Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vote for Global Volunteers!

From November 15 - November 21 the Star Tribune newspaper is holding a contest entitled 'Full Page Project' amongst MN non-profits and the winner will receive a free full page ad in the paper!

Please vote for us this week ~ you can vote once per hour!

Here is the link where you can register and then vote for Global Volunteers (please copy and paste the link):

We would also encourage you to pass this link along to your family and friends, and post it on your personal Facebook page. Let us know if you have any questions, and remember voting goes until 5 p.m. Sunday!

Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Final Days of Service... Wrapping Up!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Message of the Day from Karen: An ei is worth a thousand words.

Journal Writer – Vernice Jackson

Well, here we are, the self-proclaimed “magnificent seven” in various stages of wrapping up our projects and checking off the last of our “bucket list” items before we jet off to various North American destinations.

Bill makes a few more tweaks in preparation for his final second grade science activity. His fingers are crossed for favorable weather for his rubber match with his local island tennis rival. We predict a victory in his future.

Rachael has not only made herself indispensable with the students at her school (candy serves as great inspirational tool) but with the principal and teachers as well. Now she can add yet another skill to her impressive resume, designing Parents Day Programmes and Christmas holiday cards to send out to the parents. Rachael and I admire David for getting that impressive tattoo but have decided that our courage level will only take us to making a temporary commitment. Friday is our big day for ink decorations.

Karen took a break from listening to yet another student reading “What Is a Reptile?” to share insights on policy and planning with a representative at the office of the Prime Minister. We hope she slipped in a proposal that declares next October Global Volunteer’s Month, inviting all of us back to the island (all expenses paid) to celebrate all our many contributions. One can only dream! And Karen, there is still time for you to complete your inner road journey. Pa would be so proud.

After four weeks on the island, Cathy has declared herself to no longer be a tourist. She is now a semi-local. Take it from me, she studies the island map every night. Just ask her where and when to catch the bus…and don’t look to the local weather man for an accurate reading, our girl is calling the temperatures “spot on”. Except Tuesday’s early morning down pour threw her off a bit. We all abandoned our plans for an afternoon beach trip, thinking that the skies would remain gray all day. Well, you can’t win them all.

Now that Cathy and Dave have achieved the mastery level at responding to their student’s white flags (no that’s the sign for help, not surrender) they are ready to move on to bigger challenges. We believe that their teacher reserves responding to the blue flags as a means of job security.

Dave is itching for two reasons; first, for yet another opportunity to demonstrate his newly acquired snorkeling skills. Whoever said learning is for the young, didn’t know our Dave. His second itch, to get some relief from those blasted mosquitoes that think he is a “walking buffet.”

And then there is our David, continuing to enjoy the “sameness” (his words, not mine) of his Cook Island experience. But we know that he is secretly regretting not being able to see the “Sevens” due to his throbbing leg. Put some Windex on it….that can cure anything.

As for me, I am still looking forward to presenting my creative story activity to the eight year olds. Cartoons made me a distant second as a substitute teacher. Maybe, tomorrow.

Lately dinners in the Vaka lounge have ended with milk and cookies and long conversations on a wide variety of topics. What haven’t we talked about? We have pondered the translations of our school’s names, explored the ethnic backgrounds that produce the wide range of features of the Cook Island population, and shared opinions on who are the best and worst actors, divulged interesting facts about ourselves that won’t be repeated in this journal!

So here we are, the magnificent seven, making the most of our last days on the island, appreciating every moment of our self-fulfilling experience….believing that in some small way, we have made a difference.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday, Nov 2: Week Two in the Cook Islands

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Message of the Day from Bill: Start where you are – Use what you have – Do what you can… -Arthur Ashe

Journal Writer: Gevenie Delsol

We started a sunny day (second in a row) with our normal breakfast and meeting.

Karen, Rachael and I loaded up my trusty car – who I have name “Coconut”. We set off for our lovely school, Takitumu. Our day at Takitumu is not very stressful. Our 4th and 5th grade readers come to us for a half hour of reading each. I have one little boy who finally came back to school today after two days out. I asked him if he had been sick but he said “No – I just overslept.” Today at lunch we ate with all of the teachers and the principal (which is our normal pattern).

Today we were asked to vote on the color of material that they are going to use to make dresses for all of the teachers for the big end of term celebration in December. The choice was between orange and blue. The final decision was to use both colors in a sort of stripe pattern. They will all look like tropical fish. One flaw with the material is that it is semi-transparent, so the principal asked if I would send them all thongs with little hearts to wear under their new dresses. So I have orders for 10 thongs (5 extra large)!

At another school – Vernice was presenting a much more educational moment. She prepared and acted the story of Harriet Tubman for her 4th and 5th grade students. It was a huge success and she has been asked to present it to the entire school. This afternoon we went to the museum and then to the island dancing practice. There were some amazing dancing skills demonstrated by the Global Volunteers. Don has signed a contract and will be performing at Island Night at the Edgewater. For the rest of you – blackmail photos will be available on Facebook.

We came back to the Kii Kii Motel for another great dinner provided by Rosie.