Sunday, February 06, 2005

Lazy weekend

Well it’s Sunday night, and the edge of the weekend is slowly shuffling closer. The lights have just come back on after my first blackout since returning to Moresby, and I now have a new-found appreciation for the ceiling fan above me: it may not seem to do much when it’s been on all day and you’re still stifling, but when you’ve sat through 2 hours of humidity without it, well the sweet relief of having a breeze in a room that itself is almost dripping with sweat is almost holy…

It’s been a quiet weekend - so quiet in fact that I’ve only just broken the peace by playing music in the last 10 minutes – and that’s more of a reaction to having power again and wanting to use it, than actually needing to listen to anything ( and Pia requesting some Powderfinger to wash up to!). This place is pretty relaxing, and I guess you’d say it’s peaceful by the mere fact of having time on your hands to relax or read when you want to – but it’s not often that quiet: there’s dogs and children and noisy cars with mufflers dragging on the driveway, and music and TV blaring from 4 different houses around you most of the day or night. But this weekend, for some reason, it’s seemed like everyone agreed to pander to the quiet and just leave things switched off. Saturday morning was just pure bliss: once I’d got through the initial noise of the bus starting up and the mandatory 20 minutes of rumbling and talking and waiting for everyone to get on board (every 2nd Saturday is teachers’ shopping expedition), I seemed to have the entire compound to myself for hours. The house was empty, all my neighbours seemed to have vanished, and even the dogs had deserted the grounds. I just lay in bed reading, relishing the fact of having the place to myself, taking my time before going to the convent to put on my washing. I even enjoyed sweeping and mopping out the whole house because I knew that then I’d have the rest of the day to do nothing with a clear conscience – and after about 45 minutes of work I just sat on my verandah and watched the butterflies and enjoyed the breeze and my own thoughts for the next hour or so.

When the kids from next door came home I had the pleasure of watching them fill up and play in the little inflatable wading pool I’d brought back from Sydney – a hangover from Kindy days that Megan found in my old storeroom. I’d taken it over to their house one night after I came back, and was told by Doris the next morning that they’d blown it up and let Morris (her 2 year old) play in it in the house that night! This morning was the first time to use it outside, and he seemed to have so much fun filling it up with the hose, and then spraying his older sister with it that I was so glad I’d thought to bring it with me. Even funnier was watching Morris and Jasmine (who’s in my Grade 11 Computers class this year) with their mum telling me that Jasmine was just waiting til no one was looking so she could get in the pool too. I laughed and didn’t believe her – but as soon as I went inside to get a drink, I heard her giggling and I looked out the window – and true enough, there she was, sitting in the pool with Morris, splashing water everywhere!

I tried to be sneaky and take a surreptitious photo of them, but Morris is such a serious little boy I couldn’t get too close – so this is the best I have for now.

As well as reading and just day-drifting (mi salim ting ting) I also had a couple of excursions which added to the weekend: Airways with Neil and Mark last night for drinks and dinner; and to the Bluff Inn for lunch today with Leigh, an English VSO who’s relatively new to Moresby. I’d had a couple of back and forth introductory emails with him after he emailed AVI looking for people in Moresby, and today was the first time to actually meet him. Actually it was funny because I’d had these couple of e-conversations with him, but it wasn’t until last night that I found out whether he was a boy or a girl – I wasn’t really sure what the etiquette was on asking about gender when meeting someone via the net – Leigh’s kind of a unisex name, but somehow it seemed wrong when asking how long he’d been here, and what job he was doing to ask ‘oh and by the way are you a bloke or a sheila?’! But he called last night to confirm how to get here, and Pia took the call, saying a very British-sounding man had called while I was in the shower – so I figured that answered the question!

It was a good day, and despite a rather embarrassing and potentially damaging little incident involving navigating the driveway (let’s just say I learnt how to lift a car with my – and 2 other teachers’ – bare hands today!) I think I can say I’ve made a new friend.

And so the second week of school here at Marianville is almost to begin. I’ve met my two new Computers classes, re-established what I think will continue to be a good working relationship with my 2 English classes, and started decorating my new classroom. I’ve started setting goals with my girls for their School Certificate results at the end of the year, and feel reasonably confident that we’ll be able to meet them – their progress last year was really pleasing, and I’m hoping that will be proved in a swag of Distinctions and Credits in the national exams. I’ve got boarding duty Thursday nights this term, and all this week I think (swapped with Pia to get it out of the way) so I’ll no doubt be buggered by Friday – but I think I’m looking forward to it. A good start to the new school year – let’s hope it continues that way.


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