Alright, so today was kind of the first official day of Mom's trip – you know, with her finally being over her jet lag and all that mess. So my original plan for the day was to have her come with me to school and watch me teach, but as it always goes the best laid plan are bound for failure. When I woke up at around 6:30am to turn on all the computers in the lab again – just in case I was a bit late – I noticed on the teacher board that there was a message that wasn't there when I left the school at 2pm on Wednesday. It stated that the first 4 periods of the day (the 4 periods my mom was going to watch me teach in) were cancelled because of some World Cross Youth Day event. I was like 'You have to be joking!' The reason mom didn't come watch me teach yesterday was because I had planned for her to see me today, but that was not to be. So at around 7:10am I went to the hotel and met up with her. Once I told her that basically school had been cancelled for me that day, we weren't in such a rush to get back to the school. Instead we went downstairs to the hotel's restaurant and mom had a few cups of coffee. Julya's parents came down and we chatted with them for a while because this might be the last time they run into each other until their flight back to the states – they'll have very different stories of their time here, which should be interesting. So after we were done with breakfast, I drove her back to the school and was finally able to show her what my house looked like which was a real treat because pictures sometimes don't do the place justice.
When we arrived at the school, the students were in an assembly for the Youth event. So Mom got to be introduced to the entire school, Father Kevin introduced her and they gave her a nice clap. The kids had a look of shock on their face as to say 'Who is this woman that looks like Marques? There's more of him!' – it was quite funny, I thought. After the kids had all left for the event, I took mom on a tour of the school grounds and showed her my 4 computer labs and for the first time was able to verbally explain to someone all that I have been doing here. Talking about it with someone who wasn't part of the process really made me think that 'Man, I've done a lot here in just a year and a half'. Once we were done with the school tour, we headed back to town for lunch.
For lunch, we went to the Kofi Haus which is the restaurant I go to for watching NFL games on Sunday mornings (Sunday afternoons in the states). She even got to meet Collin, the owner of the restaurant and one of my good friends here in Samoa, so that was cool – he's a really nice guy. After lunch, we went to Janet's jewelry store and the flea market for picking up some gifts for the folks back home. So this was kind of like the shopping day for the trip. Once we were done shopping, I took her over to the food market to see all the stuff that was available there – I knew it was kind of a shock to her system because there's really nothing like this in the states. She had her first Samoan coconut (called a niu (new)) today and was very much surprised at how much a small coconut can hold.
Once all that was done, we head to Paul and Viv's to do some craft with Viv but she got some unexpected visitors so that portion of the day got delayed. In fact, the two things I didn't have control over today (school and the crafts) got cancelled – it's a good thing I've learned to be flexible over the past year and a half. Instead we got to spend a lot of time with the kids and mom found out how Samoans prepare a taro and even tried something called Koko lice (or Coco Rice). So the new foods are just starting to come into the picture on the second day!
Now we are headed off to the Hotel Kitano for her first Samoan fiafia show. She'll finally be able to see fire dancing in person! Should be a lot of fun. L8r!