I remember in the year 2000, thousands of us students were on the football field of our high school. The power was out, and they were unable to get the generator to work. They were working on a time limit, if they were unable to get the power back on, school would be canceled. We began counting the minutes until their deadline. When we were in the last ten minutes, it turned on and we headed into our school building.
This scenario would never happen is Samoa. There is such an extreme difference on what is necessary in schools, and what is not between American schools and Samoan Schools.
I have learned to love my school throughout the past year and a half. I know where to avoid the floor, so I don’t trip over the broken cement holes. I have learned to enjoy the students trying to grab my attention through the broken walls to the outside. I have learned to write on walls with horrible blackboard paint. The leaks, the holes, it’s home.
What always gives me a smile are our days without water and electricity. Water is always an iffy topic. Sometimes, we have it, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we have it at the tap outside, but not in the bathroom. Other days we are with power, sometimes it is a complete power outage, sometimes it is due to not being able to buy power locally (we buy it through a scratch off card, which is sometimes out of stock).
Many of the schools we work at in Samoa, would be condemned in America, but it doesn’t seem to bother people. It makes people want to strive for improvements in their community. It is very empowering. No matter what the building is made of or looks like, it is a part of our community, which makes it part of our home.
Next week, they really are going to begin tearing down the school building to make a sturdier building. I guess it is the people inside the building who are the ones to make the building feel so warm and loving, so I hope the new building will bring the same feelings since it will have the same wonderful people inside.