Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year Resolution: Blog More!


Hi everyone! Happy New Year. I've been completely awful and I've been neglecting this blog like it's no one's business. I actually didn't think anyone read it until I was yelled at over winter break by my brother Jimmy for not blogging more. Oopsies. Either way, I'm at it now and I have a lot to fill you in on.

I don't remember where exactly I stopped blogging, but I think it was somewhere around Thanksgiving time. Thanksgiving here is a pretty big deal and we had a huge event at school. The school was split into three teams and each team was in charge of creating their own Thanksgiving meal, putting together some songs, and decorating a table. We had people come from the community and be the judges and parents and community members came and watched the whole thing. After we did our songs and dances, we had a field day. I absolutely loved it. However, the best part was the actual morning. Before the day even started we had a Turkey Run. At 6am, we all piled in the back of a truck and drove our to Faga, a place on the beach about 2 miles outside of the village. Here are some students in the truck and at the starting line. Also, I've included a picture of the road that they run on. We ran along the Pacific, it was gorgeous.

The winner of the race won a turkey. Needless to say, those kids wanted that turkey and they ran their hearts out. I feel like the time between Thanksgiving and when I went home for Christmas absolutely flew by. We had a scare with a Tropical Cyclone that turned into a hurricane. People on Manu'a were more fortunate than those on Tutuila and all of American Samoa were way luckier than Western Samoa. I was kind of scared because I had never really experienced a tropical storm, but really it wasn't that bad. We had a few days off of school and I spent a majority of that time at my house or over at the family's. We ended up with a lot of rain a couple downed telephone wires, but all was good.

Right after the cyclone hit, we had to start getting ready for Christmas at school. We celebrate Christmas here like it is no one's business. The school again was split into 3 groups where they had to sing carols and do a skit. I had already left for Michigan by the time the actual program happened, but I here my group was the best :)

Actually getting off Manu'a in order to get to Tutuila was an adventure in itself. I ended up taking the Segaula, a small plane that is government subsidized. Interisland Air, the airline that is in charge of going between Manu'a and Tutuila was down. The Segaula has no schedule and when you hear it, you literally run to the airport in hopes you get on. This meant that for 3 days I was carrying my luggage to and from school in case the plane came. Eventually I got on the plane and the rest is history. I had a wonderful time in Michigan and it was nice to actually wear warm clothes and have my hair down.

Getting back to my island was whole other story. If I thought getting off the island was bad, getting back here was 10x worse. As some of you know, I rode the MV Sili. Here is a picture of it.

This thing is just ferocious. We left Pago Pago at 5am and didn't get to Manu'a until 1pm. It had 3 cars on it and a bunch of packages, as well as 40+ people. Lucky for me, I didn't get sea sick. Unlucky for most, pretty much everyone did. The waves were massive in the middle of the ocean, but it was pretty cool to think that I was on a boat in the middle of the Pacific just cruising along. There were little kids puking off the side, some other world teachers were miserable the whole trip. As for me, I grabbed a sweatshirt, found a seat next to the life jackets and passed out for 8 hours. I was so happy to wake up and see my island in the distance. 

Well I'm finally back to school. Today was our first day back and it has been ridiculously easy. We were told by the Principal today that there should be no instruction and we should clean all day. This has resulted in my students drawing pictures and playing with clay, as I clean out my inbox. Kind of the same thing, right?

Love to all. So happy to be back here, but as always, missing my loves back home.