Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Shouldn't you be married by now?!

Hey all! Long time, no talk. I’m happy to announce that I am officially on Ta’u, sitting pretty in my lovely village of Fiti’uta. So far, I absolutely love it. It’s quiet, the people are friendly and it is starting to feel like home. My house is pretty big. I have my own room that is about the size of my room in Grayling. It’s a two bedroom, one bathroom home with a finished kitchen and our own washing machine INSIDE the house. The living room is HUGE. You can tell this place used to be a fale (a house with no walls) because there are posts around the living room. Here are some pictures for everyone to see my new digs.

Also, when you look out the back porch you can see the ocean. It’s hard to complain that my first house after college has an ocean view, not many can say that.
Bedroom Before

Bedroom After!
Now on to my school, I think the last time I wrote I mentioned that school started on Monday and I wasn’t flying in until then. Well, the start of school has been pushed back to this Wednesday, which gives me today to set up my classroom and put together some lesson/first day plans. Also, I was pushed back to teaching the 3rd/4th grade multi-age class again. Hahaha good thing I didn’t become too invested in 5th grade. Jacquie, a WT volunteer who was supposed to be teaching 5th at the other elementary school on Ta’u is now teaching 1st grade, so I really can’t complain. Speaking of my classroom, here is the before and after of it! It’s still a work in progress, and to be honest, I feel like a classroom isn’t a classroom until the students have their work on the walls, so give me a week and this place will feel like home.

While I am SO happy I am finally on island and getting to know my super friendly neighbors, it was an adventure trying to get here. I’m not sure if you all know this, but airplanes and I don’t really get along… especially if they’re tiny. I had to get over that real quick, because this was the plane we flew over on. Including the pilots (who you could see the whole time because the cockpit didn’t have a door), it only carried about 15-20 people. When we checked in, they weighed not only our carry-ons, but also US with the carry-on. I literally had to step on the scale with my backpack and purse on. I assumed that if they had to actually see how much the passengers weighed it didn’t bode well for the durability of this thing. The flight itself was only about 25 minutes long. We flew over Ofu and Olesega, the two other islands that make up Manu’a with Ta’u. They are connected by a bridge. Here are some photos of Tutuila (main island), Anu’u (island off Tutuila), Ofu, and Olesega. Unfortunately, I was on the wrong side of the place to get a picture of Ta’u, but trust me when I say it is stunning.
Our puddle jumper!

Cock Pit!!

Tutuila is on the left, Anu'u on the right.

Ofu and Olesega

Fiti'uta coast! I made it :)

Now it is Tuesday morning, and I am still waiting to see if I even have internet in Fiti’uta… hopefully I didn’t write this whole thing for nothing! This morning I woke up to roosters at 5am… on the dot. Since living here, I have noticed that Roosters will crow anytime of the day, but apparently in Fiti’uta, they also make sure to crow ridiculously early.

Well, tomorrow marks my first day of being a teacher. Not sure how I got here. I’ve worked office jobs all through college and even my time at EWMA pre-school didn’t prep me for this. I’m starting to realize just how much teachers do and just how important they are. I’m responsible for my students, their wellbeing, and what they learn for an entire year. Wish me luck, I’ll need it! Tomorrow is the first day of my life as a young professional, not a student. Let’s just hope I can be as positive an influence on my students as my teachers were for me.

Here’s a shout out to some of the most important/influential teachers in my life:
Aunt Mary, Sandy Michalik, Mrs. Reynolds, Miss Weiler, Miss Packard, Lack, Ms. F, and of course my mom (the only non-teacher in this group). Not sure who is reading this, but if you’re one of these people, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without all of you. Please expect many phone calls and emails as I struggle through this next year.

That post was supposed to go up Tuesday morning. As I’m sure you all can tell, I write these posts when I’m away from the internet and then post whenever I have the chance.

Tuesday inside the classroom was great. I set up my classroom and got to know some of my students. While school didn’t officially start, the students come in and help the teachers clean and set up. I don’t think that’s right, so after I made the kids wipe down their desks, I let them play with some of the games I brought and read some books.  The lunch lady served lunch and we had pizza. Not just any pizza, but pizza with corn and spam on it. May have been one of the oddest concoctions of my life. After realizing what it was a few bites in, I decided to eat just the crust and tomato sauce. Hahah. Now that it is Wednesday morning, I am up again by 5am thanks to the roosters and waiting for when it is fine for me to go back inside the classroom and lesson plan.

Some notable quotables from yesterday:
1) “You’re pretty. Why aren’t you married yet?” (As if looks is the only thing that dictates the desire to be married and being 22 makes you an old hag.)
2)  “Wait, why again is Ohio State so bad?” (Yes, I am brainwashing my kids into the right way of thinking.)

Alofa to all. 

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