Sunday, July 26, 2009

Progress Report: Moth XXIII


Diabetes/Blood Pressure Testing
My joining forces with the Peace Corps Alumnae screening for cataracts and giving away reading glasses kept me busy for a large part of the month and made it easier to get villagers to get blood tested. It also enabled other Peace Corps Volunteers to come face-to-face with more of the members of their own villages and set the stage for their continued participation in joint Peace Corps-Samoan Health Service programs.

My individual testing is now over. I plan to hand over my testing kit to another Peace Corps Volunteer to be used by yet more volunteers during the coming year.

Bathroom Scales
The scales are purchased and are supposedly at the airport from Fiji to be used by Savaii PC Volunteers to help with village weight control programs.

New Primary School
The roof is on the first of three school buildings. Construction on the other school buildings is awaiting materials.
A side benefit of the school project is the village is responsible for feeding the construction workers. I haven’t eaten this well in months.

Garden Projects
My own garden is in its final planting of peanuts, which require little maintenance. Sweet corn makes up my evening meals. The remaining Bok Choy, head cabbage, and beans are part of my daily family meals. I don’t expect my host family to continue, but I really don’t care. The garden has given both Mary and me hours of pleasure. Now there is little to do with it. I wonder what I would have done without it.

I don’t expect many new Samoans to start gardens, but some will. Many will wonder what happened to the Peace Corps who gave them jam and spicy chutneys.

The number of Peace Corps who have their own or a community garden continues to grow. Can gardens be the answer to Samoa’s high Peace Corps turnover rate? Few of the volunteers after my group have left early, none with a garden.

Departure Plans
August 11th is when I fly out of Samoa bound for the Philippines to visit an AFS foreign exchange student I knew in Minnesota and check out the Peace Corps. I return to Minneapolis and my family on August 23rd, which marks date I was originally scheduled to return. Another adventure waits as I go through readjustment to an unknown future.

Final Goals
My desire to have my picture taken with the Minister of Health took a step backwards when she failed to attend the Health Fair. She is still in my crosshairs.
Expanding my testing and weight reduction programs as well as garden program to other Peace Corps is well underway.

1 comment:

Jane said...

How proud you should be. You have accomplished so much. The garden converts, the school and more. You sure make things happen.

I will just miss meeting you in Samoa as my other son and I will arrive there on August 25th to visit Paul.

Perhaps I'll run into you back home in Minnesota some time.