7-20 Work Trip Rollercoaster

 I’m in Santo. I came up north on Thursday morning and will be staying for a week.

Setting up the CD player
Brian and I are visiting schools around Santo to check on, and encourage, their Environment Committees. We should be hitting 2 schools a day every weekday and one school as an overnight because its out of town. When I’m not at the schools, I’m teaching poi spinning and recycled arts class in the youth center. It’s going to be a busy week. Unfortunately, it got off to a rough start.
Thursday morning, I left Vila. I had to get up at 5am to catch the plane. That is never a good start to my day. Then, when we arrived in Lugainville, we discovered that I did not, in fact, have a hotel room. The hotel had mis-booked us. We decided to leave our stuff in Brian’s room and go drop letter off at the schools. Brian grabbed the letters, only to realize they were empty envelopes and he’d forgotten the letters in Vila.
We stopped by the northern branch of Wan SmolBag, Northern Care Youth Clinic (NCYC), long enough to write and print new letters, then went around to the schools dropping them off. Because there is no mail system, no reliable internet and no landlines, the best way to inform a school we are coming is to go to the school and drop off a letter. We tried to get a hold of anyone in the one school we couldn’t easily drive to. We failed.
Friday morning, we went to the first school. It was a great success. The students were curious and engaged, the head mistress was excited to have us there and the teacher came to our lesson. The teacher even came up with ideas for the environment committee to do for their next lesson, without my giving them to her.
Friday midday, we found out that our plans for Friday afternoon had just fallen through. So, instead, I went to NCYC. I thought I’d teach a poi spinning class. Turns out, I walked head first into a massive hornet’s nest of politics. Ugh. I spent all afternoon discussing the situation with various people. At the end, the youth center coordinator and I decided out best option was to go to the “fire show” that was on for the evening. We didn’t actually know when it started, but we had a person in the village who would call us when they were announced.
I left NCYC and went to meet someone at a bar. This person usually drinks at this bar on Friday evenings, and I want to contact him. I didn’t have any other contact information, so I went to the bar and stood around awkwardly. Eventually, I discovered he was not there.
Fire spinning
The youth center coordinator called me and I met her on the road. We went to the fire show. It was not bad, but it was also not good. Then we decided to drink some kava. Then our taxi forgot us, for two hours. We drank a lot of kava. Our taxi did eventually come back for us. I got back to my hotel at 11 pm.
If the rest of the week is this much of a roller coaster, I’m going to need like a week to recover when I get back.

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