Sunday, February 10, 2013

Kindergarten and Weekend in Fagaitua

I had decided earlier in the week it was about time to revisit a few ground rules in my classroom. I decided to present them in a way that might enlighten a few students more how fortunate we were to have some of the things that we do and why I was here with them. I decided I would discuss with them some pet peeves. As I was preparing a few things Friday morning, I decided it might be interesting to make them all sit on the floor like they were in Kindergarten and have a time-out chair in the back of the room. They all definitely don't enjoy sitting on the floor. I explained, "Well, if we continue to move the desks out of their rows, break them, and draw on them, we will sit on the floor for the rest of the semester." The time-out chair will remain in the back of the room until further notice. If you are being disruptive, I ask you to go sit there, and you go right away you only have to serve one minute. If you argue, your time goes up. I sent three students back there during 1st period and one during 6th period - both of my tougher classes. I felt pretty good about how things went. I know most of them will forget everything by Monday; yet, a few take note of what I say and the good kids appreciate it. I called this Friday Kindergarten day in a sense.

As I was heading straight for the weekend after school, I had my camera with me - first time in a long time had it made a trip to school. I took a few photos my classroom and classroom tools. I've been thinking about doing that for a while. I realized almost every single day I use both my red pen and my pencil with my gradebook.

One of my students who just signed to play football at UNLV (University Nevada Las Vegas) with a football scholarship has been off-island for a few weeks taking care of some stuff with college, and he brought me back some chocolates from Hawaii. Good stuff, but Miss Boschen doesn't need a whole box of chocolates. Okay, maybe every now and then. haha. Malo is a defensive player, and I have several photos of him playing. He's been a pretty good student - doing much more of his work this semester than he did last semester. I am excited for him, and I hope he does well.

Dropped off my application at the Boys and Girls Club after school on Friday, and then grabbed a bus with my roommate Hannah to head to town to grab the East side bus to visit our friend and fellow volunteer Jess in the village of Fagaitua. Jess is from a small town of about 900 people in Iowa and went to college at Creighton, so she and I have some similarities - upbringing and personality wise.

About an hour on the road total, but we also had to sit at the bus station for a while before grabbing an East Side bus. I have been through her village before, but I was looking forward to seeing a few of the nearby villages and being a way from the more populated side of the island for a few days. Jessica does not have Internet at her house, and I was looking forward to a little relaxing and adventure.

We ended up walking a few villages over to have some homemade pizza at this little pizzeria. This was one thing Hannah and I had been hoping to do as we had seen the place before as we passed through a few other times.


The owners even chatted us up. Below I have a photo of Mary. She and her husband Terry just moved back from California not too long ago to help out with her dad, and they decided to open up a pizzeria. She explained how she makes the dough homemade and uses olive oil - the real thing. It was so much fun to hear her share her story. She even let me take a few photos of the place and posed in one for me. I didn't want to forget meeting her. Sweet lady. I think it might be on my list to make a trip back out there at least one more time for some more pizza before the end of the school year.

Jess lives with one other volunteer teacher, our friend Mike, but he spends most of this weekends in the Tafuna area. He likes to return to "civilization" on the weekends. They have an actual house with a real living room, a dining room table, and a full kitchen. I had the privilege of sleeping on this beautiful couch. Better than the mattress I sleep on back on my apartment floor. Slept really well.

Woke up a few hours before our hostess did, but since this couch was so comfy I was able to lay there the whole time and even dozed back off. Not very often I do that anymore. As I had talked to Jessica earlier in the week, she said she had lots of coffee, and she made a pot in the morning. Fun to share a cup of coffee in the morning. Well, we had separate cups I'm sure you understand. haha She also had some beautiful bananas that her neighbors had brought over and a few papaya, so I had delightful amounts of both of those before the weekend was over.

I asked if she would take us over to the village of Salelei, which is up over the mountain from where she lives. A while back I had read a blog post she wrote about it, and it made me want to visit. Also turned out to be a really nice hike.

This is a view of Fagaitua Bay, where Jess lives, from near the top of the mountain.

Went up the mountain (not quite the top), and then down to Salelei.

The high talking chief of the village came out and introduced himself to us and said if we had any problems or needed anything to let him know otherwise to enjoy ourselves. Really nice of him. We walked along the beach, enjoyed a snack lunch, and sat there for a while before heading back up the mountain.

I loved the clouds in the background of the ocean on this particular Saturday. I took several photos, but posted a select few on my blog. I caught a nice shot of a flying fox, although a ways away still, while taking some landscape shots on our way back to the top of the mountain.

Jess and I then walked further up to the highest point heading toward the village of Masefou before heading back down to Fagaitua. She spends most of her time by herself on this side of the island, so it was cool to spend some time with her. An enjoyable hiking adventure for the day. I haven't been out climbing over a mountain in the sun for a while; it was fun and a nice workout. Spent around 3 hours total walking up and over the mountain side.

Here is a photo of Hannah, Jess, and I in her house.

One cool thing I experienced out there was the collection and consumption of rainwater. Here is the rain barrel, with a cloth over the top to filter out some things. Tasted a little different from the tap water I drink back on the Westside.

After our out and about Saturday, we grabbed some ice cream from the store, chatted a while, and then watched Tangled and went to bed. The sun wore us out. There were some beautiful sunset colors in the sky as we walked to the store.

Had coffee again in the morning and then some friends from church that live in a neighboring village picked Hannah and I up, as I had planned. Very thankful for them, as this allowed us to spend the whole day Saturday with Jess in Fagaitua. I might head back out her way again. I enjoyed it out there. I'm really glad we made this weekend trip finally happen. Almost a weird feeling coming back to the apartment.


  1. Hi Jessica,

    I love reading your blog. I've been accepted as a WorldTeach volunteer in American Samoa, so I will be making the journey out there this summer. You've also inspired me to start using the Insanity workout program. I'm waiting for it to arrive in the mail. Have a great week!

    Chaundra :)

  2. I'm glad you stumbled upon it then. I've been having a great year down here. It was the right thing for me to do. I'm learning lots, getting to help (although it may not seem like much at times), and am having some great adventures.

    Hope you like Insanity. It can be a nice challenge. It added the little extra I was looking for in my exercise routine. It's perfectly doable to be healthy on this island despite what some may tell you.