Thursday, March 10, 2011

Life on Wallis is pretty good! Work is work is work, and although I'm still settling in I'd much rather comment on all of the other things we have been doing!

Sefo and his brother go spearfishing every Saturday and lucky for us Sefo caught a Spanish Mackeral, and for those in the know, that means Sushi!! Sefo and I bought some Nori sheets when we were in Fiji in the hope that Sefo would catch a fish which was suitable to eat for sushi and sashimi!! It was good timing because on the Sunday it was A's birthday so we were able to make a yummy feast!!
Sefo had his first go at skinning the fish and did a pretty good job! He sliced the sashimi and I made the sushi! We had to make a stop at his Aunties house as she has an avocado tree with the biggest, yummiest avocados I've ever eaten so they had to be added to the recipe! It was delicious!

The other things that we have done in the last few weeks is a trip to the little island. It was Ay's first time to the island, and his first time swimming! Quite an initiation for a Wallisian 3 year old! In the beginning he was quite scared in the water, but by the end of the afternoon he didnt want to get out! Sefos brother went and caught a few fish for lunch, and we had some leftover pork which we cooked on a fire. Along with drinking coconuts and some more fresh avocados donated from Sefos aunt (who was camping on the island) it was the perfect island lunch!

In my spare time I've been trying to grow a vegie garden from seed. So far most have sprouted and I have picked some rocket and one green bean! I have one tomato plant which is quite tall but no hint of fruit yet, and some others that a well on their way to growing into good plants! My zucchini plants are leafy and sprouting male flowers, but havent spotted any females ones yet. My carrots look like they are growing well but I have no idea when to pull them out! So to sum up, its looking good but no actual vegies yet!!!
Sefos brother has started planting a bigger vegie garden too (he works in the agriculture field) so hopefully he is able to have some luck too - he is planting lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes...I just want to eat some nice fresh vegies please!!!

The other exciting news on the island is the A had a baby girl 3 days ago! M, a little girl, was born very quickly, weighing a healthy 3.4kg. She is very cute, and looks so tiny! Hoepfully they will come home tomorrow! Visiting the maternity ward was interesting. Its not really a ward, more of a small room with a few baby capsules in there. The nurse dressed the baby in a cardigan and wrapped in a sarong - and everyone seemed surprised that M cried all night and then they figured out she was hot! There are no fans, aircon in the room and the food is cooked and left on a trolley outside where patients get up and find their food (from what I understand) - so most inpatients have food given to them by family. S has been getting up at about 5.30am and making breakfast to take in to them! You also have to provide your own bedding - although I think that makes it a bit more hygenic too!! A's mother has been sleeping in the hospital with her which is the way things are done here - and the father of the baby stays at home.

It is very traditional here and it certianly is interesting learning the way they do things in Wallis, and also at times difficult not imposing my own view point/judging the way that they do things here - particulary around baby care! But before posting any more examples I'll wait and find out more!!
So, until next time!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


This week I started work at the Lycee as the Assistant D'Anglais! The Lycee is the school that students go to in their final years - ages 16-18. I have really been thrown in the deep end!! On my second day - the teacher (who had previously told me not to prepare anything)introduced me to the class and then said that she was going to split the class into 2 and half the students would go with me in the first block and other half would go with me in the second block!! So there I was, with nothing prepared, for 10 students for the 1st hour and then the other 10 students for the second hour!! Luckily I can think on my feet!!

The school system here is very different to Australia (well, to Victoria - which is all I can compare it to!). The students attend the school for 3 years -the 1st year is called 'Seconde' the second year is called 'Premiere' and the third years are called 'Terminale'...which is all quite confusing!! The students typically stay in the same group for their whole 3 years and have a career focus, e.g. catering, economics, electronics etc. The school is divided into 2 - with a technical school and a general school. Last week they also opened another school which focuses on Agriculture. School starts at 7am and goes until 5pm, with a break between 12-2 for lunch (and for me a nana nap!) Most teachers have a day off, and all of the students have Wednesday afternoons off.

So far I have found the students level of English to be quite poor - so I have a big job ahead of me!! They have found it difficult to ask me questions like 'how old are you, where did you live, what do you like to do' etc. But it is also very early on in the year and perhaps they just need a refresher!! I wont hold my breathe! It has been amusing to watch their faces when they find out how old I am and whether I have any children!! Here, in Wallis, the women have children very young (most in their early 20s) - so for them to see a 31year old married woman without children it really is a novelty!!

The teachers I work with all seem very nice - some nicer than others which is the way it is everywhere I suppose!! Some ask me to be in their class and take individual students out for short periods to provide intensive work, others give me half their class and dont really care what I do with them!! It will take some time for me to get used to it I think...but it's also good that I have a varied caseload and can try different things! I think it is harder for the students to get used to having a teacher who doesnt speak the same language as they do!!

I work as the English Assistant for 12hrs a week - unfortunately my timetable is rubbish! I work everyday!! I am also continuing to do the tutoring (3hrs a week so far, with some others expressing an interest for more) and I will work at the College (which is a school for children ages 11-16) 4 hrs per month. So I cant complain about being bored anymore!! I just really need my own car!!!