PUPPY! and school, and snorkeling

So we have a puppy now.  Temporarily, I hope.  We know some people who are involved with the American Samoa Humane Society, and they asked us if we’d be interested in puppy foster care.  After seeing that face, how could we say no?

She’s very good at doing puppy stuff- chewing on everything, pooping everywhere, and whining in the middle of the night.  But I really miss my dog back home so it’s nice to have the little gal around.  Soon she’ll go to her permanent home and be someone’s pet (and hopefully be spayed) instead of becoming the vicious, disease-ridden feral dog she was destined to be until someone pulled her out of a drainage culvert and brought her to our house.  It’s tempting to just get a dog of our own since it’s hard not to feel sorry for them, but I think we’ll end up fostering a series of puppies.  We can do more good that way as well as avoid the serious hassle of bringing a dog back home when we leave.

I’ve survived my first week of teaching PE.  It’s been fun, stressful, rewarding, aggravating, fascinating.  I’d forgotten how much kids like to argue with each other.  They’ve all started calling me “Coach” for some reason, which is pretty cool.

Part of the challenge the first few days was getting the kids to understand that although PE is in the same place as recess, and I supervise recess, PE is not recess.  It was a little easier after I described a fun game called “Push-ups and Wind Sprints.”  Once the kids and I get to know each other I hope I can keep the drill sergeant act to a minimum.  The school’s expectation for PE is just that the kids have fun and get exercise without getting hurt.  Easy, right?

Sorry I haven’t added any pretty pictures for a while.  I’ve been going interesting places and seeing things I’d love to have pictures of, but our camera would get soaked, smashed, or both.  Last weekend I went to Nu’uuli Falls again.  It was just as great as the first time but the camera would never have made it back.

On Labor Day we went to Airport Beach.  The beach itself isn’t very impressive-  about 50 square feet of sand 50 feet from an airport runway.  No shade, no bar- just sun, sand, water, and airplane noise.

Why go there?  The reef.  I’d never snorkeled before coming to American Samoa, so I don’t have much to compare it to, but it’s indescribably beautiful.  It’s like swimming in a Jacques Cousteau film.  The coral blooms red and purple and the the millions of fish look like  a paint store exploded.  I felt like I was on another planet.

Since I don’t have an underwater camera, you should visit these links:

http://www.nps.gov/npsa/photosmultimedia/Fishes-Gallery.htm

http://www.nps.gov/npsa/photosmultimedia/Marine-Life-Gallery.htm

No, seriously, go look at those pictures.

I haven’t seen any whales or turtles yet, but the other stuff…  I saw those pictures before we came here, and it seemed wonderfully exotic (which it still does, because it is) and now I can walk twenty minutes from my house and stick my head underwater and see exactly what you see in those pictures.  We’re literally surrounded by one of the healthiest and most diverse coral reef systems on the planet.  It still doesn’t seem real.

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2 responses to “PUPPY! and school, and snorkeling

  1. HI Ralph, The photos are absolutely amazing! So glad you are able to experience it first hand. A friend of mine, Charlotte Vick is on Facebook and she is oceans, oceans, oceans all the time. She use to work for former Governor Coleman of American Samoa but now lives on the mainland. If you “friend” her, you will be able to keep up with the latest on marine life and our oceans.

  2. Puppy update: she was adopted only two days later to a good home. But maybe there will be more foster puppies in our future? (hint hint, Ryan)

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