Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
At mass this morning, Bishop Chris gave us an update about a missing canoe holding nine people.  The canoe left from Gizo, and among the passengers were a priest and two children.  Boat travel is the main method of transportation between islands that are often hundreds of kilometers apart.  When a boat or canoe misses it’s target destination, it can drift far into the Pacific Ocean.  We learned that the canoe from Gizo went missing two days ago.  Late last night, Bishop Chris got a call that five people swam ashore.  They were in the open water for over 24 hours.  The body of a 30 year old teacher from the Philippines who was engaged to be married in October washed ashore.  The other three, including the two children, have not been found and are presumed to be dead.  Unfortunately, this kind of tragedy is very common.  There is no safety equipment - life jackets, life rafts, etc - aboard.  So many people’s lives could be saved if precautions were mandatory and implemented.  It’s heartbreaking to think about the struggles of the passengers, alive and dead, as they tried to reach shore.
On a lighter note, Sr. Matilda cooked breakfast this morning.  We had pancakes which are made with just flour and water and are enormous.  The best way to eat these pancakes is rolled up with is honey and sliced papaya inside.  
Sr. Loretta and I made our way to school after cleaning up the kitchen.  We walk through the boys housing on the way, and as we approach, heads peek out of the doors and windows and shout “Morning Sister.  Morning Madame.”  It’s kind of awesome that people call me madame.  I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
I taught one of the Form 4 sections today.  It went really well, and the students are beginning to open up and offer answers.  I taught them different stems that are used commonly, like -cred, -fid, -mania.  We went through examples, then they had to create their own sentences.  The students are better at reading and writing English than speaking it.  I saw one boy had a great sentence written in his notebook, so I asked him to share it.  He was quiet for a second, then looked at me and whispered, “I can’t.  I’m scared.”  After some encouragement, he stood up and gave his answer to the class.  Some of these kids are really smart, and I think that if they build their confidence and public speaking abilities, they’ll excel in class.  There has already been great improvement, and I hope that the students come to recognize their own wonderful abilities.  
I did a few errands after school.  I stopped in the Telecom and went to the market - first solo trip.  Traveling with the sisters is definitely an advantage, but I got along just fine.  A bag full of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and fresh bread made the rest of the house very happy.  I walked the few kilometers home and had a serious sweat going on.  Cayla and Chrisma came in the house soon after, and we ate some of the fresh veggies and played inside while it poured outside.  Cayla and I took a quick nap before doing an Insanity work out video in the living room.  Sr. Loretta is going to join us next time.  I think a sisters aerobics video will be in the works within a few days.
After evening prayer, Bishop Chris took us out to dinner at the only restaurant in Auki.  They have served the same five menu items for the last eight years.  Nevertheless, it was delicious and we all enjoyed our time together.  

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