Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentines Day

Well its Valentines day here in the Pacific but to be honest its really just another day in the life. This past weekend we had a little secret Valentine gift exchange with other volunteers and one of the Peace Corp employees held a little spa slash movie get together. I wasn't able to make it as I was on a mad hunt for a new mattress (which is really just a foam pad). I have been fighting a loosing battle with bed bugs for the last two months and final decided that I was going to talk to family about getting a new mattress. It should be arriving any day now so here hoping that my nights and itching and scratching are over. I have to tell you there is nothing quite like lying down at night picturing the creepy crawlies that use you as a play ground at night. Beyond the incest bites I have been in pretty good health by Peace Corp standards. Pretty much every cut I get ends up getting infected and I have a fungus on my left ankle, but lets just say that I don't think there is a single volunteer who isn't battle some infection or fungus. At any given time there are probably five people from my group on some kind of intense antibiotics. School is starting to gear up a little. I had to substitute a little last week which was a real mixed bag. Subbing year five was horrible; imagine trying to keep twenty five eight year olds entertained all day when you don't speak the same language. The first half of the day was okay, but after three hours of English it all just started to go down hill. First of all that’s just way to much, if some one tried to teach me Samoan for three hours straight and I was eight years old I would probably go crazy too. Second I don't use corporal punishment and haven't had time to really implement any kind of classroom management so there was really no order. I learned several things from this experience. They tell us not to substitute for a good reason, it doesn't work. Also I need to establish a system and give the kids time to adjust to it. They are not going to just understand “don't do that,” when usually it’s followed by a slap. I'm still really happy with my living situation. I'm getting more and more comfortable with my family and it s really starting to feel like home away from home here. I am also getting more comfortable with my teachers and join in with there jokes and banter during lunch. I super excited to go to Savaii this weekend and promise to right a nice long post about it.

Since its love day here are some things I love right now;
1. Cow pigs, these are pigs that are white with black spots and look exactly like the cows in Britain
2. Going into town and having a bag of cheetos as a treat
3. Getting surprise packages, letters, and fb messages from peeps back home
4. New school uniforms, even though I look like a huge frumpy sailor
5. Papaya and pineapple
6. Getting silly texts from my fellow volunteers
7. When strangers buy me snacks on the bus...just because
8. That my family noticed I had a lot of book and had a beautiful new desk made for me.
9. When I go for rides with my much older host brother and my sisters we usually stop and get a treat like ice cream or these little coconut cakes
10. That the kids and my school seem to really like me and when I go into a classroom they all cheer.
11. Its rainy season and when the wind is blowing and I feel a particularly cold breeze I can smell Scotland.

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