So...it's been so long without a post, and I am so far behind. I don't want to end up with the world's longest blog post, so I am going to post a couple of the next few days. First of all, let me start by saying that I'M IN AUSTRALIA! (More on that later.)
Let's do a bulleted list of what's happened since the Field Trip Day.
1) The week of Thanksgiving was just insanity. On Monday, we went to school, only to be informed that the Home Ec class was putting on a "fashion show" for the whole school, starting right away and lasting until 10:30. This did not actually phase me one bit. To steal a phrase from the wonderful Catherine Queen, current WorldTeach volunteer in Manu'a, T.I.S. (This is Samoa.) Of COURSE we are having a fashion show instead of 1st and 2nd period. You mean all school don't do this? (Actually, I think I need to revamp Cat's phrase a little, and change it to T.I.L (This is Leone). Because this whole island is crazy, but Leone is the craziest of all, Lord love it.
Anyway, here are a picture from the fashion show, which feature such categories as "swimwear" and "reggae wear."
The thing about the fashion show was, it was in the gym. And the gym is not attached to the rest of the school. And it was pouring down rain that morning. Which mean all the students got SOAKED walking to the gym. And what happens when all the students get wet? Send 'em home!
Yeah, after the fashion show, we got the rest of the school day off. (T.I.L.)
I do find amusement in watching all the kids try not to get wet as they run to the gym. I even took pictures!
Anyway. Tuesday of that week was pretty normal, but Wednesday! Wednesday was the 28th Annual Leone Turkey Run! Allow me to explain:
Every year, the day before Thanksgiving, Leone High School sponsers a 4.5 mile run through the villages of Leone, Sogi, Vailoa, Taputimu, and Puapua on the West Side of the island. The winners in each category get a free turkey for Thanksgiving. Well, Abby and Quinn and I were determined to get a turkey, and we roped Alison into coming with us.
After arriving at the school at 4:30 for a 5:00 am start time (which, by the way, is way earlier than I am able to interact with ANYbody like a civilized human being), we were off! Quinn and Abby of course took off ahead of everybody else. It was a pretty good turnout, I think there were about 150 people or so there, lots from the village, and even some palagis from Pago area.
Here's Quinn and Abby before the race (WAY too chipper for that early, with the prospect of a 4 mile run ahead of them):
And here I am, a little over half way done with the race, near Sliding Rock (I guess when the view is that awesome, the whole running at 5 am thing doesn't seem THAT bad).
Anyway, as it turns out, Quinn and Abby got 1st and 2nd place in the class advisor category, and I got 2nd place in my category! Woo! Turkeys for all! (And turkeys on the island are about $30, so this was actually quite a prize.) Here we three are in our moment of victory:
Anyway, since T.I.L., that was it for us for the day. School's over! Abby and Quinn took their turkeys out to the Outer Island, where they went for Thanksgiving (never to be seen again, or at least trapped out there for a day or two extra), and I gave mine to our landlords, the Purcells, so they could put it in the umu (Samoan underground oven), and take it up to the Gurrs house, where I was going with them for Thanksgiving.
So, Thanksgiving. It was awesome. I went with the Purcells the whole way up the west coast, basically to the literal end of the road, to the village of Malota, where the Gurrs live. They have their own beach, and it was amazing. We went with all the Purcells grandkids, which were pretty amusing. It's so beautiful up the West Side. Everyone is always "The East Side is so beautiful," mainly because it's much more easily accesible, but I say WEST SIDE for the win! Here are some pics from Thanksgiving.
So, Friday that week was just me hanging out in town with Amanda, Julie, Jillian, Katherine and Lisa, which was fun. And Saturday was our playoff game against Tafuna, which we lost, and it was sad, so I will not be speaking further on THAT.
Anyway, there's Thanksgiving week for you! Slowly but surely catching up!