Today, as usual, had its ups and downs. One teacher is still on maternity leave and I’m teaching her class after interval every day. Another teacher called in sick, which she has been doing frequently. And one teacher left for a few hours to take care of personal business. Several of the other teachers seemed more interested in relaxing than teaching. A typical day.
Except that I went to the bank straight from school. I’d checked my walled just before I went to school. I had two 5’s, one 50 and some change. When I checked my wallet at the bank I had two 5’s. The 50 was gone. This is the third time money has gone missing from my purse at school. The other two times I couldn’t swear that the money disappeared at school but this time there is no doubt in my mind. It’s not so much the money as the principle of the thing. These are people I either work with or teach. It could have been a child or a teacher. I’ll never know. But I’m putting them on notice tomorrow that I know someone has been taking my money and I’m not happy about it.
When I got home from the bank I stopped to say hello to the family, especially my tiny buddy Julius. He was in rare form. Laughing and smiling non-stop and doing his best to crawl toward me. I chatted with the family for awhile then went out by the road to make a phone call.
While I was on the phone, the kids from next door converged, as usual. But today was different. They each had a rice, sugar or flour sack and were using them to do sack races. It was very funny to watch.
After awhile, I said goodbye to them and was walking back toward my house when I realized they were following me. In their sacks. At first there were four of them, hopping gamely along after me. As I got closer to my house only the two year old, Richard was still hopping along behind me, smiling all the way and yelling my name. I adore that boy.
What I’ve described is so typical of my time in Samoa. Frustration and anger butted right up against hilarity and joy.