August 26, 2012

what i have been up to

Tour…what has been happening?
July 21 good-bye Pohnpei, hello Chuuk!
August 3-5 weekend on a tiny island…Pisar!

August 10 lost mail was found! (I gave out the wrong address…)
August 11 scavenger hunt with the JVs (Jesuit volunteers who are great friends!)
August 14 PCV!
August 15 hello Fefan!
August 20 1st day of school for teachers
August 24 Enrich’s (my little brother) birthday
August 25 1st Chuukese wedding

PC life begins…
A 20-30 minute (depending on weather) boat ride from Weno, and then I am home…we dock our small fiber glass boat in front of our house, which is right on the water! The view from our porch is…indescribable!
My family: parents and a little brother and sister, we live with my mom’s family-some of her sisters, her dad, and some cousins live with us full time, but other people are always visiting-so it is always a full house!
There is no electricity (we use a generator at night), no cars, no running water (except for large rain catchment tanks).
I take a bucket shower, flush my toilet (yes, I actually have a toilet seat!) with a bucket of water, cook on kerosene/propane stoves, walk everywhere, and wash my clothes by hand.
Most of my time is spent hanging out in our traditional house-called an utt- it is the coolest place to be.
There is not a lot to do here, so most of my time is spent reading, chatting, and hanging out…oh and swimming!

Chuukese culture…
Chuukese time-nothing ever starts on time…
Just about everyone carries around a machete (including kids as young as 5!)…just in case you need to chop something down or open a coconut!
Eating is done as a group…with your hands, usually off of a community plate while sitting on the floor.
Church is the center of everything (my village is Catholic).
Everyone showers at least twice a day.


Our school is renovating our building, so we are using the old building-which means there are not enough classrooms for every class.  So we are starting a week late…we will have 2 ½ day sessions of school. K-4th in the morning from 8-11:10 and 5th-8th in the afternoon from 11:30-3:30. Our new school should be done sometime between late December-February (remember we are using Chuukese time calculations here so it is probably more like late February!)
I work with all the grades 1st-8th as an English teacher.
Teaching should be an experience…coming from a super technology based school in the states to a school with almost no supplies! (each classroom has a chalkboard, paper-computer not lined, pencils, tables/benches made out of scrap wood by the teachers, incomplete sets of textbooks that are probably from the 90s)
This year the DOE is implementing a few new things…year round school (go to school for a quarter, then 2 weeks off); DLA (dual language arts) students will get a Chuukese language class and then an English language class with the same lesson.
Stay tuned for more adventures in my teaching…

How am I doing?
There are good days.
There are bad days.
But the truth is I am doing just fine adjusting to Chuukese life! I just take one day at a time with Jesus always holding my hand and leading the way!

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