A DAY IN THE LIFE OF…A VOLUNTEER IN CHUUK
Moraru Ariela was a volunteer in Micronesia. She published this on her blog, Ariel Free Spirit, in February, 2016. Read on to experience a day in her life in Micronesia.
5.45am – Cock-a-doodle-doo. Break of dawn. Wakey wakey. Can’t get out of bed. Oh wait, I can have a snooze. It’s not time yet. Reach for my phone. Look at the 40 messages my sis sent me because she can’t be bothered to get Skype: get with the program, sis! Turn off AC. Man, I’m spoiled rotten – AC on a Pacific island, who would have thought? Cold shower. Shiver. Muumuu time! Roll down the hill.
‘Hey, ‘cher ‘cher!’
Music jamming everywhere – Waka waka, time for Africa! Wait, isn’t that song super old?
‘Tirow-tirow!’ [bend over when you pass in between people having a conversation]
Never mind, made it to my classroom. Fans on. Change the date on the board. Girls braiding hair. My board is sectioned for the various English levels ready to go. Oh, I forgot a word. Where can I squeeze it in? Bell rings.
‘Your warm-up while I take attendance today is…’
Such a bad term for a Pacific island. Ok, from now on I’ll call it your Cool down.
‘Don’t touch the projector, boy. It’s hot.’
‘Don’t worry, teacher – I’m training for hell.’
Love it when my kids have a sense of humor. Smile on. Now they’ll never take me seriously.
‘Guys, what did I say about walking around without asking me? Second warning, so see me after school.’
‘Who’s going to read next? Popcorn to…Leialohaleen.’
Yes, I got the name right! Classwork in. 3 minutes in-between periods.
‘Teacher, can we listen to music?’
‘Teacher, what’s this on the e-book?’ [love note in Chuukese to someone in a different section]
Our high school rocks: we have tablets and e-books. I know, right? Never underestimate your students: they will find a way to write a love letter on any book – be it hard copy or electronic.
‘Teacher, you’re so beautiful.’
Cause I’m the jungle VIP
And I wanna walk like you,
Talk like you.
Snap out of it.
‘No, you’re beautiful, Jenia.’
Back to teaching.
‘So who can tell me how Koro tried to restore/bring back the harmony/unity/good relationship/communion between the whales and humans/people/the villagers/the Maori?’
So many synonyms – not all perfect: I’m only human. I’m a walking Thesaurus.
Next round of students in. This day is flying by.
‘Teacher, can I go to the bathroom?’
‘Can I go spit?’ [gross, but both boys and girls go outside to spit a lot]
‘Can we eat ramen?’
‘Do you have a pencil? Sharpener? Paper?’
‘Can I get my pencil from my cousin in teacher Tristan’s class?’
‘Can I get water from the office?’
Uhm, maybe teacher needs a bathroom break. Wait, teachers don’t pee. Say the mantra until you believe it.
‘He escaped, teacher.’
Classwork in. Look at that pile. What’s this? The characters are Androcles, the lion and the moans. Well someone needs glasses before they decide to cheat – Romans, not moans!
‘Teacher, sorry, not enough memory or study. I tried my best.’
Fifth period. Detention time. Yes, please clean my classroom. Dance club – hips rolling!
Home time! Coconut in hand.
Naked kids waving to the rich white American – yeap, that would be me! Wow, this time getting that American citizenship took less than expected – just kidding, I’m still Romanian, but no one knows or cares here. Ro- what?
These little kids make my day. Cause I’m the jungle VIP. Oh yeah! This jungle VIP has 150 papers to grade. Lesson plan. Papaya outside my house – yum!
Yoga on the water tower watching the pink sunset far, far away melting in the blue waters. You need so little to be happy. Floating in the Pacific. The jungle’s alive – old Papa Bear humming in the distance:
Look for the bare necessities,
The simple bare necessities,
Forget about your worries and your strife.