Thursday, January 17, 2013

Babysitter, Perspective, Palagi, and Driver

A few weeks ago I had offered to Pastor Scot and his wife Katie to babysit if they ever wanted a night off. They took me up on my offer this Tuesday so they could go on a children free date before the new baby comes, which will be in few short weeks. That means I got to spend a couple hours with Jeffrey and Jenna. They were rather good for the night. I've seen both of their bad sides, but we had a great time together this night without any fuss really.

Here's the kiddos I got to spend some time with. Had to change Jenna's diaper once, and man I don't even remember the last time I changed a diaper. Don't worry. I still know how to do it. hahaha Also, funniest thing Jeffrey said all night. As his parents were getting ready to leave, he says to his mom , "Why do married people have to do that - go on dates?" Katie's responded, "To keep mommies and daddies happy." hahaha

After we ate dinner, we played a little, colored some pictures, read some stories, and watched a little video. The kids were also quite interested in my camera, so we had some fun with that. Jeffrey thought he was quite the little photographer.

Jenna and I making chipmunk cheeks:

Jeffrey and I acting silly:

Auntie Jessica with her coloring book: (Auntie Jessica is what Jeffrey calls me.)

Then, Jeffrey just took a bunch of random photos, including several of the story book pages I was reading to him and his sister.

Wednesday was the first of many guest speakers I hope to have in my classroom this semester. Hannah and I are working together on scheduling friends and acquaintances to come in and discuss their careers, educational background, life experiences, or anything else they really want. Our hope is to simply let our students hear some different perspectives and have their eyes opened to many things.

One of the volunteer teachers in the outer islands had a friend from Missouri come down and visit her. As she returned to the main island, she has been staying with us until her plane leaves Thursday night. She graciously agreed to come talk to our classes about her college experiences, some studying abroad she has done, and a few other travels. She did a really great job, and I am really excited about having this guest speaker series this semester. Let our students get a feel for some different things out there and just hear others talk. My new friend from Missouri had some cool and useful stuff to share with our classes, and she really enjoyed getting the experience although it definitely wore her out standing in front of the class all day. She said she has a new appreciation for teachers. haha

It's a much bigger lesson I can give them than discussing fossils for a day. You may have noticed in my post from last week that I am rather excited about some of the things I am incorporating this semester, and this perspective series is one of them. We have a whole list of people we are talking to, and we already have the next two booked. I even talked to a few of my friends at church on Wednesday night about it, and one who currently teaches at the community college thought this was a great idea.

Since we had our guest joining us Wednesday morning, Hannah and I decided we would wait  and leave a little later than we usually do, which meant missing our regular bus that takes us the whole way. Instead we ended up waiting for a Leone bus to take us halfway and then walk the rest of the way. That meant there were 6 palagi (white people) waiting for the bus. Oye, that's the most palagi I've stood with in public in a while. It felt a little weird to have that many of us on the bus at one time. Then, 4 of us walking down the Tafuna road to school. I sure felt like an outsider. Ran across some teachers I know from Vo Tech, and the one made the joke as we walked by "Look at all the palagi." Now I remember one more reason why I've been graciously joining our regular bus ride in the morning that we take at 6:45am. I don't like being an outsider. I may be palagi, but I am also a member of my community in many ways.

So, yes our Tafuna bus has been kindly waiting for us each morning again. I made sure to tell him we would not be on it Wednesday morning so he didn't sit there and we never showed. Then, when I started walking home on Tuesday afternoon I get asked if I want a ride. Of course, so I cross the street, climb in, and realize it's my morning bus driver. "What are you doing not in your bus?," I ask. haha I got to meet his wife and children, and finally know his name - Pati. I was going to ask him one of these days. He told me about his family and asked me some questions the whole way home. Really nice guy, and I am thankful to have met him and gotten to know him better. We really do appreciate how he waits for us in the morning. Saves us some time and sweat in the morning.
I found it a bit funny and ironic that I was getting a free ride home with the bus driver in his personal vehicle, but it was great. Then, Wednesday afternoon started walking home, when Pati waves me over to his bus. He was making his last round before going home. Favorite bus driver, I do believe :-)