So I just had my first day of school. For you teachers out there listen up, you'll enjoy this. On the first day of school in Tonga all the school children bring cleaning supplies. When they arrive the girls are in charge of sweeping the classrooms, washing the windows and cleaning the bathrooms. The boys are in charge of mowing the lawn, sweeping and burning the leaves and then playing rugby after they're done. As the students are doing this the teachers just sit and talk to each other and make sure the students are working hard. I'm not sure if this would fly in the states, but all you teachers out there, give it a shot. After the students finish their cleaning they then have an informal class where they learn about school dress, rules and time of classes for the year. Students learn that in the morning at the sound of the bell each class must line up in a row in front of the flag poll where they have their morning prayer and then march off to their classrooms, boys in one line and girls in the other....yes, march. There is no electricity in most of the classrooms so it makes it hard to plug in a fan on those hot days. Just yesterday they canceled school because it was raining too hard, sort of like our Minnesota snowdays except its rain. Now that I have been at the school for a couple of days I have been observing each class to see where their english abilities are so I know where to start when I begin to teach in a couple of weeks. I have also been working on the school library, getting it set up and organizing the books. The school that I am at recently had a Peace Corps volunteer and she did a great job on the library so I have just been doing a little bit of touch up on it, otherwise it is almost ready to open for student use.
We recently had a low cyclone (Hurricane) warning on the 28th. The Fiji weather services issued a cyclone warning and said that one was heading towards Tonga, but late last night it switched direction and headed south away from Tonga. That was good because I was not looking forward to being swept away by waves.