and then traveling with them to the south island. I am so excited about going back. I can’t wait to see them. And I just can’t believe that we’ll be able to see The Hobbit in Middle Earth! I’m also really looking forward to going grocery shopping and eating at restaurants!
I will try to do a better job with this blog in the future. We’re supposed to get a prep period next semester so hopefully that will improve our ability to communicate with the outside world.