Wednesday, September 9, 2009
95: One Hundred Days In
So I talked about what we were doing 100 days before the Peace Corps and what we are gonna do after the Peace Corps. Cale has requested I point out what we were doing 100 days into our Peace Corps Service.
I am a little embarrassed, because we were just back from the beach. I talk about how much hard work I am doing over here and how hard it is to get to the beach and then it always look like I am at the beach. It appears that Cale made a pizza that day, as you can see at the top of the post.
One hundred days into service it was 20 January. We had completed training with our swear-in on 13 December and then had a month and a half at our site before school started. The weekend before the Methodist School Board's back to school teacher in-service we headed out to Matareva a beach on the south side of Upolu. Looking back at the blog entry, I talk about how I have only had to sit on Cale's lap once on a bus. Well, two years later and that has changed. I have sat on Cale's lap more times than I can count. I have sat on several older ladies' laps and I have on two or three occasions been sat upon (usually I am the smallest lady on the bus, so I end up on a lap and not the other way around).
On our most recent trip to FaoFao, I sat on Cale's lap for three hours on the most full bus I have ever experienced. We were on the bus for an hour at the bus stop as it slowly filled to capacity and kept filling. Every seat was taken, every lap one every seat (that didn't belong to an old lady or an old man) was taken and the aisle between the seats was packed with with people standing front to back. There was also all the shopping, a baby carriage and a 50-pound (or so) bag of flour. It got to a point that no more people could be crammed on and a full taxi van heading in that direction showed up and they crammed three more people in to the van.
We we finally left, we were only on the road for maybe 30 minutes before we stopped at a gas station. Not for gas. For shopping. I would say 2/3 of the people on the bus piled off, went into the store, bought bread and twisties and Coke and then piled back on the bus. It was an agonizing process. Ten minutes later we stopped again at a shop with fresh pineapple pies (it was like the hot light was on). The bus boys (who help the driver, man-handle the luggage and direct who sits where) hopped off and took money from the bus windows and passed hot pies back through the windows.
Finally, we were off again. Rolling up the mountain through the Mafa Pass, the bus was in its lowest gear, trying with all its might, but we were only inching along. I honestly expected the driver to ask us all to get out and walk to the top, but he didn't and we made it.
I started counting as people got off the bus. Cale and I were the 58th and 59th people to get off the bus and there were probably still another 20 left behind. The posted capacity is 33 plus the driver.
Anyway, enough about the bus ride to FaoFao.
One hundred days in, I was also blogging about the rubbish. I was pointing out good things with the rubbish situation in Samoa. It is true, there is a trash problem here. You see it everywhere and you rarely every see a rubbish bin. Over the years many Peace Corps have done rubbish projects. We helped with a trash pickup in Sally's village. Other volunteers have worked to install road-side rubbish bins for pickup by waste management. Recently Joey worked with Save Our Samoa on a rubbish bin decorating contest for primary schools. The bins were on display and put to use all around Apia during the Teuila Festival.
I talked about a project Cale wanted to do to make coconut paper and shades for our fluorescent lights. We can chock that one up to the long list of ideas that both of us have had and never accomplished while here. We have still done a lot, but sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach... except your ambitions are bigger than your ability or your time frame or something. There isn't really a simple easy metaphor I know for this one. You bite off more than you can chew? Except you are just thinking about biting off more and then you realize it is too much and don't bite in the first place. This is terrible. I will stop now.
PS. Way Back Machine: 101 Days In
Posted by Cale