Alarm sounded at 5:45am, got up, ate my little bowl of cereal, put on my puletasi, and almost ready to go. Had to take a first day of school photo for my mom. My puletasi turned out really well. The seamstress put the pattern together on the top of my shirt and no way I could have ever pictured. I figured she would just simply sew the sheet of fabric into the shape of a shirt, but nope she did more than that. I also did end up putting a white flower in my hair before heading to school, which you can see in some photos below.
Check out the turtles on the back. I bought this fabric because it had some turtles on it. It's amazing how she matched the patterns up so symmetrically. I also picked this fabric for having a couple shades of blue, since blue is my favorite color.
Arrived at school about 7:20 after the bus ride and walk. First thing the principal said when I walked into the office was a comment on how nice I looked. Actually received quite a few compliments from the Samoan teachers today on my puletasi. I spent about 15-20 minutes just standing outside my classroom saying hello to students as they'd walk by before the first bell rang. Saw Fred, who I had talked with last week, and Tauesi, who was one of the students I talked with back during our teaching practicums. It's always fun to recognize faces and even have names to go with those faces.
After the welcome assembly in the gym, I helped distribute schedules to the junior class before heading to my classroom. I had been warned that not all students will likely be in my classroom these first couple of days for various reason, and yep welcome to the first days of high school in American Samoa. My current rosters online showed between 25-40 students a class period. The most I had sitting there today for one class was 10. The real teaching won't really start until next week. As I was aware of this, I had planned on a basic get to know you session for each class. Plus, we had shortened periods today. I definitely have some names already down and am ready to greet them on the second day as they arrive.
My Monday schedule is 3 periods of Earth & Space Science, 1 period of Marine Science, lunch, 1 period of Earth & Space Science, and prep period in that order. Teachers are able to just get food from the lunch line, and there is no paying. Will probably be part of my regular routine because I am living on a volunteer income. Cheese pizza, a salad bar, and milk for lunch today. Back to carton milk at school every day. Who would have thought? haha I just sat down, ate, and then returned to my classroom.
These three senior football player stopped by my room to say hi earlier in the day, and they came and chatted with me after they had grabbed their lunch. Some of the more talkative students I had today - Jipo, Icebreaker (apparently his football nickname), and Stavin.
About 5 minutes before the next bell rang after the second lunch shift, I saw Jay outside and he goes to the church I've been at the past few weeks. Had a nice little chat with him. He's a sophomore at Tafuna and will not be in my class. I hadn't really talked with him at church but knew he went to Tafuna. It was fun to talk with him. A great kid. I look so short. haha
Final bell rang at 2:15 today, as we had some faculty meetings. Then, I put together a few ideas for the next day before George stopped by to visit. George, an instructor in JROTC, was my partner at the faculty meeting we had on Friday. He told me about what he did today, asked how my day went, and gave me a few tips. As soon as the clock turned four, he was out the door.
I walked 25-30 minutes to the Manua store to check out some fabric and hair flowers, and found there was so much more to offer. Rather well priced stuff, as well. May be going back there. Rode the bus back to Pava'ia'i from there, exercised a bit, and chatted with the roommates about their days. Then, we made an Italian spaghetti hamburger helper using corned beef instead of hamburger for dinner. Good first day as a volunteer teacher.