Last week schools across American Samoa celebrated teacher appreciation week. A large event was planned in Tutuila to bring the teachers and staff from all of the public school together, but since Tutuila schools missed over a week of classes due to the pink eye epidemic (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/04/pink-eye-american-samoa_n_5093987.html) the event was cancelled. Manu’a, however, did not cancel school, and planned our own celebrations.
The festivities kicked off on Sunday afternoon with a special church service in Fitiuta for staff of all 3 schools (Faleasao Elementary, Fitiuta Elementary, Manu’a High School) and the community. Teacher and staff from all 3 schools were honored with performances, ulas, and platters of snacks.
Monday-Thursday each class at the high school took turns bringing in food for our faculty and staff. I received more food every day than I could eat, plenty of soda, and handmade ulas. This was what our meals looked like most days:
On Friday the staff from all 3 schools got together in the high school gym to finish off the week. The morning was spent doing zumba and playing field day games (balloon toss, wheelbarrow freeze, relay races, etc.). We had one more Samoan BBQ before everyone boarded busses back home. We spent the afternoon swimming and relaxing before a house warming party at Jason and Diana’s new place. I was too busy having fun to take pictures, but you get the idea :)
There didn’t seem to be any reason to have the fun stop Friday, so I spent half of Saturday at To’a and the other half playing with the kids. I got them all sugared up with an entire bag of marshmallows, blew a bunch of bubbles and played a few games before sending them back to their parents with what remained of their sugar high. The kids borrowed my waterproof/shockproof camera and took some photos of the fun.
And to finish off the post, a picture looking back at Faleasao on my walk to school today. The color of the water here will never stop amazing me.
And a little bragging. I was awarded Teacher of the Month for April and May, which means a fancy certificate, more food, and school supplies. Yippee!!