Friday, February 4, 2011

Uluaki Uike 'o Ako! [First Week of School!]

I logged onto the internet today just in time to see pictures (thanks, Mom!) of the mountains of snow blanketing the Midwest right now.  I know you all probably won’t believe this, but I am a bit jealous.  I have so many great childhood (…and of course college too!) memories of giant snow forts, sledding, and lots of hot chocolate.  However, I may be romanticizing your ‘snowmageddon’ [Thank you Alex for that delightful term.].  It’s easy to wish for snow when I’m hand washing my laundry in 98% humidity.  It may not be quite so enchanting after 30 minutes of shoveling the white fluff.  Also, I am now remembering the many walks to and from campus during Kirksville winters with soggy, freezing boots!  So…reminiscing; finished!  Best of luck to all of you snowed-in at home.  Enjoy our hot chocolate and when you get frustrated with the weather, imagine Nola in the blistering heat of Tonga! 

Enough about the weather, though!  Here is a little update on the happenings of ‘Nola’ this week.  Da da da da duuuummmmm…..[ that was a drum roll by the way. ] School finally began!  Every morning I take a little 5-7 minute stroll to school, usually collecting about 15 kids by the time I arrive.  The kids are pretty precious and all wear little red uniforms.  Don’t be fooled though, in large groups [like the 130 kids who attend my school] they can be a wild mob!  The first week of school in Tonga is a pretty relaxed atmosphere.
The schoolyard at dusk... :)
Our class 3,4,5 and 6 classrooms.
 Monday was essentially ‘school clean up’ day!  All the school kids picked up trash and swept classrooms.  Meanwhile, moms were out cutting the grass with machetes!  Mo’oni! [That’s Tongan for ‘for real’ or ‘really’!]  Our schoolyard is a giant open hill overlooking the bay, so cutting the grass is quite a bid job!  By Wednesday, we had gently eased into the normal class schedule.  I spent this week doing lots of work in our “library.”  I’m going to leave that word in quotations for the time being, only because the “library” needs a lot of work!  My school is pretty fortunate in that we actually have some nice books.  So, I am not starting from scratch!  There are even a few sets of books with multiple copies that might be great resources for me to use in lessons soon!  There are also some ridiculous books.  How did “A Beginners Guide to Cross Country Skiing” end up in Tonga?  : ) So anyway, my week mostly consisted of chasing a ton of wasps out from behind dusty books.  They built quite a few mud nests all over our bookshelves….even on actual books!  [If you haven’t noticed a theme here, I don’t think anyone has been using the “library” in a while.  That will change soon, though!] 
My time in the library was punctuated by “taimi malolo” [recess!].  Newsflash: Red Rover has arrived in Tonga.  The kids play and I hover hoping no one is going to break an arm! I also spent a bit of time wandering into each of the classrooms at my school and observing the teachers.   Soon, I will actually be doing some teaching! 
Sidenote: I also spent a lot of time this week trying to catch a mouse who has decided to inhabit my house.  So far…  Mouse-5  Nola-0.  I have set multiple kinds of traps and even chased the little bugger with a broom!  The little devil eats the bait off of my hardcore mousetrap every night and then scampers off into the night.  I even bought a ‘sticky trap,’ but each morning the bait has disappeard and there are little footprints in the glue!  All of my efforts have been to no avail.  I wake up every morning wondering what mischief he/she has gotten into.  He even ate through the plastic lid on a peanut container!  Mice apparently enjoy cereal, pineapples, bananas, and peanut butter. 
ok. That’s it for now.  Hopefully next week, I’ll be reporting library progress and victory over the mice/mouse!  Toki Sio!
p.s. If anyone has questions or just wants to drop me a line…feel free to email!  My address is

1 comment:

  1. Hello Nora!

    Sounds like everything is going fine for you! I am enjoying your blogs - keep them coming!

    Stay Safe!! xoxo

    Aunt Dee