Well, I think I had my first real weekend in Samoa – no traveling to strange and exotic locations, just staying put and enjoying life in MoaMoa. So on Friday, I decided to check on the second computer lab to find out if any of the computers had failed or were troubled with there lack of use over the holiday season. Fortunately, only 2 computers "failed" to start up which in the conditions in which these computers exist (open to the weather, the bugs and the humidity) is nothing short of a miracle. I had to switch out some monitors and re-image 2 Hard Drives. As I was working on the computers (which was fun don't get me wrong) it felt like I was in a triage unit – not really fixing the computers, but making sure they last until the next big problem. I already know that some of these hard drives are going to fail at some point during my first year here and the first resort here (as opposed to what I might do in the states) is to find out if another old hard drive can keep it going until I run out of old hard drives to use. It's all about patchwork here, so my technical skills will not be rusty over the course of these two years.
Then Saturday came and it was a beautiful day, the first truly beautiful day we've had in a week. So of course on our first beautiful day what's the one thing I wanted to do more then anything else – that's right, watch football. But before I stepped out the door I got a call from the PC office asking me where I was going to be this weekend because there was a cyclone to the south of Samoa (which caused the biblical like rainfall here) and they wanted to know where all the volunteers were currently located. So it's definitely that time of year – hopefully all the cyclones will head in the opposite direction of Samoa and we won't have to worry about consolidating. But if one does get close, just know that we'll be taken care of (even the Savaii people) and I have my 'cyclone kit' packed and ready to go. On my way down to the Kofi Haus to watch the games, apparently I got stung by some yellow jacket wasp on my index finger. It hurt like nothing else and you would have thought someone stuck a knife through my finger. I was biking so it definitely didn't help that I had to keep going using this finger that stung like crazy. As I type this now the sting has made my right hand swell and it now feels (and looks) like I have a club for a hand. Our medical officer said it was nothing to worry about and that it will eventually go back to it's normal size – but it's still a freaky site. So I watched the games and was extremely pleased that the Patriots were soundly defeated – so my Saturday (despite the efforts of that wasp) was quite enjoyable. And then, spurred by my new found rejuvenation from the Patriots loss, I was able to finally bike all the way up my house. Now that was probably the most exciting thing that happened – I was tired as all get out, but I finally biked from the Peace Corps office to my home (stopping only once). Hooray!
Sunday was kind of a bore – the great weather still continued though which is what's really important. The Bears loss but they gave it one heck of a try – so no double dipping for Chicago this year. Maybe next year! If I stay out of the country long enough they're bound to make at least the NFC Championship game! But I came home and did a little malolo (rest) before doing some chores around the house and then I helped my pule (pronounced pool-a = means principal/boss) with getting his computer back to working condition. His name is Father Kevin and he's been on vacation the entire time I've been living here so it's good to finally have someone who can tell you what you're going to be doing at least for the first semester. The teachers report next week and unlike in America where all the teachers are guaranteed to show up, that doesn't appear to be the case in Samoa. Father Kevin said he's always surprised by the people he thinks are coming back but don't – so it will be interesting to see who is actually going to be returning for this next year (because if we're short on teachers that might mean less computer teachers which would result in me teaching more classes). So I'm going to enjoy this final week before I dive into the Samoan workforce. Let's hope it's not another week of constant rain and cyclone threats. L8r.