Saturday, February 5, 2011

The First Week of School

It’s almost to the end of my first week of school and things are really starting to look up. Very few kids are in attendance but at least the teachers are holding some kind of classes. Mostly they are just having the kids copy down sentences and look at books, but at least is some kind of learning. They have told me that real classes will start next week and the children will start to come regularly. I don't if it’s just that my expectations have been lowered or if I am actually adapting a little to Fa'aSamoa but the pace of things isn't bothering me as much as it was before. I have a lot to be thankful for. I have my own desk in the library, which is lovely so I can escape from the kids between classes and plan or just open a book and relax for a minute. There is also an ancient laptop in the library that is as slow and infected as possible but I have been able to use it to type these posts when classes are running slow and I don't have anything to observe. I seem to be a school which doesn't have too much of a problem with teacher attendance so at least I won’t have to substitute all the time. My schedule is looking like I will be teaching English for year seven everyday then alternating English for years four five six and eight. I will even have a period in the afternoons when I can help with the youngins in years one two and three.  I am still a very discrete presence and am taking my time to really ease into things. That way I can get a good feel for how things are working and slowly start working myself in without creating too much immediate change that could cause problems. Like I said before I keep telling myself slow and steady wins the race, I mean I do have two years. I also feel that if the changes here come naturally over my course of time here then they may be more likely to sustain after I leave. I had a wonderful walk yesterday with two girls my age that I met at the young adult youth group at church. They speak pretty good English so I could enjoy the walk without stressing too much about being understood or understanding.  I hoping this will become a daily thing and maybe even the foundation for an excursive project in the community in the future. It seems when ever this adventure throws me a curve ball and I get frustrated and down, the next day it comes back with something wonderful. I guess that’s why they call it a roller coaster. I'm also starting to get to know the kids and everyday more and more people great me as I walk by. It also helps that they say my name not white girl. Over all things are looking up and I'm starting to feel hopeful again about school, although I am already counting the days till the next volunteer get together. I can honestly say I couldn't do this without my comrades. On average I'm sending over thirty texts a day reaching out to them. It makes everything better when there is someone to celebrate your successes, share your frustrations, and laugh at the absurdities.

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