Monday, October 31, 2005

speaking of which...

I emerged from the computer the other night to find Pia somewhere near the beginning of starting to cook dinner.

"Smells good, what's cooking?"
"I'm trying to make shepherd's pie"
"Righto." (big pause) "Hang on - we don't have any mince - how are you going to make it?"
"Oh, I'm innovating"

An interesting experiment. Have you ever tried shepherd's pie, made with potato and the 'shepherd's pie spice mix' offered by Masterfoods, accompanied by left-over apricot chicken and a sprinkling of additional ginger (for taste). No?

Well. Best not to, really.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

not quite what i expected

png's favourite catch-cry is expect the unexpected...

Starting to seriously regret being so stingey about buying a new SIM card for my mobile phone - today could almost have been an advertisment for B-mobile as yet another day's plans went awry due to not being able to contact people.

This was the second weekend in a row that I had been promised a trip to Fisherman's Island - last weekend I was supposed to go with my Purples, but a little bit of hanky-panky the night before meant that the offer to take us was withdrawn by a big sister.

Today I was supposed to go with the Liverpool lads I went out with last night, but the security guard at the place I was staying didn't know how to find me (a problem he certainly didn't have later in the morning), and I couldn't get in contact with them later to catch up, so yet another promise of a day in the sea went down the gurgler.

Beginning to think that the Island and me were just not meant to be...

Market Meri

I love the last Saturday of each month becuase it's Ela Beach market time - I go every month and every month I walk away with beautiful things - necklaces, paintings, dukduks, shells...

Well this Ela Beach was even better because this time, we had our own stall - the Marianville calendar stall.

We got there at 6.30am to get our space in the shade (just near Neil's usual corner) and set up with our table draped in the PNG flag the Purples gave me last weekend, and our displays of calendars open to the Hiri Motu and the Simbu pages (chosen specifically to target our anticpated audience!)

Pia and I had picked up our Kathleen(11P) on the way, and she'd brought her orange and white, as requested - the uniform multiplies our sales by at least 500% I reckon - and we were joined by Pauline (a grade 9) early in the day. I started off sitting with them, and as the market opened it was me at first who was drawing in the people to come and look because the girls were too shy. I'd encourage them to target the next white women who walked by, and they tried, but with their tiny little voices I could barely hear them. I was also trying to get them to change their sales pitch - rather than the whispery little "calendars on sale" , I was coaching them to say "support women's education in PNG!" - how do you walk away from that??? But as long as I was there, it just wasn't going to work.

So, I said I'd go for a spin and let them do the sales, and when I came back I wanted them to tell me they'd sold at least 5. And I toddled off for a look around the stalls, coming back 20 minutes later to see a happy customer being sent on his way with a loud "thank you for your support", and 2 proud girls with big beams telling me they'd sold 14 since I'd gone!

I left them to it - they were obviously doing much better without me - and wandered to my heart's content. Those two girls didn't stop all morning - they refused chances for a break and a spin themselves, only stopping 15 minutes before the market closed.

We (they) sold 80 calendars that morning, leaving us with a boxful of money to take to the bank and a huge boost in the self-confidence of our two students - I was so proud of them!

Way to go, girls - that's empowerment in itself.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Class of 2005

Friday was the final day for the Grade 12s - their last exam and their big goodbye.

And so now it's just Grade 11, Grade 9, and us.

A quiet, empty school.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Getting bigger

Pirate and Cowboy. We've got a Panther too (they were born around the weekend of the Grand Final, and I figured if I had a Tiger, I had to have a Cowboy, and Panther's all black so that one was obvious). Bandit's face is what it sounds like - I just couldn't name any of them Bulldog, no matter how much Annie May wanted me to.

Monday, October 24, 2005


How cute is this little face?

My kittens are now about a month old, and are starting to patrol the verandah.

Very good to have something to come home and play with, and they'll just get cuter in the 2 weeks before I send them off to new homes.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Bye Lea

There’s no escaping the round of goodbyes at the moment – it’s a never-ending parade of farewells, and this weekend brought a last night with Lea, and then an end-of-time-together party with my class – both of which were great events.

Lea sings with a choir group, so Heidi and I decided to invite ourselves along with Nev to hear them on Friday night, and then head back for final drinks at their place afterwards. The singing bit itself was quite lovely. It was my first time to go to the Anglican cathedral, and Lea was right when she said we’d enjoy the artwork – lots of storyboards depicting the stations of the cross, and a lovely (totally different!) mosaic up the front. The choir sang Gloria and a selection of other “sacred and secular” songs, my favourite being Early One Morning, which I remembered from Pollyanna – one of my sisters’ and my favs from when we were kids.

Then back for drinks and gossip and plans and teasing (of Heidi, as always). We’ll definitely catch up in WA sometime next year, the bunch of us – a funny mix of souls, but we’ve been good mates. It was hard leaving the next morning, but I know we’ll keep in touch.

Partying with the Purples

Saturday morning I raced home to get my gear together to be ready for the big 10 Purple class party, supposed to be starting from 10am and going on til the next morning. I got a lift in with Katie's dad (and I had to keep him waiting because for once it was me running on PNG time, not the other way round!) and bit by bit almost the whole class and lots of their families dribbled in to Symone's house. There was a huge feast for lunch, with everyone bringing a plate or two - and once again I was blown away by PNG appetites. I went first, as guest of honour, and I piled my plate up with fried rice and noodles and chicken and sago, and by the time I got to the end of the tables I felt like I couldn't fit another thing on my plate. Roberta took one look at it and asked me why I wasn't getting much, and I should take everything I wanted now - there'd be no chance for seconds. She wasn't wrong. The table was absolutely wiped clean within minutes - plates stacked 3 storeys high with food -I don't know how they even begin to tackle them! Or where they put the food - how can these girls eat so much and still be so skinny? Posted by Picasa

Me with Cathy, my maus wara Engan girl who always makes me laugh

After food, it was speeches time, and of course that meant tears time again as our P&C Chairman and other parents and girls made some lovely speeches for me. Then they presented me with a gift from all the parents, which was a beautiful framed copper-worked bilum, which of course made me cry again - not just because it was such a lovely gesture from the parents of my girls, but because of what it represented. Sam's tambu explained that they chose a bilum specifically because it's not only a well-known symbol of PNG culture, but also because it represents womanhood. It is a symbol and a tool of the work a woman does here in PNG: everywhere she goes she carries her bilum - it is her life and livelihood. When a child is first born, the first thing she knows is the warmth and protection of the bilum. It is her mother's cradle, and a sign of nurturing. As the child grows, the bilum becomes the way she carries all that she gathers - everything that's precious or useful or treasured is tucked away and carried with her. Posted by Picasa

He said that this is how I will remember my girls - the bilum represents these young women of Papua New Guinea, and all the things I have taught and said and the love I've shown for them will be stored in their bilums to help them on their own journey to womanhood.

It was a lovely present and an even more moving meaning behind it, and I had trouble replying with my thanks and own messages of appreciation for these parents and my girls.

And that wasn't even all! There were more presents of bilums and bilas, and I had trouble lifting my head and arms with all the necklaces and bracelets I was given. All decorated up, it was then time for photos - both of me with each girl, and the girls and their families, so I can post these pictures back as a thank you and a memory.

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Deshey and her fmaily, including her dad, our P&C chairman

Presents and pictures, food and speeches finished, it was now malolo (rest) time, and as the girls grouped up to sit around and gossip, I joined the parents for (just slightly!!) more risque joke and story telling up the back of the yard. I gave the girls a big shock (so it seems) by joining the adults with a beer or two - when I went back to join the girls on the verandah later they just stopped and stared at me, and then one of them said "Were you drinking, Ms Conolly??!!!"
How is possible that I'm the teacher, and they're the students, and yet they were making me feel like a naughty schoolgirl?! Apparently while I was sitting with their parents with an SP in my hand, they were all gathered at the kitchen window, gasping and counting bottles!

The parents were hilarious, and I'll no doubt be seeing them again at the school's fundraising dance in November, but the rest of the night was to be with the girls, so we told stories, sang with the guitar, danced, braided hair (Symone did mine in twists, the new in-thing) and ate more icecream until late in the evening. Another round of present-giving (from the girls themselves this time), and more speeches and tears (and a song from Katie and Roberta), and then finally it was time for bed. Twenty-something girls crashed around the house, mostly just curled up on the floor, and a few hours sleep til Mr Mala came back for roll-call in the morning (!).

A HUGE breakfast where once again these girls displayed an incredible ability to eat platefuls that looked bigger than their heads, and some fun as they dived on the bagful of clothes I'd brought as part of my first attempt to cull back the gear I'm going to be lugging back to Australia. Then Katie's dad rolled up with his van again, and we did the huge round of hugs before pulling away. A big 24 hours - and fortunately I was so tired by the end of it I couldn't be too sad. It was a great party, and a lovely end-of-time celebration.

Another thing that Sam's tambu said to me when he was telling me why they chose the bilum is that there are two things that are universal around the 19 different provinces and hundreds of different cultures in PNG - they all carry a bilum or basket that is unique to their place, but a bilum none-the-less; and that in none of the 800+ different languages do they ever say goodbye. When somebody leaves, it's always "see you later"- goodbye is reserved for when someone dies.

So it wasn't a goodbye party - it was just "lukim yu gen".

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Lukim yu Grade 10

A day of tears, happy and sad, as Grade 10 finish their final exam. We had a celebration lunch for them with the parents, and then it was time for them to leave us and each other. The school will be so quiet and empty without these girls who've become my family here at Mville. For two years we've shared at least one lesson every day together - laughs as well as learning. I've had times when I wanted to kill them, and I'm sure there've been times they wished I was already back in Australia when their hands were aching with note-taking and essay-writing - but they've shared their lives with me, epecially this little bunch with their often daily journal writing - and they've been my life here in PNG - and I'm going to miss them so much. Posted by Picasa

There have been so many girls who have trusted me with their stories and their hopes and dreams, and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to teach such happy and respectful and eager-to-learn students. Posted by Picasa

They've shown me what teaching can be like when kids want to be in school, and I hope their results at the end of the year will reflect their determination to continue their education.

I don't think I'll ever have a teaching experience like this again - in a situation where school literally becomes your life because it's not just the place where you work, it's also the place where your home is, the phrase 'school community' takes on a whole new (and beautiful) meaning. Posted by Picasa

I feel so lucky to have had this experience, and want to thank Marianville and my Purples and Yellows for giving me two of the best years of my life.

Goodbye Grade 10. Love you my lewa susa/daughters, and see you at graduation. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Finishing up

Friday was the last day of classes with my grade 10 girls, and the Graduation Mass for the Grade 10s and 12s. A sad day, yes, and another in the long list of lasts that the next 8 weeks will bring - but a nice day too. The Mass itself was lovely - the hall was beautifully decorated, the singing was gorgeous as always, and the dancers bringing in the Bible and the sacraments were spectacular. This was the first time I remember seeing a Highlands group as part of an Mville mass, and they looked sensational with their paint and feathers and their huge thighs greased up under the cuscus skirts. They really look like warrior women, not school girls, and must be so proud under all that bilas. Posted by Picasa

I love the way the traditional culture is given space within the church ceremonies - I know there's a lot more to be said about the impact of church on traditional culture, but at least it seems like there's an effort on the part of the church to recognise that heritage now and to encourage pride and integration. A good thing.

Father Tulio (from the Seminary) led the Mass, as requested by the Grade 12s, and he was the best attending priest I've seen/listened to here - he was so interested and involved in the service and what it meant to the girls, and his homily was lively and engaging - and appropriate for the occasion. The readings were all about no one knowing what the future will hold, but having faith that it will be as God plans; and the passage about God clothing the lilies and feeding the sparrows, so not to worry - surely he will provide for his children. Nice choices for these girls who are so worried about what will happen to them once their exams are over, and who are making decision about what careers to choose, and why.

My favourite part was when he was talking about how people might be recognised for what position they hold, or how much money they have, or what they look like, but that money and power and possessions can't buy love, or health or loyalty. You can have all the money in the world, enough riches to buy a bed of pure gold - but you can't buy dreams.
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I think his poetry really inspired the girls, as did his way of speaking to them - I know he spoke to me, and it's been a long time since I've enjoyed that part of a mass/service that much.

And at the end he played the clarinet for us! Now that you can't beat.

The service ended with the current Grade 12 leaders handing candles over to the incoming Grade 11 prefects, and the singing of the school songs, and then a surprise song and poem from my class - all bringing out lots of tears - but happy ones as we celebrated the 2 or 4 years of schooling that they'd achieved here at Marianville.
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Am I looking forward to having to start a new round of goodbyes as the girls sit for their exams this week, and then leave us for good? Not a bit.

But it's all part of the circle I guess, and I need to focus on being proud of them and what we've achieved together, rather than the sadness of letting them go.

And on the subject of letting go, today was the go-finish brunch for Lea, who leaves Port Moresby to go back to her new grandchild and her home in Adelaide next Sunday. Lea and Nev have been wonderful to me while I've been here, and it's been a regular thing for me to come and stay a night with them in town every fortnight or so - either after an AVI dinner, or for just a night of relaxation, swimming and air-conditioned comfort. Posted by Picasa

I've loved hanging out with them and Lea's been like an in-country mum to me - I'll be really sorry to see her go - though not as sorry as Nev will be. I'm sure that apartment will seem very empty once she's gone.

But, it was a great morning and a happy celebration of Lea's time here in PNG - and a good chance to meet some new people, have a swim and sell some calendars (!) Thanks so much to Lea for plugging it at her own farewell (though I'm sure that was just a tactic to get the attention off herself for a while!) and to all the people who bought one - I easily sold out of the 25 I brought, and now have contacts to get rid of a few more. A tidy morning's work. Posted by Picasa

The remaining Moresby AVIs, minus Rick who was swanning around in Thailand

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The grand (and long-awaited) unveiling of Mville Calendar

Yay!!!!!! My calendar finally arrived on Thursday afternoon! Posted by Picasa

I'm really proud of this calendar, which will (hopefully) be a major fundraiser for Marianville. It's a collection of my photos from our Cultural Show last year. Each month has a big colour picture on top, and a relating smaller picture below, with information written by the girls about that particular province. It's got 12 months + a 2006 and a 2007 year-to-page, so that's 14 big pictures that show girls in traditional bilas from most of PNG's 19 provinces.
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They are so thrilled to see themselves and each other in print like this, and even more excited to think that these calendars will be sold through some of the shops and hotels in town. They're famous!!!

At K20 a calendar I hope to make a solid chunk of money for the school - and I have to admit to being more than a little excited at seeing my work in print too! I'm very proud because the whole thing has been my baby - the idea, selling it to Sister, the photos, the designing, the getting it printed (which was one problem after another) and now trying to get it distributed around town - something I can physically see and say I achieved while I was here.

Yep, Mrs Pilon was right when she said I looked 5cm taller the afternoon they arrived!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Sister Angela with the cake for the teachers, with our 3 new head prefects in the background. Posted by Picasa

The 11P drama group on teachers day Posted by Picasa

World Teachers Day

Hot Sunday midday, and I’m sitting under the fan on its highest setting, wishing it would do more than blow hot air around the room. The temperatures in Bomana have soared this last week and its becoming impossible to do more than lie around the house in the afternoons, longing for a pool.

It’s been quite a week this week, but I’m getting tired of sitting at a computer (seeing as I’m doing so much of it at school – with a whole lot more of it coming up – in one week’s time that’s the only job I’ll have) so I haven’t been e-ing much. This was the first week back after hols, but it already feels like that break was a month or two ago – and that Em and Lin were 6 months ago.

It was World Teachers Day on Wednesday, and being PNG we postponed it til Friday – and strangely, for a world teaching day, all classes were cancelled. A weird kind of logic set down by the Education Office – but it did mean that we had time for a concert put on by the students in the afternoon. They had been practising items during the week, and the concert itself was a mix of dances and songs, poems being read aloud, and some drama items – including a great sketch by the 11 Purples linking all the subject areas and saying why they were important for life skills (including a great moment when one of our new vice captains came out dressed in a nun’s habit, posing as Miss Religion – a huge cheer!), and a game of “teacher head” (instead of celebrity head) where 3 girls had to guess which teacher they were. Lots of laughs as they asked their questions and the whole assembly roared out a yes or no response. The poems read out for the different teachers were lovely, and my Henry read out a poem for me (written by Norma Jean) that would have had me crying if she didn’t already have me in stitches with her mode of delivery – a very sentimental poem that started with me being described as the sun that rises in the east (yes, we’d just finished a unit of work on Romeo and Juliet) and lots of nice things designed to make me tear up – but the effect was changed somewhat by Henry pausing in the middle of it to give a very loud sniff (not because she was crying, just because she needed to!) and sending the audience into peals of laughter, added to later by her almost getting confused as to what direction the sun was now setting in, later in the poem. Lucky, I say, because I could disguise the water welling as tears of laughter rather than tears of sadness that it was all coming to an end, and that they wanted to share such nice thoughts about me with everyone. (I’m now officially called “the rising sun” by Lady Andrew, whereas I’m calling her Icecream Lady because her Yellows also read out a touching tribute to her, ending with the line “But Mrs Andrew, we’re still waiting for our icecream…”)

The funniest of the lot, though, was the student impersonations of teachers. The first one was a ‘guess who’, with a Grade 12 girl doing a fabulous impression of her Business Studies teacher that had everyone crying with laughter. Then later in the show there was a teacher parade, with a bunch of girls coming out dressed as different teachers and giving a ‘famous quote’. It was so funny to see the way that they portrayed people – which habits or dress or way of speaking they’d picked up on. My favourites were Sister Pauline (one of our student nuns) coming out as Sister Catherine – an Australian nun newly arrived at Mville this year – all she had to do was walk out and put up her umbrella and we all knew immediately who she was! – and the same girl dressed in the white habit, pretending this time to be Sister Angela. She was last (or supposed to be) and I was so glad they were brave enough to include her in the line-up because of course she got the biggest laugh, taking the microphone to tell the girls that they had to put their heads down and study hard this term, only to interrupt herself by breaking into a huge cry of “Kill that dog!” (which Angela invariably yells whenever she sees one of the mangy mutts running around the place, regardless of whatever she or anyone else had been in the middle of saying). Even better that Angela stayed to watch the whole thing and thus saw herself – she’d been itching to get back to her work throughout the whole performance, and was muttering to me sitting next to her about how she wished they’d hurry up and get on with it. She was laughing as much as anyone, and I’m sure she was quietly chuffed that her portrayal got the biggest response.

Then they had a cake for us, and sang Happy Teachers Day, and we all got hugs and cards and well wishes as the day drew to a close.

Can you imagine that happening in Australia?

God I’m going to miss teaching in PNG, where the girls are just so happy to be at school and to be getting an education – and where teachers have so much respect. It’s a lovely place to work, and you really feel appreciated.

Dancing under the stars

So that was Friday afternoon. The night was something else. Josepha had been helping some seminarians organise a fundraising dance in town, and it was the talk of the afternoon, with everyone asking everyone else if they were going. Lots of people sounded like they were up for a night out, and I was looking forward to a night on the town. Transport was to be provided, and there was supposed to be an early run and a late run with a hired PMV. Pia, Mr and Mrs Andrew, Ros and I elected to wait for the second bus trip which was supposed to be coming around 8.30, which gave us plenty of time to eat, get ready, and (hopefully, I thought) finish watching Survivor before we left.

9 o’clock.
9.30 and we heard the bus make its way down to the lower teacher houses. I was cranky because it was still the bloody cricket on EMTV and obviously the scheduling had changed so there was no Survivor – but we were ready to hit the dance floor.

Then we heard the bus come back up – and keep going! Mr Andrew went to chase it up the driveway, but it was already gone. Apparently it was all full up, and had no room to fit us in, that’s why it didn’t stop.

We rang down to Josepha’s place and were told that it would make another trip later that night – but that it would probably take a while. Ros had come to join us, and we settled down on the verandah or in front of the box to wait, but Mr Andrew jumped in another passing car, and Mrs Andrew decided to go to bed instead.

The bus didn’t come back until 11.30, and by that time we were the only 3 left to go. Ros didn’t want to go with just us and the driver in the bus, so it was Pia and I on a quiet trip into town, to meet up with the others at Lamana.

I’d never been to this part of the nightclub before. It’s got 2 separate venues, The City and Gold Club, and I’d only been to the Gold Club a couple of times last year. It was a pretty classy joint, and this venue was nice too, though I’m sure everyone who looked (stared) at me as I walked in thought I’d made a mistake and chosen the wrong door! (solo paleface once again…)

Unfortunately there wasn’t the crowd of people I had thought would be there (well there was a crowd, but not many I knew), and Josepha and Veronica were on the door taking tickets, so that left Pia and I alone to go out and dance (as they urged us). I wasn’t keen on jumping straight in to that, so we went to stand with the men for a while but almost immediately I had a bloke come and ask me to dance. I thought he was one of the men from our group, so off I trotted and joined him on the dance floor, where as usual I felt conspicuous but told myself to forget it and just have fun. One song was enough though, so I said I needed a drink and got us a beer before heading back to Pia and the others near the gate. As soon as I got there I had my “squad” close in around me and tell me they were body-guarding me, and to say no if he asked me to dance again. Apparently I was just as conspicuous as I felt, and they had all been watching him and how dare he be so bold, and this one’s son-in-law wanted to fight him for trying to dance with Ms Conolly, and so on and so on… Whew, talk about being protected! I had thought they knew this bloke, but turns out no one did and they had all really resented him pulling a stunt like that (!) so quickly. I spent the next 20 minutes being hidden in the ticket booth while they stood around me, glaring at this man who kept searching for me!

Bit of overkill, I thought, but it was nice to know I had so many people looking out for me. We soon found a seminarian friend I knew, so he was my official bodyguard for the rest of the night, along with Josepha’s babysitter and cousins and Pia. So I managed to get out of that little booth and onto the dance floor and have a good time. Bit disappointing to find that my other seminarian friend with otherwise occupied with his girlfriend for the night (!) but I had fun - even though I was pretty ready to be going home come 3am.

Saturday was a late morning – both too late and too early, strange as that sounds. I woke up at 9.45, wishing I could stay in bed for another few hours, but realized with a rush that I was supposed to be meeting Heidi in town in about half an hour. A quick shower and a gingerbread cookie before jumping in the car to head to POM Grammar Market. Once there I wandered around for about 40 minutes, but came to the conclusion that I’d missed her (again! – too late this time). Oh well. It’s always good to have a look around, although for once I didn’t buy much. I already have enough to start my own craft market, but usually I can’t resist adding to the collection, so I was proud of myself for being more discerning this time and not buying stuff just for the hell of it.

I figured rather than drive back to Bomana I’d see if Lea was home because I knew she’d be going to her Business Women’s meeting at 12.30 and that way I could tag along and see if I could find Heidi too. It all worked out well, and we went along to the meeting and saw some of Daniel WasWas’s work (a PNG artist), and listened to a really interesting talk from a women who’s here as the Coordinator (?? Not sure of title, but effectively Boss) of the Bomana Prison. Wow, she was really incredible – what she’s achieved in the short time she’s been here was inspirational, and I was really impressed with not just what she had to say but the way she talked about her work and her hopes for what she wanted to achieve. Definitely made the meeting worthwhile, and even made up for the Bilum Wear women not being there with their gear.

A quick shop and a lazy swim and toktok were on the cards afterwards (tho’ we were brief on our usual All Saints update and discussion because Nev didn’t come down to the pool with us – and seeing his reactions to the conversation is half the fun of it!) until it dawned on me that the sun was setting (in the west!) and I’d better get cracking getting back out to Bomana.

And I didn’t want to be late because last night was Firehouse – and the Grade 10 and 12’s last dance party.

I’ve said before how much I love these nights because the girls are so funny – and last night was no exception. They started the night with a whole lot of competitions, group and individual, for all the various styles. I came down in time to see the end of the reggae and the contemporary/pacific styles – and the RNB. And boy was that an eye-opener! I knew Marjellah would be soaking up the limelight (where she got that little shake-your-bon-bon skirt I don’t know, but I was sure glad she had shorts on underneath!) but it was Eileen who really stole the show. That girl was a mix of Christine Anu ‘fro and outfit and JLo shape with her booty-girl moves – I’ll never be able to look at her without giggling again! Shameless, and hilarious – and soaking up every second of being both. I really don’t know where these girls get their confidence and freedom from but I am forever envious.

I ended up kicking off my shoes and joining them later in the free-for-all, a mix of fun and self-consciousness and sadness that this was the last night of this with them. I took my camera hoping to record some of those moments, but sadly it was so dark and such bad conditions for this little auto digital that good photos were never going to happen. But no pictures could ever come close anyway to recording nights like these – they’re precious and indefinable and so much fun, and they’ll always be a big part of my memories of emville.

Firehouse Posted by Picasa

My class, just before they dragged me out to dance with them Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 03, 2005

I thought nuns were supposed to be sweet and unassuming...

Sister Antoinette was our Deputy last year, and as such she was the (frequently cursed) one who gave me the job of producing the school magazine (or yearbook) for the last 2 years. I loved Sr A - she switched between roars of anger and roars of laughter easily and had the best voice in emville - even when she was mad I couldn't stop smiling at the Mekeo singsong.

She left at the end of 2004 to go back to her home to teach, and we've really missed her this year - and when I saw her just before the holidays it was with a huge hug and a big smile - and lots of stories. And a request from me to her - I'm finally getting close to finishing this bloody magazine, and I needed a message from her to go in the front. She and Lindie had a bit of a laugh at me as I tried to epxlain what kind of a message I wanted (basically inferrring that I was doing a very good job of writing it myself as I spoke... OK, so maybe I was being just a little bit suggestive there...)

Today I got this letter from her, in response to my request:

Dear Larissa,
Greetings to you.

I did not forget your request, but I did forget what you wanted me to write. So, what do I write? Is it something like this…

Hooray!!! At last…
Well I am very glad to hear that it is finally out of Emville computers and the press. Those of us who have been there and left, have given up waiting and may rightly add that we have forgotten such a thing called “EMVILLE MAGAZINE”.
Congratulations to you, the Magazine Committee and to Ms Conolly.

Or is it:
It was good to have been part of EMVILLE COMMUNITY for the past eight years, and I enjoyed my time with you all. I miss you all VERY MUCH. Well, maybe
we’ll see you around the corner – ha ha!

Okay Larissa, which do you want?
Or if you are not satisfied, just write one and say, my words – you know, the disciple writes, or secretary writes - the master only signs ... something like that.

Hope you are well.
Bye and see you soon.

Love Sr AA

What a smart-arse!!!! I love it! That's my kinda nun.