Monday, November 30, 2009

0: This Is It

Our last day in Samoa. At 11:58 pm tonight we will be on a plane to LA.

I thought I would catch you up a little on what has been going on, since we have been to busy and without internet.

Tuesday was Cale's faamavae lunch at his school that I mentioned before. I was invited as well. That night I was up until 1 am working on the textbook project.

Wednesday the school magazine was finally delivered. It was successfully printed! I do take issue with the quality thought. I specifically asked them how they would be printing it and they said they were going to print it off the laser printer they showed me. However, they definitely photo-copied it. The also told me that they would trim the white edges off the cover so it would have full-bleed and they did not. Finally, there was the issue of the number that they printed. Originally they claimed it would be $25 tala per magazine. For our $3,800 that was about 150 magazines. Then they told one of the ministers at the school they would print for $9 tala each. That would be more than 400 magazines. Later then went back on that deal and said the price would be $25 each, but they would make a present of more. The more was never specified. Even later they told the principal they would print 300 for oru $3,800. However, when the finally arrived there were only 200. Whatever, it is done.

After school I went to visit with Ryan and work on the textbook more.

Wednesday night was the night before Prize-Giving at my school. Traditionally, the Prize-Giving committee stays at the school practically all night sorting and wrapping the prizes. I passed the grunt work of the prize-giving program off to the school secretary this year, but she still asked if I could be the person who was there that night to add in the sponsors, as she had to sew uniform puletasi for people to wear to the prize-giving the next morning. I told her to tell the committee to come get me from my house when they were ready. I knew if it was anything like last year, it was going to take all night to figure out what prizes were going where and last minute donations would arrive late in the night. I finally went over to the school at 9 pm to help wrap prizes and wait for the donor list. At 2 am I was still at the school trying to print out all the programs. A member of the prize-giving committee insisted I go home, even though I wasn't finished. She said that she would be in early in the morning with the school secretary and finishe printing and folding.

When I arrived at 7:30 am on Thursday the prize-giving committee member wasn't there. So the school secretary and I printed and folded until after 9 am. The Prize-Giving started at 8 am. So we missed the beginning. The prize-giving went off without a hitch. The DUX (what they calle the valedictorian here) was also my top computer studies student. I distributed letters of recommendation and flash drives to all my Year 13 students.

Thursday night our host family came to our house with food and we all ate together. That was nice.

Friday was Cale's Prize-Giving. However, I missed that because I spent the day holed up in my computer lab finishing the textbook project. While I was in the room I heard applause and singing and wandered outside to discover I missed the final school assembly of the year. Some students as they were leaving stopped into the computer lab and gave me some necklaces.

After school all the teachers were taken out by the principal. One of the teachers made a speech thanking me and they gifted me an envelope with $200 tala in it. Funny story about the lunch. I orginally had my exit interview for the Peace Corps scheduled at 3pm that day, but we didn't even leave for the lunch until 1 pm. Luckily Cale called to say that we were rescheduled for Monday. However, after we had been at the venue for a while with no food, the principal's wife decided to use my now rescheduled meeting (she knew it was rescheduled) to try to hurry along to food, saying that Sara has to leave soon. However, they only brought out food for the principal and me, which foiled her plan and put me in an awkward position of telling him that I didn't have to leave when he tried to give me a ride right after we finished eating.

That night we had dinner with John at the Yacht Club.

Saturday we came into Apia and shopped for souvenirs. Then at 3pm we went to the Charge's house for Thanksgiving. It was beautiful. I ate turkey and mashed potatoes and green beans, and stuffing and corn and pumpkin pie and apple pie. And I was stuffed. Afterwards Cale went out with some other volunteers but I was tired and overfull, so I hung around the peace corps office.

Sunday we packed up all our stuff and I met with my principal at the school to give him all the details on the computer labs. I made a couple of "how-to" sheets for the computers and saved it to the desktop of the server. Then we packed up everything that was left into a taxi and came into Apia. We spent the night at Hanna's.

Now it is Monday morning. We still have our exit interview and Cale is repacking all our bags for maximum efficiency. Tonight is dinner at Italiano's and then taxi to the airport where we will most likely be seen off by our principal's and the family of one of Cale's students.

See ya'll in America.

- Sara


Chris said...

Bye Sara, its been a real pleasure reading your blogg over the years. It's the very best thing I look foward at the start of my day here in Oz and I'm real sad its come to an end.

Anyways enjoy the rest of your journey with Cale, take care and all the best for you guys.

Anonymous said...

All the best Sara and Cale in your journeys :) I've quite enjoyed reading your joys, challenges and triumphs.

Anonymous said...

Faafetai tele Sara and Cale... all the best for the future and thanks for all the good work you have done for our people.

Manuia tele le malaga.

Jane said...

All the best to you Sara & Cale. You have done some great work in Samoa.

Your blogs have been so entertaining and informative. I'm afraid I will be going through "See Reeves" withdrawals now. Are you sure you can't change your mind & stay on a bit longer? :)

Seriously, thank you for all the good posts. It really helped me relate to & enjoy having Paul in Samoa.

Safe travels and and a premature "Welcome back to the US".

Patty Leal said...

I'm reading your blog with tears in my eyes. I'm happy for you but will miss reading about your Samoa experience. You are a gifted writer and I wish you happy and safe adventures in the future. Thanks for helping to make the world a better place. I hope you'll keep blogging!

Brooke said...

Sara & Cale - I too have enjoyed reading your blog over the months (as a complete stranger that stumbled upon it). My husband and I have applied to the Peace Corps and I started reading it for a glimpse into married life in the PC. It's been so insightful hearing about the daily triumphs and frustrations of PC. Like others, it became a highlight of my day and I appreciate the humor you were able to have through everything. I wish you both many more adventures on your journey together and a warm reunion with all your friends and family (which must have happened by now). Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog since about January this year. It was an amazing adventure to read about. It feels weird there will never be any more Samoa tales. Thanks for going to Samoa.

whatever said...

Even though I just started reading your Samoan blogs starting 2 weeks ago, I'm sad to see you leaving, esp. Sara's blogs. I read Matt' blogs, which are wonderful, but he's a guy. Coming from a woman's perspective it was different, it goes to the heart, it made me laugh out loud(my husband would come over and see what's so funny) but it also made me cry. I will miss you so much, but a fa'afetai tele ia oe ma Cale for all you do for my people of Samoa. The best of health to the both of you and please keep blogging because I feel like I know you already. Faamanuia ile Atua ia ou lua.