Posts tagged ‘Stanford’

June 20, 2015

Chapter 9: Post 67— Aaaand We’re Back

Larry in front of the house in town.

Larry in front of the house in town.

June 5, 1966

The present plans are still that we will leave here June 20 for Honolulu. The plane departs here about 3:00 A.M. on its way from Sydney to Hawaii. I don’t think we’ll bother staying in Hawaii, but will go on through to L.A. or Frisco, depending on our connections. We’ll probably spend one night, Monday night, in California to rest up because that’s a ten-hour flight from Samoa, not counting the stop over in Honolulu. This means we’ll be getting into Detroit sometime Tuesday afternoon; but I won’t know just when until the final details are worked out. As soon as I know the arrival time, I’ll let you know, even if it necessitates calling from California.

I have about eight weeks annual leave accumulated, but I’m not planning on taking it all. Within the last couple of weeks, a situation came up whereby the U.S. Office of Education gave us a grant of 28,000 dollars to enable a group of Samoan leaders to go to the states and learn more about the country. They’re going to spend seven weeks at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, near San Francisco. During this period, they will take field trips to various industries, National Parks, etc. and study the mountains, deserts, rivers, etc. and other physical features of California.

The Samoans who are going are all members of the Education Dept., mostly Supervisors and Principals who have never been off the island. The purpose of the trip is to give them a broader view of the rest of the world so they can do a better job of passing that on to the Samoan students. Roy C., the poker playing friend of mine who is in charge of teacher training is going to be in charge of the group of about 20 Samoans during this period. He could use some help and asked it I would assist him. So I’m going to meet the group at Stanford about July 18, and spend the last three weeks with them … So if this works out the way we anticipate, I’Il be home for about four weeks, but the rest of the family will be there most of the summer.


Two and a half months later:*

August 20, 1966

Well, Tuesday is the big day. The broads arrive back in Samoa at 2:10 pm, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s about time.

Boy, has this been a quiet house for the past few weeks. A little solitude may be all right at times, but this is ridiculous. The cat and I have reached the point where we snarl at each other when we go by, just so we’ll have a little noise in the house. I didn’t mind so much the first week because all I did was try to catch up on my sleep after getting back from that exhausting California trip on August 9. I’ve been well taken care of since I arrived back. I’ve only cooked two meals — dinner invitations took care of the rest.


Sept. 9, 1966

School starts Sept. 19, and things are ready to start moving. We’re starting three weeks earlier than last year and have almost our complete program going. We have 19 elementary consolidated schools and 2 high schools, whoops, that’s 3 high schools since the new one in the Manua Islands is ready to go also. We expect to have about 90% of the kids on the islands watching our programs this year. Two elementary schools are not ready yet, but we expect them to join us soon, making our program complete. There are still a couple of isolated villages on the north side of the island which will not be served by TV so they will still operate in grass huts with village teachers. This year my programs will be seen in every school, both elementary and high school because I’m teaching in Levels 4 & 5. Level 5 includes the 8th grade in elementary and 9th in secondary. The schedule is still, heavy, 13 programs per week, but we’re getting a much better start than we have in the past.

Last Wednesday night we had a PWFL dinner party for 18 people at our pad. It was a People Who Fed Larry when he was batching it for two weeks deal. We had a big Samoan spaghetti dinner. Our housegirl made Samoan plates from braided coconut palm leaves and we lined them with aluminum foil so the noodles wouldn’t fall through the holes. We drank Italian wine from kava cups (made from coconuts cut in half) and ate sitting cross-legged on the floor surrounded by tropical flowers. After dinner we all adjourned to the piano room and sang old songs (no one knows any new ones). All told it was a very pleasant evening and everyone really enjoyed it. They all want to do it again next week.

Tomorrow night we are invited to a Roman orgy out in Tafuna were we all have to dress as Greeks and Romans. It’s good to be home!


*See Word of the Day for explanation of this time period.