Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sports Day

Sorry for not posting in the last month but I've been pretty busy.  By busy I mean mostly lazy but there have been a few things going on.  We had two sports days this month.  The first one was here in Faleloa and only involved our students.  We had events ranging from 25 meter sprints to 400 meter races (1 lap).  It was a great success. A lot of families came out and watched and brought food with them.  My favorite part of the day was watching the Tongan mothers getting really into cheering on their kids.  You would have these little kids running and then out of nowhere would run this big Tongan woman next to the track and race their children to the finish line.  I say big because most of these women were +225 lbs.  They could move surprisingly fast though.  And then they started to get a little too excited and shit got a little out of hand.  During one of the sprints for the Class 1 girls, a couple of the moms ran out to cheer on their kids, when another Mom thought it'd be funny to take out one of them.  She ran out and basically bulldozed straight into one of the on rushing moms.  She just lowered her head and drilled the other woman in the chest.  It was nuts. I don't think she meant to connect as well as she did, but she clobbered the other woman.  Everyone was hysterically laughing but the other Mom was pretty shaken up.  I wouldn't be surprised if she was a little concussed but the next race went on like nothing happened.
So all the winners were recorded and they would all compete in the big sports day on the next island over which was last Friday.  In the meantime all the kids that were to compete in the big sports day had hardcore cardio workouts at least 3 times a week after class.  It was crazy how much these kids ran.  They would long distance running, sprints, push ups, you name it and they did it.  I was very impressed as I sat in the shade in front of my house watching and thinking how this shit wouldn't fly in America.
Last Thursday I wore up at 8 for my class at 8:30.  When I got to the classroom I was told that today we would only be having a half day and that we wouldn't be teaching.  Instead the teachers were going to teach the kids to march and to practice their cheers.  I sure as hell wasn't about to march around the field with the kids for a couple hours in the hot sun, so I grabbed my iPod and speakers from my house and set myself up in the shade by the school.  I cranked up some Bob Marley and ended up taking an hour and a half nap with all the slow kids who didn't make the travel roster lol.  After about an hour and a half one of the kids came and woke me up and told me it was my turn to teach them some new cheers.  They already the Remember the Titans cheer customized for our village.  I taught them "We Will Rock You," "In the Jungle the mighty jungle...," and "Sweet Caroline."  I also taught them the wave which you see at big soccer games.  It was really funny seeing the kids singing "Sweet Caroline" and they loved "We Will Rock You" with the clapping.
On Friday we all crammed into the one bus on the island and headed to next island over.  Almost the whole school (about 50 students) and 8 students squeezed in there.  There were 7 teams competing.  The two schools from our island and 5 from the next island over.  Ironically it was March 18th, the day after St. Patrick's day here but due to the time difference it was still March 17th back home, and our village color is green.  So true to tradition I wore green on St. Paddy's day.  We did alright.  We came in third for over all medal count and one of my Class 6 students won MVP due to his 7 gold medals.

Class 5 Girls race

One of the Mothers racing the kids to the finish line

Class 5 Boys race

This is 'Aisea.  At the end of every race he ran his mother (pictured in the background) would run out and chase him down with a water bottle to get him to run faster.  As you can see he was a very good sport about it.

Classes 3-5

More motherly encouragement during the sack races

Class 1 boys getting ready for their relay race.

Class 2 girls relay race

Packing into the bus on the way to the big sports day on the next island.

This was taken as we left the school but we stopped down the road after this picture was taken to pick up some more kids and moms.  Sione, the boy sitting on the dash was holding a 1 year old in his lap for the rest of the ride while sitting on the dash.

More of the bus ride

Faleloa getting ready to march out for the opening ceremonies

This is a picture of my Class 6 English night class.  Every Monday night from now until the end of October (excluding breaks) I teach Monday night class for two hours to help get Class 6 ready for their big exam.

1 comment:

  1. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Tonga? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Tonga in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Calle Valencia,39
    28903 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez