Friday, February 8, 2013

The first week of school

First day of school!

We set the alarm for 6, but when we awake, we realize it's still too dark to see anything without lights. Yes! We get up at 645. By 7 the students arrive. At 830, the official starting time, I walk the 3 yards to the school. My co-worker tells me we'll wait to start when the principal arrives. He arrives at 1. He unpacks his belongings from the boat, moves into the school room, and promptly dismisses the students. End day 1.

Day 2

We (meaning the students) wash the windows, pick up the trash, pump water for Mark and I's water tank (yeah...I made them), throw pretty much everything away that was left in the school rooms, burn the trash, weed the weeds, trim the bushes, and listen to a one hour radio program (it is a requirement for all schools to include this hour radio program in their every day instruction...even though on our island, it barely comes through. It is beyond exasperating to me). The students leave at 12.

Mark comes home around 4 from Matamaka. He is a pasty white, and the first thing he says is, "I'm going to faint". I prepare the oral rehydration solution for him ( given to us by our medical officer) ,take his temperature (which is somewhere between 101 and 103), and immediately begin putting cold,wet rags on him and fanning him. He was up every hour of the night, and I along with him. 10, 1045, 12, 2, 330.... I can not imagine having a fever in this weather! (and yes, my arm is quite sore from the hours of fanning). Day two melts right in to.....

Day 3
Up early. Fix a strong cup of coffee. Call our doctor. Call Marks school. Late to my work getting everything cleaned up and taken care of for Mark. Arrive at school just in time for the one hour radio program. It is my co teachers birthday, baker that I am, I decide to bake a cake for him. I spend two hours cleaning and sorting the library books. The kids are playing outside. I call it a day and go to do laundry.

Peace corps calls. We have a tsunami warning. Apparently there was an earthquake somewhere here in the South Pacific. We are allowed to be at either our home, or the Wesleyan church. We choose home. I briefly wonder what exactly a tsunami entails....isn't it just a big wave? I'm confident we had training about such things....but I sure wish I could google it. Of course, the first thing I want to do is go down to the beach and take a look...but that is definitely not allowed. I decide to stand on the school porch and observe the ocean. It looks the same as it always does. I get bored and come inside and wonder what to fix for dinner. I decide to fill our water filter and water bucket...just in case. Mark finally leaves the bedroom. End day three.

(tsunami warning lifted)

Day 4

PRE-assessments. I remember how much I love my new students and enjoy teaching. As I watch even the oldest kids squint their eyes, their lips silently, slowly forming words as they try to answer questions like "how old are you?" And "where do you live?" I am reinvigorated about teaching here. Supposedly, hopefully that will start on Monday. End day four.

Day 5

Fridays are...somewhat confusing. I've been told I WILL teach and that I WONT teach, so who really knows what they will hold for me. :) On Fridays, every school in Tonga is supposed to have a local minister come and do a kind of Sunday school. Today the Wesleyan pastor came (I watched from my house, in my pajamas). I'd woken up earlier and seen that my principal was already getting in a boat and heading to town, so I assumed we didn't have school. I guess I was wrong. Sometimes communication with the palangi is forgotten....

Wow, what a week. I'm exhausted from it, and I didn't even teach. Wonder what next week will hold...

End first week of "school".



  1. What and interesting week! It makes me feel like teaching in Thailand is normal. :)

  2. Yay Alissa!! I am so impressed with your nursing skills :-)