MJ Live

Monday, October 30, 2006

Day of the Bosses (Written 10/30/06)

Today (Monday) began the final week of classes for me before the national exams next week – basically meaning the end of my school term, which I am very much happy to see approaching. But it appears that this final week is going to be chocked full of special guests in my little life – with the first guest appearing at my school today. Kim, our Country Director (aka my real boss), came to Chanel today in order to do a site visit. It was basically an opportunity for her to come and see the place and find out what I was doing. Over the weekend, I had totally forgotten that she was coming so when she showed up I was like 'Oh…yeah!" Fortunately, I didn't have any classes for the first two periods today so it gave us an opportunity to talk about the computer labs, the internet café and how the students are doing in classes. I was very happy she decided to do this site visit during my last term of school because I felt a lot more comfortable talking about what was going on now compared to when I first started. After I gave her the tour of my computer labs, she came and watched me teach my first two classes of the day which were my Year 13b and 12b classes. Of course the kids all wanted to know who she was, so they got to speak to her and tell her that I was doing a good job as a teacher (and if they didn't, their final exam score was mysteriously changed to 0 – j/k). One of the comments that Kim made that made both me and the students feel better was the fact that she said we had quality computers at Chanel – and sometimes I think the kids just take the fact that they have access to computers for granted. And they might presume that because they're not top of the line, they're not worth taking good care of - so I was happy she said quality computers. Maybe it will cause them to take a little bit more pride in what they have.

Anyway, once Kim left it was classes as normal until the end of the day. At the end of the day, I went with Kevin (my principal) to run a few errands in town. The most important of which was to get some brochures printed in order to advertise the school. For the past couple of weeks, I have been creating a small brochure to show off what the school has to offer in order to help increase the number of students coming to Chanel College. It contains a lot of photos of school activities and tells what the school has to offer for the students that come here – Kevin especially wanted to focus on the computers that we have. So we went to a place to have them professionally printed and they should be done by tomorrow. After that, we drove up to see the Archbishop and Kevin showed him what the brochure looked like, and he (the Archbishop) was quite impressed. But the thing I was most impressed about when we visited the archbishop was the location that his office was in – it was the best view of Apia I have seen yet. It was simply awesome and fortunately I brought my camera with me, so I'll be posting pictures from my trip up to his office. After that we drove up to the retreat home of an ex-student of Chanel who is also on the board of directors for the school. His retreat home is very far up in the mountains but has just an amazing view of Apia and the other half of Upolu. While the ex-student wasn't there, the person who watched over the house was and he told me that on a clear day you could see all the way to Savaii from that location. Unfortunately it was cloudy, but if I ever go back to that location I hope it's a clear day! We then drove down to the ex-students in-town house (we drove quite a bit this day) and he was home, so we popped in for a bit of conversation and Kevin was able to show him the brochure for the school – which impressed him as well. Hopefully it will impress parents to send their students to Chanel, but I digress. So we just chatted for a bit, with the ex-student (Peter) picking my brain for some computer information – which I was happy to give since he's given a lot to the school over the years. We eventually began talking about ways to improve the network capabilities of the school's computers, so hopefully by next year we'll have a much better system then we have right now. But the best part of the night – in my opinion – was when this ex-student offered Kevin and I dinner at a restaurant. I was quite shocked, but willingly accepted it. So Kevin and I drove over to the restaurant where I had my first T-bone steak in over a year (I've eaten steak in Samoa, but not a T-bone) and it was quality, let me tell you. It was also a good time of conversation between Kevin and I, just learning things about him and things going on around the college that I had no idea about (my school world is mainly confined to the computer labs). In all, it was a highly productive day.

The most unexpected treat of the day was the fact that I got to see places in Samoa I had yet to see – especially towards the interior of the island. Since Peace Corps are confined to using bikes and the buses for transportation, there are still a lot of places in Samoa I have not been to yet – so today was kind of a revelation for me. Think of it as a 'one year anniversary' present, I got to learn a little bit more about those places in Samoa that I would never have gotten to on my own. You learn something new everyday and today I saw something new that I had never seen before – what a day. And while tomorrow is a new day, it is also the beginning of the Volunteer Visit. I will be getting two of the new trainees – Larry and Craig – as they get an opportunity to see what my regular volunteer life is like. Hopefully they can keep up with all the partying and boozing! No – not really, but it shall be interesting. I'll be back on Friday to let you know how things went. L8r!

1 comment:

Ethan and Sara said...

Great to hear you are doing so well...I was mıssıng Samoa so I fınally got a chance to read some blogs. Say hı to Samoa for me. I mıss ıt. Fa Sara