Friday, February 18, 2011

A Day in the Life of Nola

                It is pretty hard to describe my life and experiences here through blogs, emails, and pictures.  I am even able to communicate with folks back home via telephone, which is amazing! [In some Peace Corps locales, I wouldn’t be so lucky.]  However, it feels like trying to explain a movie that you’re never going to see.  I can tell you about the characters, the plot, and some exciting scenes.  Alas, even if I was a stellar storyteller there would be so much left unsaid.  

I suppose that’s just the way it’s supposed to be.  …and who am I kidding?  All you really want/need to know are the highlights.  Even if you could watch my imaginary Peace Corps ‘movie’ in its totality, I don’t think you’d want to.  The reality is that my life here is, in many ways, just like yours and just like mine was back home [possibly more akin to C-SPAN than a thrilling blockbuster].  So, for future blogging ventures you’ll be getting just the highlights.  However, as a one-time only treat today I present ‘A Day in the Life of Nola…’

4:30 am            Reach semi-conscious state because bells for early morning church have begun ringing. [Luckily, that’s only Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.]

5:00 am            Sometimes…. sleeping!  Sometimes… I am listening to the very enthusiastic singing voices of the churches down the street from my house.

6:00 am            Definitely awake now.  I don’t even need an alarm!  There are always roosters and pigs making a ruckus and sometimes people like to crank up the tunes before breakfast [this can include anything from Justin Bieber to Celine Dion to various rap artists to LOTS of Taylor Swift to Josh Groban to old school Mariah Carey Christmas songs].  This doesn’t happen all the time and I really don’t mind. How could I be mad when Josh Groban + squealing pigs are serenading me on a lovely Tongan morning?

7:00 am            I’ve just finished doing a few sit ups [let’s be serious, this doesn’t happen every day] and taking a shower.  Some days, I boil a pot of water and use it to take a warm shower!  [By warm shower, I mean I take a cold shower and then pour warm water over my head before hopping out.  It feels better than it sounds!]
7:30 am            Now I eat breakfast, the best meal of the day!  If I have bread, I love a good piece of toast.  Often, I eat oatmeal and a banana which is great too. [note: appreciate your pre-sliced bread America! Without the help of slicing machines, I am forced to eat texas-toast sized slices and use way too much peanut butter!] 

8:00 am            I clean up around the house and begin my trek to school.  Sometimes this includes turning around, because I tend to forget my ‘kie kie.’  [The ‘kie kie’ is my traditional Tongan woven belt/waist garnish that is worn in formal settings. aka…every day at school!]  Luckily, it’s a very short walk!

8:30 am            The bell [which is actually an old propane tank] rings.  All the kids line up, sing the national anthem, pray, and then head to their respective classrooms.

9:00 am            After opening ceremonies ;) I usually wander over to our school ‘office/library.’  I spend a bit of time sorting and cleaning books with intermittent visits from my friend, Pita.  He’s 4.  He comes and chats with me [I apparently do not yet have the equivalent of a 4 year old’s vocabulary because he confuses me sometimes!] and sometimes I attempt to read to him in English.  Naturally, he just wants to look at the pictures.

10:30 am          Taimi Malolo!  Recess!  During recess, I usually find at least 15 kids who want to have story-time! 

12:30 pm          Kai Ho’ata! Lunch time!  Snack time/laundry/last minute preparations for class!

1:30 pm            English Class!  I have about an hour long lesson with the 20 Class 6 kids.  This week we’re learning about ‘Shopping’ words!

4:00 pm            Now, I’m off to our Community Library.  I am hoping that soon, this will be a time for high school kids to come read, work on homework, etc.  During our first two days, it has been a literal circus with running, screaming kids, lots of mud, and giant bugs. We’ll see what next week brings.

6:00 pm            Home, sweet home.  It’s time to feed the dog.  Did I mention I have a dog?  This did not occur by choice.  She adopted me.  I make some dinner [which is occasionally a bowl of cereal :) ], have a cup of tea, and read a bit.

9:30 pm            Mohe! [Sleep!]  I don’t go to bed this early every night, but I will admit it is beginning happen quite often.  Sometimes if I’ve had too much tea I manage to stay awake until 10:30 or 11:00.  This is a wild life I lead.

This Week’s Update:

§  I am officially the Class 6 English teacher and very happy about it.  This is going to be quite an adventure, as I have pretty much no teaching experience!  I am enjoying it already, but if anyone has any tidbits of teaching advice I would gladly accept it!

§  We have had 6 straight days of non-stop rain this week. Oiaue!! [that’s an ‘Oh my!’ if I haven’t told you already.]  I got my first opportunity to use a blanket last night.  It was delightful!

§  Osi! [That’s it!]  I hope I haven’t bored you with this far too detailed account of my daily activities. ; )

Have a wonderful week in the states!  


1 comment:

  1. Hi Nora!

    I shared "A Day in the Life of Nola" with my students and they LOVED it! You are a busy women - changing lives! I am happy to hear that you are officially the Class 6 English teacher. I am sure your students love you. I really enjoy your blogs....keep them coming!
    You are in my prayers - travel safely.

    Aunt Dee