Sunday, September 13, 2009

91: I Was Wondering What I Would Look Like With Bangs Anyway

Nao, everyone's favorite JICA volunteer, who teaches Agricultural Science at my school, goes home to Japan soon. His last day at school is this Friday. Cale, Tetsuya (the JICA volunteer at Cale's school) and I planned to host him for dinner before he left. Originally it was going to be Monday or Tuesday, but things came up for Nao and it ended up being today.

This was the morning of the Methodist Board of Education final exam moderation. Having been to three exam moderations before, I have some experience with them. What is supposed to happen is the Upolu schools and Savaii schools share exams. A person at one school writes the exam and the person at the other school has an opportunity to see it and comment during the moderation. At least for my department, what happens is that I write my exams, no one else writes their exams and then we sit around for several hours doing nothing. That is a little tot harsh. Last time, I wrote my exam, another teacher from my school wrote his exam and the teacher from Savaii wrote her exam. Unfortunately, we couldn't share them, because we were not following the same timetable and were not teaching the same things.

I could not bring myself to go to the moderation again. I just didn't want to get up at 7 am so I could sit around a do nothing for several hours.

Cale had to go into Apia to provide some emergency help at a friend's Internet cafe. He is in Africa and while he was away Cale is tech support for the lab. The cache proxy went down and Cale built a new one using Squid (some complicated Linux thing I do not understand). Anywho, he was to go in and set it up early in the morning before they opened at 8 am.

So instead, I got up at 6 am, went into town with Cale and sat around and did nothing for several hours.

Unfortunately, there was an unexpected hiccup in installing the new cache box and at 10 am, Cale finally had to give up, reconfigure all the client computers so they could open for the day and promise to return once the glitch was sorted out. Next time he will try to install it after they close for the night and not before the open in the morning.

Anywho, next we did our shopping. We had to purchase snacky, lunchy foods for an outing planned with Hanna, John and a visiting English vet tomorrow and the food for Nao's going away dinner later today. Cale called Dani our favourite taxi driver and we made stops at Lucky Foodtown and Farmer Joe's.

Once back at home we ran into Paul and Dan (Peace Corps teachers at our sister school in Savaii) who had just finished with the moderation. Apparently this moderation had been quite eventful and had ended with at least one principal in tears! Also, the Peace Corps had recently sent out a note to the school board in response to my recent incidents with
corporal punishment requesting the boards advice on how volunteers should respond in these situations. The subject was mentioned and everyone was reminded not to beat the students.

Dan left for Apia immediately by bike. Paul hung around for a while chatting and then he was able to catch a bus (miracle of miracles!) into Apia. Catching a bus at 3 pm on a Saturday is rare to start with, but with the great bus dearth, catching one today was just mad luck.

Not long after that Nao and Tetsuya arrived and I began preparing the garlic bread appetizer. For those of you wondering what this post has to do with bangs, this is where that comes in. The proceeding sentence was an example of foreshadowing.

Anyway, I chop garlic and butter slices of French bread. I turn the broiler on the gas stove (foreshadowing: I see the flames light and the broiler turn on) and while it warms up, I chop garlic and butter more slices of French bread. Then I put the bread on the broiler tray and slide it into the boiler. Next, I chop some more garlic and butter more slices of bread. Then I bend down and look in the broiler to check on the first batch of bread. Oh, my, the broiler appears to have gone out. So while still looking in the broiler I reach up and press the starter button that will ignite the broiler.

I think now would be an excellent time to pause in our narrative and do a little leap of logic about what is going to happen next. So several garlic chopping and French-bread butterings ago, I turned on the gas for the broiler. Just because the flame has since gone out, does not mean the gas has gone out. So the gas has been building up inside the broiler this entire time.

We will now rejoin our heroine as a ball of flame explodes inside the broiler and rushes out into her face.

I shriek, grab my face and turn away. Cale is immediately up and at my side. It takes me a second to take a mental stock of my injuries and to conclude that I have none. However, when I uncover my face, Cale recommends I take a look in the bathroom mirror. It appears I have singed my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. None of my hair is burnt enough to notice really. My eyebrows are still intact. In fact, my eyelashes seem to have taken the brunt of the blow (luckily I was wearing glasses at the time) and have become significantly shorter and crispier and curled on the edges.

Returning to the party, I point out that the smell of burnt hair is the same smell as when someone is getting a perm. Hmmmm....

So in the end, my brush with a fireball was anti-climactic, though I was not allowed to help with anymore cooking that involved the stove for the night.

— Sara

The Way Back Machine

PPS. Congratulations to Jason and Zaira who went and got married today.


Barb Carusillo said...

Jason got married today! Another wedding missed, what a bummer. Was Smack a ring bearer?

Anonymous said...

I've actually done this before, with a gas fired trash incinerator. The burnt hair smell stays with you for awhile.