“I never met a kid I couldn’t teach. Every kid was good at something and the trick was to find out what it was, then use it to to teach him everything else. It was good work, the kind of work that let you sleep soundly at night and, when you awoke, look forward to the day” Half Broke Horses // Jeannette Walls
January and February have passed so quickly. School has begun and the kids are so eager to get to know me and spend time with me. During these past few months I’ve turned a storage room into a library/classroom where I pull small groups of students to work on their English. We started with A and we will work our way through the alphabet. As I write this, a little girl just walked by my house saying “A ah Apple.” Oh joy.
While the library looks sparse, the kids and the teachers are really impressed with how it turned out and I am learning that less is more. I enjoyed creating this space and I am excited for the memories I will share with teachers and students over the next two years.
My favorite part of the day is biking to and from school. As I stroll by kids and parents shout “Fa Susie” or “Morning!” I smile the entire way and I enjoy sneaking up on the kids and yelling “FA!” It is fun to leave when all the kids leave around 2 pm. The kids try to race me on foot and of course I always win. On Monday, when I was done working, a student, Opeta was waiting for me. He ran, while I biked, the entire way home.
Last week, a few boys were having a jolly good time chasing me when I noticed the vegetable stand had eggplants. (I can get a huge amount for 5 tala, about $2). In my broken Samoan i got the boys to carry the eggplants to my house. So I went on and they arrived with my vegetables about 10 minutes later. Once they arrived, I gave them water and some American candy and they were super cute about it.
Tropical Cyclone Gita interrupted the flow of school in week three- the entire country cancelled school for a week to clean up. My village was pretty much untouched except for a few down trees. During Gita, volunteers that live near me consolidated to my house and we had a 5 night party of playing Settlers of Catan, Monopoly Deal, and homemade Farkle.
It has been a great start to year 1 of service, I am looking forward to March and all the good times to come!