Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thoughts of Home

Group 82 closed service this month and come November they will start to trickle back to America, some choosing to stay longer than others. Also my big sister is back in the states and has started her adventure as a teacher finishing up her student teaching. These things have got me thinking about the future a lot and imaging what it will bring for me. Since my plan now is to go back to the states and get my certification like my sister did it’s easy to hear her stories and picture myself in her shoes. This leads to all kinds of inner turmoil. It makes me scared but also incredibly excited. It makes me worry about money and where I’ll live. It also makes me anxious to start my next adventure and a new phase of my life. As my mother would say I am borrowing worries. What are these crazy thoughts doing in head; I still have more than a year of service left? The other effect of this day dreaming is that as I picture myself on the next phase, I am picturing my life back in America. This inevitably leads to me really missing things in America. I picture myself driving to work, and I missing driving. I picture myself on a couch with a beer exhausted after a long day’s work, and I miss couches, and good beer. I think that this is my mind showing signs that it’s ready for a real break; to reconnect with my life by seeing my family and remembering who I am outside of this place. Christmas will be well needed by the time it rolls around. I still love it here and love what I am doing. I am confident, that after a month away, I will be ready to come back and raring to tackle my second year. So for now my goal is to just keep my head in the present as much as possible, and push through till Christmas.

Term Three

The couple of days back after such a break were kind of tough. It’s an adjustment every time you’re gone for a while. You get used to being around other English speakers and friends, you get used to having control over your time and decisions, and you get used to having full days. Every time you come back to the village, you have to re-get used to the slow pace, the empty hours, the isolation, and lack of control. There are great thing about coming back too. I have made some friends in the village, it was nice to see my family, and see the children but the adjustment is always brutal. It takes a couple days to get into the swing of village life and feel part of things again. It really turned around once school started. My days got fuller and I felt I had a purpose again. It is so good to be back teaching. Although I am pretty apprehensive going forward as everyone has warned me about term three. Of the twelve weeks of the term there is actually only six weeks of lessons. The other weeks are for national test prep., giving the test, preparing prize giving, then actually giving out the prizes. There are three weeks set aside for prize giving preparations. To be honest I have no idea what this entails, so I have no idea why, but my understanding is that it is really as straight forward as it sounds. So I have been told that term three can be frustrating with nothing going really going on and exams finished. I am hoping to try and do a project like a play or performance to try and fill the time. I am also hoping that with my one year celebration, Halloween, and Thanksgiving to look forward to I will be able to find enough steam to pull myself through till Christmas.

Devon and I’s Birthday

We had two weeks break after term two and it was perfect timing. Not only were we all running low on energy and patience we had two big birthdays to celebrate. My actual birthday was during the last week of school so I couldn’t really celebrate but on the day I opened a present Devon brought back for me from his recent trip to the states (a super cute clutch, all natural perfume, so replacement red stunna shades, and so beautiful handmade silver earrings. He did good!!!). I also got a bunch of calls and texts. The next day Chris and Rivka invited me to dinner and cooked me a delicious pizza and incredible brownies… such a treat. The next week we were all in town for a training session, so Devon, whose birthday is on the 10th of Sept., and I did a big group dinner at our favorite restaurant. My birthday didn’t end there, I got three amazing packages! Thank you, Mama, Emily, Sabrina, and Adam. The weekend after training me and Devon went to stay at the Tanu beach fales on Savaii. It was incredible picturesque, an open beach hut right on the turquoise water. We could have been on the travel channel. On Devon’s actual birthday we went scuba-diving. We did two dives, one over a beautiful reef drop off were we saw some incredible corral formation, some of the biggest I have ever seen and some sea turtles. I have been dying to see some turtles since they are the unofficial animal of Samoa but this was my first sighting, and man was it an incredible one. We can up over this ledge and one turtle was laying perched on the coral getting her shell cleaned only maybe four feet from me. I could have reached out and touched her. She turned away seemingly embarrassed to be caught in such an intimate moment, she swam slowly away looking back reproachfully at our interruption. She played in our dive instructor’s bubbles, then after one last look back she was off in to the distance. It was incredible. Our second dive was a missionary ship that had been sunk in 1880. It was almost completely covered in coral and had been thrown around a bit by tsunamis and cyclones but it was still very impressive. We saw an electric giant clam and a sea cucumber that was bigger than a five year old. We the treated ourselves to the only pizza place, and one of like five restaurants total on the island, to Sekia pizza which is just a hut with a pizza oven. It was delicious and perfectly rounded out a delicious day. We had a great rest of the break relaxing, visiting with friends, and enjoying each other.