Learning letter sounds
What is today?
The lovely library- the kids definitely loved taking out books this term!
Happy kids making puzzles and coloring pictures in the library, a new afternoon routine
This one is for you Mom...if I could give you all the beautiful flowers in the world for Mother's Day I would. Love you! (The greenhouse we visited in American Samoa)
Jamie, Stephanie, and I in American Samoa
Holding an octopus for the first time! in American Samoa.
Maybe the dance was the reason the guys won their rugby game!
Getting in the Easter spirit!
Sita, Aaron, and I on our bike ride
Happy Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day has come again and Term 1 is about over in school…The year is going by fast. Things have been going well at school and the weekends have been busy as well.
“Sally, what is the word A-B-U?” I love the questions I get at school. ABU! Of course, the name if the monkey in Aladdin. If nothing else, Setu, one of my students in year 6, has made all the time spent trying to make the library awesome well worth it. He has improved so much and comes to school talking about Aladdin, Scooby Doo, or Garfield, whatever the book is he took out for the week. Scooby Doo and Cinderella are definitely the biggest hits amongst the students. Since it is the end of the term, I am in the midst of making sure all of the books are back from the term, and then the students must wait until next term to take more home. Although they weren’t too excited about that, three weeks is a long time to go. I am pretty happy about how the library has gone. The students are all aware now how to take good care of the books, and most have come back. The vice principal told me that if the kids haven’t given their book back or $10 if it is lost, then they won’t be given their school report next week. Very happy that there is support among other teachers for the library.
Now that I know the levels of the kids, and have a better idea of how to effectively be teaching them, I am trying to be a bit more creative…We shaped words out of clay for the first time---of course the first day was 10 mins making words, and then 5 making meat pies. Yummy. Also wrote the words with paint. They loved it.
Computers, computers. My goodness…We have been doing Microsoft Word, Paint, and Encarta Encyclopedia. The kids get slips of paper, either Find, Type, or Draw….They need to open up the program and then Find Cat or whatever it is. It is incredible how quickly they have been picking it up! After school has been okay, not too many people, but those that have been coming having been typing resumes, job apps, and reports for school, so it is worth it to have it opened.
Easter weekend was awesome! On Good Friday, they had a “camp” with all the youth groups from the district. We did a Samoan song and the others groups did plays and dances. On Saturday, they held the games, track, volleyball, and cricket. I ran the 800m and the 4x4. Haha won the 800m too, so that meant I would go on to the Champ of Champs in May, with others from my youth group. Certainly no 2:22 happening though anymore! Easter Sunday, I couldn’t resist painting some Easter eggs to get in the spirit! We didn’t have any gas left to boil the eggs and my fire building skills are not quite to par, so I went 2 houses down where one of the guys had a fire going to boil the eggs and then we painted them at the house next door—haha I am going to try that next year, walk up and down Osborne Hill Rd. asking to boil eggs or for flour or sugar and see what happens.
Then came the Samoan wedding—the wedding of one of the Peace Corps girls, Amanda! Many volunteers were there- it was a wonderful day filled with lots of dances with her family and his family, and all of the “fa’asamoa” the exchange of pigs, fabric, etc.
A great bike ride followed with Sita and Aaron. I had rode around Savai’i last year and wanted to ride around Upolu as well, we only had a weekend though, so we did half of the island. Stayed at 2 beach fales. One is on a river- quite different than most, nice change no sand everywhere! We hiked to a waterfall as well, nice chilly water to swim in and cool off- I was even cold at a point!
SCUBA SCUBA. I am now a certified PADI Open Water Scuba Diver. Doesn’t that sound impressive? Todd and I finished up our class that morning, and then the instructor asked if we wanted to go on and do an advanced dive in the afternoon- Of course! How could we resist. So we are going to keep going and get the advanced cert. We did a deep dive. When you get to the bottom, the instructor had us solve a math problem and write our name backwards… SGGIRB YLLAS…to make sure we weren’t “narced”---to see if we were still thinking clearly. We swam around for awhile and I saw a turtle!!! Way different than seeing the ones in Savai’i which are contained. This one was just swimming around loving life.
American Samoa! So close from here, so Stephanie and Jamie and I flew out on a miniature plane for a weekend vacation. At my cousin’s wedding last year, I met the aunt of my cousin’s wife, who lives there. They were incredible. Picked us up at the airport and treated us like we were part of their family for the next 3 days and we were certainly very spoiled children! Driving us around everywhere, amazing palongi food we have missed so much, hanging out at their private beach and riding kayaks.
Rugby! Sally, do you have any plaster? Sally, do you have any icy hot? Sally, do you have any band-aids? The rugby season must be in full swing. One of the things I will missing next year is hanging out watching rugby on Saturdays with the girls in my village, eating popcorn and salati vi, this delicious salad made with vi, a yummy fruit, coconut cream, peanuts, and of course sugar. Since all the games are in our village, they all get quite into it and the field is usually packed. Fasito’o-tai won the Shield last weekend, it was a big game. I haven’t quite figured out exactly what that means but I am thinking it is like winning Leagues, like in high school. Whatever it was, they were all thrilled and everyone was jumping up and down so all I can figure is it was a big deal
One more week of school and then 3 weeks of vacation…plans are going to an anti-corporal punishment campaign! (which two others volunteers did a lot to get going), more scuba diving, going to the Bahai Temple for church, the youth group games, a hike at the National Park (a program another volunteer is doing), and plane ride over the villages, a trial half marathon and then the real deal on June 7th. Probably also a trip back to Ma’asina too because it has been awhile. Ooooo, and the new group comes June 4th, so we are going to have a welcoming night for them that weekend. Guess I can’t complain. June July August SEPTEMBER. My little brother Preston is getting married!!!! October November DECEMBER I will be home for Christmas. It will have been a whirlwind of a 2 years. Love you all, thanks for the steady stream of letters, and Happy Mother’s Day.