Thursday, September 6, 2012

Farewell Progressive Dinner

Everyone had a good time at school, Carol with reading groups, Joyce individual students and reading, Fran library work and school office work and Yolanda maths testing. We all had a restful afternoon, Carol visited the island living store, Joyce home via town, Fran home to sort out her IPAD and Yolanda a final walk and swim at Muri Beach.

Our highlight for the evening was being picked up at 5.00 with a group of 20 other people to attend a ‘Progressive Dinner Tour’. Our first course was at the Home of Dan and Jane Kelly who have retired from owning 3 duty free stores. We were give a tour of their property with talks about the different plants trees and animals they had. The entrĂ©e was Raw tuna marinated in lemon juice and served in Coconut milk, tomato and spring onion – divine! Also arrowroot, and Pawpaw with mayonnaise curry. On to the Main course, a beautiful big house on the hill above the airport and gym with a lovely couple. We prayed before and after the meal. There was lovely pan fried tuna, salad, kumara, taro, vege sauce, chicken and spinach. Chatting with our tour driver, he told us that he used to be the chief secretary to a former prime minister- and this has made him more cynical about politics.

Our dessert stop was with the tour owners family. His wife and nephew and family hosted us. We had Banana Cake, chocolate cake, meringue, ice cream, fruit salad and tea and coffee.

All the while at these three homes, music played and also on the bus we sang many songs to the Ukelele. A great night was had by all.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Library Lessons

In the morning we met for breakfast and then had the morning meeting with James. We discussed what the schedule was for the remainder of the week and we decided that there were still a few things on our to do lists but fewer days to do them.

At school Carol began her morning reading to the preschoolers. Fran and Yolanda team taught classes most of the day at Takitumu on the proper use of the library to each grade level (e.g. How to treat books, return them, use the fiction and non fiction areas etc).

The objectives of these lessons were to identify children that will eventually help out in the library. The youngest group to do the library lessons was treated to a story by Yolanda. The 6th graders adapted a shelf of picture books for the day pulling out were misfiled and putting the rest into the proper alphabet listing. A group of older girls were thrilled to help Fran with labeling.

After school the team met to help Sister Margret at her homework project. When our workday ended Yolanda went to Te Vara Nui for the cultural tour. Greg from Esther Honey Foundation saw Fran, Carol and Joyce at the bus stop and offered us a ride. Joyce was pleased with her purchase of Pawpaw jelly. Dinner was catered at 6.00 and we had the caterer leave some food for Yolanda.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ordinary Day

Today one might call an ordinary day in the Cook Islands. The ocean was a beautifully colored blue, the breeze swept through our classrooms and the sun shone to begin our day. Fran said she did what she had come here to do – to be of service to others. Highlight of the day was Bernice a student, who saught her out and read to her. Carol was busy at school and felt that her time was well spent with lots of students and some time at the pre school. After school she went to the Edgewater for a massage.  Yolanda helped organise a classroom visit to the library tour. Each class will come and learn how to use the library responsibly. Yolanda and Carol started to tidy up the Teachers resource room. Joyce had a busy day with students and stayed back at the Pacific resort for a late lunch. Tonight a special surprise – Chinese food brought to the Kiikii by James and Debi.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Meeting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Friday was the last day for 5 of our group. Kristies week at the library concluded with gifts, hugs, tea, cake, photos and a request to come back. Peter and Trudy observed athletics day and a show about whales put on by the Juniors which included “We all live in the yellow submarine” Barbara and Yuri also got gifts and cards had dancing & singing and a highlight for Yuri was being able to ride to school on the back of a truck. Fran also got to have a ride on the back of a bike by Engia the principal. Fran, and Carol enjoyed the junior kids assembly. Joyce had a half a day and met Kristie at Trader Jacks for Lunch. Yolanda did the cross island walk with Pa.

We all got dressed up for our farewell dinner at the Tamarind House, got a group photo and tucked into our delicious entrees, mains and desserts. A surprise was in store for us. One of Debis and James’ friends who was waitressing for a special guest and her party, mentioned to the PA of the special guest that there were some fellow countrymen who were volunteers from the States. Our table was approached by the PA and Joyce took the initiative to talk to her and tell her a little about who we were. The PA said that she would mention us to Hilary Clinton and from that mention we were advised that we could stop by and meet with the secretary of state. And that is what we did. Hilary was very gracious to us and shook hands with us all and chatted briefly with the team and then suggested that we have a photo together. She was very calm and relaxed and it was a treat for us all to spend a few moments with her.

Saturday dawned beautiful but rain was to come. Some attended the market while Yolanda splashed out on a day trip to Aitutaki. In the Afternoon a group of the team attended Te Vara Nui Cultural experience. It included a history lecture, a medicine hut, sacred stones, a talk about fishing and fish nets, a costume hut and coconut demonstrations. 2 stayed on for dinner and the rest returned to pack and our last catered dinner. As 5 leave us, four remain for the last week.