Thursday, November 10, 2011

MTV's, tsunami drills, and plants hitting me in the face

Friday marks the four month mark since I moved to AmSam and we also don’t have school because of Veteran’s Day. This has been one crazy week so I am excited for an extra day off!
Today was an island-wide tsunami evacuation drill. A “fake” earthquake was to hit the island at exactly 10:00. At 10:00, our bell started going off. [Let me take a moment here to explain our bell, which isn’t a bell at all. Our bell is an oxygen tank. Yep. People beat on it with a stick to signal when class ends, when class starts, and when a tsunami is coming. Bells do not exist on this island. Everyone beats on the oxygen tanks in their villages. I find it hilarious, but I’m so used to it now that I don’t even realize how totally random it is.] Anyways, 4 minutes prior to the oxygen tank ringing, it starts pouring. Rain or shine, this drill was happening. For the next 30 minutes, we stood outside in the cold rain trying to keep the students together and calm. I had a raincoat, but that didn’t help my feet much when I was wading through ankle and shin deep nasty water. Ew. As soon as we had everyone outside and somewhat organized by classrooms, the actual tsunami warning system went off. UGH. You should all know by now how much I hate tornados. They are my biggest fear and hearing a tornado siren is enough to make me want to lose it. The tsunami sirens are almost as bad. It’s a really creepy beeping sound with a voice that says something in Samoan. After we had everyone piled out on the football practice field, we all just stood there in the rain and mud. What fun. We then had a 15 minute assembly and since everyone was soaking wet, the principal sent everyone home. It was 11:00. I spent the rest of the day grading papers and enjoying the peace and quiet!
Let’s back up a bit. On Halloween, we had a MTV Showdown at school. Samoans call music video’s MTV’s (funny, right?). Each class had to perform a skit, a MTV, and the advisors had to do their own mini MTV. Everyone wore black, too. It was quite the assembly and entertaining in so many ways. The junior class had the best skit by far, and even though I’m biased because I have almost all of them, it was hands down hilarious. I made a video of it, and by myself and with my students, I’ve probably watched the 9 minute video about 20 times. It gets me every time. I wish so bad that the internet was fast enough on this island for me to upload it so you could see it! They did a great job with the skit and MTV, and two of our junior advisors did a dance to the Pussycat Dolls (I snuck my way out of it. I was not about to be a Pussycat Doll in front of the entire school…ha). Later that night, we had trick or treaters! For the first time in my life, I was able to answer the door to more than one or two trick or treaters. It was so fun! The kids and high schoolers that showed up at our house all sang us a song: half in English, half in Samoan. It was cute. We passed out candy and sat on our front porch with a candle because the power went out. Spooky!
Another weird angle picture, but with two of my sweetest students. This was MTV Showdown Day. 

This is either the freshmen or sophomore class performing their MTV. Theirs was pretty good! Almost everyone used Beyonce songs (they just love her here) and some crazy intense rap songs.

Our varsity football team has made a comeback! We whooped Kananafou (Kah-nah-nah-foh) High School's Samoan butts last Friday. The view from the stands will never get old.

Sweaty, extremely happy, and cheesin' football players. Four of them are in my classes.

Here are some more AmSam randoms for you:
-          I’ve got a race coming up! There is a “Turkey Run” on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I’ll be running it for the junior class. I’m not sure what kind of race shape I’m in, but I’ll do my best to win a turkey (literally).
-          Someone threw a plant at me today and it hit me in the face/head. I’m pretty sure it was an accident and that the student didn’t actually mean to hit me but I had leaves and dirt all over my head, forehead, and neck throughout the whole drill. HA. I think it’s hilarious. I don’t even know who threw it, but either way: only in AmSam.
The following song is a classic Samoan tune that I’ve come to love. It’s about a Samoan couple who are forced to have a long distance relationship when the woman goes to New Zealand to pick apples (at least I think that’s what it’s about. I know it is about apple picking at least. It’s called Tauga apu and apu means apple.) The juniors used it at the end of their skit and it was PERFECT. I thought I’d share it with you all:

Now that I’m slowly catching up on my internet life, I’ll continue to enjoy this beautiful, cool night with a cup of peppermint tea and some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that I baked earlier.
Somebody eat some chili, a caramel apple, and some sweet potatoes for me! I send you all my alofa and hope that you aren’t too cold in all that snow that seems to be hitting home. Remember…I’ve got an extra mattress for anyone that wants to take a few days vacation on a tropical island. I promise you coconuts, bananas, sun, and plenty of fun!


Mom said...

Speaking of alarms, the Metra alarm/voice system in Elmhurst is pretty freaky. I guess if the alarms sounded more like Tauga 'Apu, we'd just be humming along and neverminding that there is a crisis at hand. So, is the person "ringing" the oxygen tank the last person to evacuate??

Rich said...

Hahahaha oxygen tanks?! That's crazy!

Since pine cones and rotten apples seem to be pretty hard to come by... I messaged along that a plant with leaves and dirt would have to suffice for now! Just my way of saying I love you and I miss you! :)