It’s a breezy, overcast Sunday morning in Pua Pua and the perfect day to write some bullet points.
· My week in school was much better than last week. Kids were a little more well-behaved and they seemed to snap back to their normal selves. We spent the entire week working on skits. With groups of 4-6, they were to come up with a 5+ minute long skit from the perspective of a farming family during The Great Depression. Some seem to really enjoy it, others not. I’ve seen two groups present theirs and the rest will go tomorrow…I’ll let you know how they do!
· I bought a plane ticket! My roommate Abby and I will be traveling to Sydney, Australia for Christmas break. There are no direct flights from AmSam to Aus, so we will have to fly to our neighbor island Western Samoa first. I never had the aching desire to visit Australia, even after I read Bill Bryson’s “In a Sunburned Country” (which was a fantastic read, by the way). I just didn’t understand why it got so much attention. The country is home to some of the deadliest animals in the entire world, like the Box Jellyfish. Ummm scary. But something in me changed (maybe it was the cheap –ish flight) and now that I’ve got a plane ticket, I’m really excited. We’ll be spending some time in Sydney where our days will be spent doing touristy activities and eating. How excited am I to be reunited with restaurants and big buildings and being able to wear my swim suit to Bondi Beach? We would also like to travel to other parts of Aus that are around Sydney – maybe see a little bit of the country and visit a winery or two.
· For some reason, I’m the only one in this household that ends up finding and killing all the big bugs…and it’s always at 5:30 in the morning! We all remember my first spider killing. Gross. Last week I killed another spider only this one was above the stove. Whack. But this past week, I went to wash my hands in the bathroom and out popped some super long feelers from the hole in the sink right under the faucet. If I was a cat, I would only have about 2 lives left. Why do bugs think that 5:30 a.m. is a great time to make their presence known? Anyways, I horridly watched as a massive cockroach came out of said hole. I freaked, obviously. I sprayed about half a bottle of poison on the dang thing and then whacked it 3 times with the big fly swatter. WAAAHHH. My life. MY LIFE!
· The Leone Lions finally won a football game! We played Kananafou HS (Kah-nah-nah-fow) on Friday and whooped them.
- Something happened to my iPod and it managed to delete everything on it. That was a sad day for me. To make myself feel better, I purchased this little beauty:
Yes, it’s purple. Not my first choice, but the wooden ones were way out of my budget.
After playing the violin for almost all of my childhood, I wasn’t shocked when I was able to easily tune it. Thanks to a Youtube video that helped get me started, I managed to get all the strings in tune and I learned a couple chords. Several of my students have offered to help me learn how to play the ukulele so I will be taking them up on those offers.
· My roommate Amber had suggested that I visit a small diner in Pago Pago called Rosie’s. Apparently they serve the most delicious thing that she’s eaten on island: a grilled Wahoo sandwich. What’s Wahoo? A really ugly looking fish that you can find all over the place here. I met up with my friends Melinda and Khoa and we decided to give the sandwich a try. Turns out she was right. It was super delicious!
· A student (who I don’t even teach!) managed to find my blog. I was subbing for his class and out of nowhere he goes,” I found a picture of you and Erin on the internet.” I thought to myself, huh?? There are two Erin’s in the WT group so I figured it was a picture with one of them. I asked him how he found it, and he said he had been researching Faga’itua HS and a picture just popped up. Then the lightbulb turned on: back in the day when I had been up in Minnesota visiting my friend Erin, I had found out that I would be teaching at Faga’itua. I had then written a blog post and put a picture of Erin and I at the start. Oka! I must remember to censor myself a little bit more now…
That’s about it for my week. Now I’ll fill you in on some cultural things that I’ve noticed.
· People eat uncooked Ramen here. They will buy a packet of the noodles, pour the powder on the noodles, and eat it. Just like that. Random?
· Samoans can have entire conversations with their eyebrows. Seriously. Most of the time, they say yes by raising their eyebrows. It’s a fast raise and I find it fascinating. I thought it was kind of annoying at first, but now that I’ve been here over 2 months, I find myself doing it too! It’s becoming second nature to me. I try to not do it, but it just happens.
· The tattoo is an extremely important part of the Samoan culture. Word on the street is that tattooing began here or within the Polynesian culture as a whole. I would say that 50-75% of my students have tattoo’s. Most of the girls have ankle bands and they are beautiful! The boys will tattoo themselves by putting marks on their hands (not quite sure what they mean) or having their village tattooed on their arms. If they don’t have a real tattoo (or even if they do), they have their artistic friends draw on them with Sharpies. Just this past Friday, two boys in one of my classes tattooed Sharpie murals on their forearms.
Have a fantastic rest of your Sunday. Stay warm but feel free to come visit if the cold gets to you…