I've now been officially working at my school with the students for three whole weeks. It's been a whirlwind of an experience full of frustration, confusion, and laughter. My pule (samoan word for supervisor) has taken me to a gazillion meetings around town. I've met some very important influential people including the board that funds our school. It's been a time for just a lot of observation. I'm trying very hard to fight the urge to just jump in and change a million things. I know I must establish rapport first with the other teachers, staff, and the board. Today I met the PTA. It was interesting to see the parents and how concerned they are for their children's welfare. Today, at the meeting a parent, who is from Australia and just in Samoa for a six month vacation, donated 10,000 tala for computers to the school. It was a great PTA meeting! But I know the school still needs so much more than just computers. Yet, I want to see first, how the parents and teachers want to work on improving the school before I make my own ideas known.
As for other recent happenings...I've joined a long boat racing team. I went for the first time last Wednesday and am going again tonight. We practice M-W-F. It's an amazing work-out and a great opportunity to meet Samoans. Hopefully, in my next set of pics I'll have some photos of what I'm talking about. In fact, I need to head to practice now.
Oh, and one more thing. Jacque, Mike J, and Aunt Sharon-- I've recieved your packages and they are more than I ever could have hoped for. Now, I have lots of nice smelling things, music, and sugar free gum. The tuna and zone bars were also very nice, of which I will devour very quickly. Thank you for caring so much about me. Oh, and if the post office tries to insist that you need to put a zip code on any mail that you are sending, tell them "no!" It will go to American Samoa and then I won't get my mail. Insist on using the address I gave you.
Fa Soifua (bye and good health)