Many people have asked why I chose to teach in American Samoa. Most people who teach English abroad head to China, Japan, or Korea, but I guess I'm different. During my semester in New Zealand, I stayed in a dorm that consisted mainly of freshmen Kiwi’s, which was quite the experience. But, I was lucky enough to get placed on a floor with people from all over the world. I was the only American, but students from Japan, Tonga, (Western) Samoa, the Philippines, and New Zealand lived near me. Before NZ, I had never even heard of Tonga or Samoa, and it wasn’t until I became friends with my floor mates, that I really became interested in the South Pacific (tiny) islands.
When I discovered WorldTeach, I researched all of the countries and after a brief “I want to go to Colombia” stint (my Mom wasn’t too happy about that), I realized that my answer was right in front of me: American Samoa! Not only would I be back in the South Pacific, but I would be able to reunite with my Samoan friends and continue to learn about the culture, history, and lifestyle of a tropical island.
That being said, besides anxiously awaiting the news of where I’ll be living and what I’ll be teaching, I am keeping myself busy with “attempting” to learn Samoan. It is a vowel-filled language, and some of the words have up to three in a row, like Nu’uuli. Just a guess, but I think it is pronounced new-glottal stop—oooooooleee. We will see if I am right. Another catch is the letter g. In Samoan, g = ng. The capital of the main island is Pago Pago. It is pronounced as Pango Pango. Also, stress is put on the letter a, making it more of an ahh. Neat.
Other than practicing my vowels, I am checking things off my list with WorldTeach, stocking up on flip flops, and eating all the greens, berries, and citrus that I can hold (more on this later.)
Until next time, tofa!