Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Random Adventures with Quinn

New dress! Never in a million years would I have picked this out in the States. I guess living on an island and having a billion fabrics to choose from will do that to you. The plus? Having it made just for me. 

I even wore a Samoan sei in my hair - a fake flower that most women wear to match their ofu (clothes). 

It's soccer season in AmSam. Oh, the views.

Wrestling season passed, but Leone won the island-wide championships! Go Liona! 

Hanging out with some runners after school. 

The main road on the island. You really can't get lost here. 

Hanging out of a bus in Leone.

 I came home from an adventure one day to find Mavaega and Kolio working on a puzzle my mom had sent for them. It was adorable. 

Grinning! : )

Complete concentration 

We played some hardcore games of badminton and then took a break to take some pictures and some funny videos. Props to Kolio for snapping this picture. 

 It is unbelievable how many times Abby and I have both walked out of our rooms matching. At this point, we just yell, "REALLY?" and then one of us goes to change. 

The movie came here! This is myself and my field director, Drew. He also read the HG in his classes last year, so of course, we were both stoked to see the movie. We went on Friday night...halfway through the movie, the flippin' power went out! We sat there for another 1.5 hours before the theater gave us re-admit passes. We finally got to see the entire movie on Saturday. Whew!

Remember that time I slid down a mountain? Yeah, that was fun. This was how we got to the waterfall - a construction/gravel pit/landfill/green lake zone. We asked one of the men why the water was green. He responded with a look of question. He proceeded to walk over and look at the water as if he had never noticed it was green. "I don't know," he shrugged. We all laughed. Anyone else know? Maybe some sulfur?
Once again, I conquered the "hella" steep road to Aoloau (aka Alaska). This time, I walked all the way to the end of the village. If I could pick anywhere else to live on the island, I would pick here. Not only is there barely any humidity, but you can see for miles and miles and miles! Check out those rainstorms on the ocean. There's one on the left and one on the right.

Our amazing swing choir. These are the students that went to Apia over Spring Break. Several of my students had solos, including one who sang "Boogie Shoes." Precious.

They are BFFs and they matched. Perfect photo op.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Apia, Samoa

[I wrote this post last Sunday, the day I got home....I apologize if there is any confusion!]

Malo from AmSam! Spring break has almost come to a close and it is ending with the perfect weather. It is almost 11:00 a.m., and I have yet to break a sweat. The sun is hiding and there is a light breeze.
A few hours ago, Abby and I got back from a relaxing mini-vacation to Apia. Even though I have now been there three times, it still amazes me how BIG the island of Upolu is compared to my island of Tutuila. It takes 10+ minutes in an airplane just to cross half of Upolu, where you can fly from the Pago airport and be over ocean in less than five minutes. Upolu is massive – a whole other world (yet at the same time, not at all).

After a confusion with Polynesian airlines (they cancelled our flight), Abby and I left a couple days later than we were supposed to. We laughed it off – whatever! When Thursday came, we boarded our teensy tiny, propeller plane. Our ride would not be complete without the shaky take off and landing. 40 minutes later, we were in a taxi and headed to Maketi Fou (the main market in Apia). Being a palagi in a place that actually gets tourism can be very frustrating, especially when it comes to making purchases, going places, and even walking down the street. Being a palagi and being able to speak a little Samoan makes ALL the difference. While shopping at the market, I had several interesting conversations with some Samoan vendors. I started conversations in Samoan, and we continued doing so until I ran out of Samoan (these were not long conversations...ha). This got me some good deals on a few of my purchases and well, it made me feel like I belonged a little. I’m not one of those cruise ship tourists, people! (Not that there’s anything wrong with those people, but after living in and amongst the culture for 8.5 months, I don’t want to be considered a tourist). The market and the surrounding area was overwhelming – so many people, cars, and buses, and stuff! I’m not used to so much commotion and I always go through culture shock for a couple hours before I settle in. 

The teensy tiny plane that flies to and from Apia. 

The market - gorgeous puletasi's hanging from the ceiling.

Imagine about a hundred different stalls of this...a jewelry shopper's heaven!

I'e lavalava's - love love love!

For our first night in Apia, Abby and I stayed at Hotel Millenia, a nicer hotel complete with a pool that was shaped like a turtle! We enjoyed the ‘high class’ experience (aka air conditioning, a shower with warm water, a tropical breakfast, the pool, and a tiny tv – haha). We made friends with two little girls, Jayleen and Kathleen, and spent a few hours swimming, learning, speaking, and singing in Samoan, and playing Marco Polo, all before falling asleep. On Saturday and Sunday night, we stayed at Hotel Elisa, also a fancy place. We stayed in the “budget accommodation” and as the porter (?) walked us through the hotel to our room (yeah, they do that in Samoa!), we kept going through all these doors until we reached our room. Darn it for not being able to afford a classy room. But love it that we still got to use the pool!

Highlights to a rainy Saturday: spending a couple hours at one of the other markets before walking all over town.  There are so many vendors in the markets. If you really pause and look at everything, a couple hours will go by before you realize it. Later that afternoon, we went to a movie, and froze to death in A/C.

The turtle pool!

Highlights to a relaxing Sunday: sleeping in a little, walking along the Apia seawall and listening to the Samoans sing in church, finding out that McDonalds was open so we could sit and enjoy some cheap coffee (can I just note that there is only ONE McD’s in Western. Please oh please don’t let them ever put in any more.), stopping in Farmer Joe’s (supermarket) and hooraying when we saw that they had banana bread (more to come on that…), meeting up with my friend Rezetta, swimming in the hotel pool, sitting in the park next to the water, and seeing another movie.

The Apia harbor on our first morning

Taligalu: the Samoan word for seawall.

Out for a Sunday stroll. That's a Banyan tree on the left. 

An au'te, a flower of Samoa

This is my friend Rezetta. I met her in New Zealand and have stayed in contact with her ever since. It was so great catching up with her, talking about life in Samoa, and comparing/contrasting AmSam to Upolu!

Pretty flowers at our hotel

Highlights to a superfast Monday (remember that Western Samoa is now on NZ time…they are one day and one hour ahead of American Samoa): None. We woke up early, walked to town, caught a taxi, sat at the airport, got on the plane, flew home. But! I was impressed with our take off and landing. It was ridiculously smooth. My knuckles weren’t white from clenching my hands and my heart wasn’t beating 500mph. Score!

And now to the paragraph I’ve been looking forward to writing. FOOD highlights in Samoa…Abby and I ate at Amanaki (a swanky hotel on the water with really good deals for dinner) all three nights we were there! We just couldn’t go anywhere else. We first tried Amanaki when we stayed with our friend Supy in December, so of course we went back. The first night, we dined on poke (raw tuna in a delicious sauce) and Vailima (Samoa’s very own beer). Classy dinner. The second night (St. Patrick’s Day), we started with Vailima, moved on to stuffed eggplant (umm omg), and finished with banana fritters (amazing). The third night, we were too hungry to share anything so Abby got a fish burger and I got a chicken burger – so fresh, so delicious, so filling. Other food highlights include eating bananas (if only I could send one to each and every one of you…), banana bread (it’s SO DARN GOOD!), Coke (made in Samoa with actual sugar – no high fructose corn syrup – SO REFRESHING!), grilled tuna (mmm), a Niu (baby coconut – best drink in the world for you, or so the Samoan’s say), banana cake (can you tell I love bananas?), ice cream, and I’m sure there was more, but this paragraph is probably making all your stomach’s growl, isn’t it?

Enjoying an ice cold Vailima.

Poke...looks gross, tastes amazing...complete with coconut.

Lunch of champs: a loaf of homemade banana bread and the best Coke I've ever had.
Banana fritters...umm amazing. That creature thing on the upper right is called a lychee (sp?) - weird tasting thing.

My lunch one day...a Niu (coconut) to drink, fries, salad, grilled tuna, an egg, and sosisi (sausage): typical Samoan food. I took one bite of the sosisi and gagged. Disgusting. 

This should be a Coke ad, right?

All in all, we had a great trip. It was the perfect way to end our spring break. Although it will be rough getting back into the school schedule, I’m sure it will all balance out within a couple days. Hard to believe how little time I have left on my tiny island in the middle of the ocean!

Abby and I make excellent traveling partners : )

Goodbye beautiful Samoa, I'll be back!

Look how tiny Tutuila small!

My house and the village around it from the air!
Light blue arrow: mountains
Purple arrow: points West
Red arrow: the main road
Orange arrow: head that way if you want to go into town or to the airport
Yellow arrow: my house!!
Dark blue arrow: house with stupid dogs that like to try and eat me
Green arrow: the village of Malaeloa...we go here to do our laundry, sometimes I run back through here, and other times Abby and I walk at night through here

A new sign that greeted me when I got back to AmSam...I just laughed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Happy Spring to all you State-siders! Happy Fall to me. Word on the street is that it's going to get "cooler" around here. I won't believe it until I feel it! (Although today is quite cool and rainy, so maybe it will come true?)

You know what's the worst? Catching the giggles in class and than not being able to stop. Rough! Everyone just stares at you and starts laughing too and then no one can stop. 

Big Spring Break post coming your way this week...fa.

Monday, March 12, 2012

"May the odds be ever in your favor"

Midway through 3rd quarter, I decided to read “The Hunger Games” (by Suzanne Collins) with all of my classes. While I know that most of my students despise reading, I was convinced that this book was going to win them over. Several of you wonderful blog readers sent me copies of the book and I now have a total of 21 books, which has been perfect! I did not want my students to have to read the HG on photocopies (and now, there’s no way that could have happened – all the printers at school have either run out or are almost out of ink…). Having the books has been so helpful. Each student has a number and that book is their baby, their responsibility. On our first day that we read, one of the books went missing. I pounced all over campus trying to find the student. I found him at his turf. Turns out, he thought he got to hold on to the book (clearly he hadn’t been paying attention when I told the class five million times that they were never to take them out of class!)

So far, the book has been going great! We aren’t very far yet, mainly because the past few weeks have been crazy at school with History Day, Science Fair, JROTC inspection, swing choir practices, and midterms. Following Spring Break, we’re going to be reading like crazy people – nonstop. Well, we have to stop and recap every so often, but we’re finally getting to the intense parts!

If you haven’t read the book yet, go to your nearest library or bookstore and get it. People are so quick to say, “I won’t like it,” or “I hate reading.” PFF PLEASE. Start reading this book and you won’t want to put it down. If you hate it, I’ll send you a dollar. Promise.

If you haven’t heard, the HG has been made into a movie which comes out on March 23rd! That is so soon. Students come running into my room yelling, “I SAW THE PREVIEW LAST NIGHT! This and this happened and I remember when we read that!” Hooray! I really hope that the movie comes here. I have a feeling that it will, but I don’t know what we’re going to do if it doesn’t! Well, actually I do. Samoans are very good at pirating. Not a good thing, but hey, you’d probably do it too if you were on an island in the middle of nowhere. They somehow download and get movies that were in the theaters last week. Amazingly (and not so amazingly), some of my students have already seen the HG movie. Fo realz? They are not allowed to tell anyone what happens. The bummer part about the movie coming here is that there’s no way we can finish the book before then. Darn it! Oh well! We’ll still finish it anyway.

And now for some fun, cute, awww stories that put a big smile on my face:

“When you read it, I understand.” This quote is coming from a boy who has skipped my class 42 times since the beginning of the year. He was the kind of student who never really cared. He did his homework occasionally. Most of the time, he wouldn’t pay attention. Since we started reading the HG, he has only missed 2 classes. 2! Now, he is one of the very few in his class to raise his hand to answer questions I ask. He pays attention when I read. He moves to other tables so people don’t distract him while we read. I am so, so, so proud of him. 

My classroom is right next to the bathrooms. There is a heavy traffic load of students walking past my classroom at all times. They yell through my windows. They bang on my door. They walk into my room when the door is open and even when its not. They blast their speakers. Sigh. My students always respond to the yelling by talking back. They will yell at people out the windows. They get up and leave my classroom to go talk to their friends. They unlock the door so their friends can come in. Sigh. Since starting the HG, no outside noise is allowed. When people walk by and make noise, almost everyone in my classes is either “SHH”-ing, or “AUA LE PISA!”-ing (stop the noise). It’s incredible and it makes me smile every single time. They get so irritated by outside noise. I love it.

For the most part, they get bummed if we aren’t reading. “C’mon Miss!” Some students come in during our break or lunch to keep reading. I have a girl that read the entire book in 2 days and she re-read it three more times (if that isn’t enough motivation to go get the book, I don’t know what is!). My mom sent me books two and three (that’s right, there’s three!) and I had students drooling at my feet to borrow them. Yes, yes, yes! Read them! Seeing my students enjoy reading is incredibly heart warming.

I have some seki a bulletin boards but they are still a work in progress. As soon as I have more stuff up, I will show you some pictures. I recently added some pictures of the HG movie cast and everyone went insane. The boys are calling Katniss their girlfriend and the girls have a hard time deciding whether they want to date Gale or Peeta (um, Gale, duh!).

For their midterm, I had them write everything they know and remember from the book so far. Some students were really into it and wrote 4 pages. Others wrote a page (probably because some hate writing just as much as reading, haha.) Should I be overwhelmed that I have 100+ essays sitting in front of me? Naahhh I’m excited. Teacher, much?

So, your homework (if you haven’t already guessed it) is to 1) go borrow/buy the book! 2) make some coffee and 3) start reading and don’t stop!

Period 5 loves HG! 

Period 6 loves HG!

 Period 2 loves HG!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Break 2012!

Hello blog readers! I hope you had a happy and fun-filled Saturday. It is Daylight Savings Time, eh? So that means that IL will be 6 hours ahead of me now. AmSam doesn't participate in DST. Speaking of time, have I ever told you that Tutuila (my island) is now the last place in the world to end each day? We are the last people to see the sunset and it happens to set gorgeously in the Leone bay, right down the hill, aka "downstairs". Cool, or in Samoan slang, kaisi! [Sidenote: I am constantly asked which church I go to. I just say, "In Leone. Downstairs." They know which church I'm talking about. Ha.]

What is new in my life? Well, it is Spring Break! Seriously, how does this happen? It feels like yesterday was the first day of the semester and now it's the middle of March. Good grief. This brings so many mixed feelings. I am so eager to get off the plane in Chicago, but saying goodbye to the place I've called home for almost a year is going to be extremely hard. I only have a little over 2 months left in my classroom. Students are starting to ask me what I'm going to do when I go home. Others refuse to accept the fact that I'm leaving. Some just shake their head and say, "I'm going to miss you." I was talking to three of my students yesterday and one girl asked me, "Do you like Samoan kids, miss?" I answered, "I love you guys. You have no idea how much I am going to miss you." The four of us got really silent and just kind of sat there until someone distracted us and we went back to our normal conversation. Whew. Almost everyday now, I get choked up multiple times. Someone says something, or I see someone I know that I will really miss and that lump creeps up on me. Sigh. Life is so good for me right now, but at the same time, it is starting to get rough.

Now for something that gets the lump out of my throat. I am still having "whoa" moments here. "Whoa" moments are those times when you don't really realize where you are, but something catches your eye and you say "Whoa. I live here?" After being here for so long, I still forget that I live in the middle of the ocean on a teensy tiny island. I had a "whoa" moment today. I was on the bus, headed into town, and we passed by one of the funeral casket stores (yes, those exist) and I "whoa'd." I forgot where I was and no, it wasn't the actual casket store that made me realize it - the moment just happened as we were passing the store, haha.

I did a little Spring Break splurging today. I bought a new $4 broom for my classroom! Jokes! That's not all I bought. I also bought some fabric for two dresses. When the seamstress was measuring me, I was all giddy at the thought of having new clothes. Oh,  my life.

Abby and I are headed to Apia on Upolu (Western Samoa) for a few nights next week. We will be spending the first two in a cheap, budget accommodation type place. The last night, we are splurging on an actual hotel room! Gasp! Air conditioning! A pool! A sink and shower that has hot water! GASP. It will be worth it (although I think we're sharing a bed because getting two beds was a lot more's okay, you can laugh. We are.) It will be nice to get away, although we have a high chance of running into a lot of Leone High Schoolers. Our amazing swing choir is there for the week, performing at colleges (high schools in Western) and churches.

What else can I tell you? Oh! The school bought all the staff MacBook laptops! That's right. I now have to lug a beautiful, fancy laptop back and forth to school each day. I don't get to keep it (shucks) but I have to watch over it like a baby. Obstacles include making sure it doesn't get touched or stolen by students, and making sure I don't get caught in a rainstorm on my way to and from school. Either way, it is reeeeaaallly pretty. [Sidenote: I'm not sure what the actual purpose of the laptop is, and why they didn't spend that money to buy computers for the students to use...or maybe buy new books for their library...or maybe install water fountains so the students don't have to drink water from the bathroom sinks....just sayin'.]

I guess that's about it for now. Fa soifua!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


For those of you that are on facebook, I'm sure you have heard about KONY2012 and the organization Invisible Children. If you haven't, please take half an hour to watch this video: KONY2012.  You will not regret it - if anything, it will open your eyes to something you may have never known was happening.

I have been a supporter of Invisible Children since my sophomore year of college. They have come so far and I know that they can try their best to achieve their goal of capturing Joseph Kony by the end of 2012. The only way this can happen is if you help. All you have to do is go to KONY2012 website and sign the pledge. You can also support them in other ways, but something as simple as signing that pledge will be an immense help. Keep the U.S.A involved so we can end something that's been going on for far too long.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's been a while since I talked about food

Interesting food bullet points (because by now you should know how much I love food):
-          While here, I have eaten approximately 11 pounds of almonds. That’s right, eleven pounds.
-          While here, I have probably eaten twice as many pounds of peanut butter. No, I’m not kidding. Well, maybe not twice as many, but I'm sure it is close. I don't know. I eat a lot of PB!
-          I have eaten entire gardens of cucumbers. So delicious.
-          Samoan eggplant is tiny, skinny and oh so yummy in pasta or sprinkled with parmesan.
-          I found a gigantic bag of pretzels for $1.75 at the store this week. I can’t remember the last time I had pretzels. Normally they are like $5 or $6 a bag. SCORE.
-          I create lots of “mash ups”. Throwing all your vegetables in with eggs or rice isn’t as weird as you think (even if it sounds like it will be gross.)
-          I saw Muenster cheese at the store. It was $5.15 for like 15 slices. SAD. I actually gasped when I saw it. Muenster is my absolute favorite.
-          Cornflakes are really boring when you eat them every day. Gag.
-          Want to eat a cupcake right after you take it out of the oven but don’t want to wait for it to cool? Stick it in the freezer!
-          My students don’t like carrots or vegetables for that matter. When they see me eating carrots at lunch, they stare at me. “Why are you eating carrots?” “Because they are delicious and they are good for you and your eyes.” “But why?”  Sometimes they just like to hear the snap of the carrot as you bite into it. They find it fascinating. I sometimes save a carrot for a certain student who actually likes them.
-          When I was in NZ, I learned the proper way to eat a kiwi. Cut it in half with a knife and take a “baby” spoon and scoop out the fruit like you are eating out of a bowl. Classy. The Samoan way of eating a kiwi is to peel it with your fingers and eat it in one bite. Do you know how disgusting and messy this is (and not classy at all!)?!
-          Islands Choice is the company that makes the ice cream on island. It is nasty. They call their chocolate and vanilla combo “Rebel.” Weird.
-          A couple students threw another student a birthday party in my room during lunch the other day. This was the cake they baked her:

 They didn't have any utensils so they cut the cake with a ruler (haha) and used Styrofoam cups to scoop out the ice cream. After they ate, they smeared ice cream all over the birthday girl's face and I was lucky enough to get a picture:
Ice cream started to get on my desks and my floor. ALRIGHT, GET OUT, but thanks for the cake!

-          Ice cakes are the worst snack in the entire world. Let me tell you a little about ice cakes. They are literally frozen Kool-Aid in a Styrofoam cup. Teachers sell them at school for 50 cents. Students eat them for breakfast, for lunch, for an afternoon snack. (No wonder they have rotting teeth and are unhealthy – sugar water!!!!!). The funny thing about ice cakes is that they eat them really funny and gross. Most of the time, they use their thumb to scrape out the “cake.” Other times they will peel the cup, or flip the frozen sugar water upside down and eat it like an ice cream cone. The other day, I saw a student eating one with a quarter. Um, ew. Yesterday, one of my students was eating it with tweezers. Um, okay. The bad thing about ice cakes is that Styrofoam cups are EVERYWHERE. Sometimes they throw them away. Sometimes they leave them in my windowsills. Sometimes they leave them on the floor. Sometimes they throw them beside the garbage. Why is this bad (besides the fact that they should always go in the garbage)? Ants. So many ants. I hate ants. Ants are everywhere on this island. They swarm. Ew. Ants love extra ice cake juice. I HATE ICE CAKES.

-          Most food from the California Mart tastes like the store. Yep. It’s gross.  California Mart (the store in front of our house) also likes to sell expired stuff. They have sour cream in their fridge right now that expired on December 5, 2011. Mom, you’re not the only one!
-          The best after school snacks are either an orange or a bowl of fresh papaya sprinkled with lime juice.

-          I ate a massive to’onai feast today. To’onai is the traditional Samoan lunch on Sundays. Most (if not all the food) is cooked in the umu. The menu included chicken, palusami, cucumber salad, papaya, rice, taro, breadfruit, some sort of beef/veggie combo, fresh squeezed lemonade, cookies, and brownies. I am so full.
Time to nap/read/digest. Fa soifua!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I slid down a mountain today. No biggie.

This has been an interesting Saturday. It started with a 6:00 a.m. wake up call. By 7:15 a.m., Abby, Amber, her 2 friends (who are visiting from the States), and I were crammed on a school bus with the JV and Varsity boys soccer team. The bus ended up being a bit small for all of us, so some of the players stood in the aisle, some of them sat on each other’s laps. Oops, sorry. We picked up some referees along the way and they stood in the doorway. School bus rules don’t apply here. I teach quite a few of the Varsity boys, all of whom are charming and handsome little men. Both teams lost, but the season just started so they’ve got plenty of other chances to try and win.

After the game and a stop at the post office, Abby and I met our friend Lauren at the hospital bus stop. From there, we started our hunt for the “waterfalls behind the hospital.” We had no idea where to even begin our search but thankfully, Lauren saw someone she knew and he kindly pointed us in the right direction. We followed a road and entered a gravel pit/construction/hard hat zone. Umm. We were definitely out of place. Some Samoans pointed us up a gravel road (amongst all the machinery, a pool of water that was neon green (?), and gravel-y stuff) and we saw our first waterfall. It was nothing fancy, mainly because it was manmade. Word on the street was that there were 6 waterfalls so we started hiking up. We followed a little creek that was bubbling and rippling with crisp, cool, and refreshing water. Turning a corner, we saw our next waterfall. It was beautiful, and the water was falling from a very high spot on a mountain. After soaking in the view for a few minutes, we decided to start climbing so we could try and find some of the other falls.
From the get go, the climb was more of a rock climb/grab onto anything you can grasp type of situation. Wearing shoes was only making it worse. I was sliding and I had no traction or grip. Off they went. From then on, I followed the footsteps of Sam and Frodo and used my bare feet and toes to clamber up. Abby thinks that it would have been a perfect time to have Vibrams, the five finger shoes. I totally agree.

Before long, we were stuck. The soil was really loose and there were rocks and branches everywhere. Lauren was ahead of Abby and I so she decided to keep climbing to see if it was worth it to keep going up. I stood balanced on a tiny rock, holding onto a tree. Before long, she started sending down rocks (not on purpose, of course) and I kept saying “avalanche!” Lauren was having a hard time finding anything to grip and after the rocks just kept falling around Abby and I, I had had enough. The last thing I wanted was to get impaled by a flying boulder. Abby and I sat down and started our slide/descent. It was very steep, very slippery, and well, messy. At one point, a big, heavy rock came flying from above and slammed into my backpack throwing my whole body forward. Thank goodness I had been holding onto that tree and that my backpack was there to protect my neck. Oka. Just a little farther…

As Abby was about to reach solid ground, she slipped and went sliding down the mountain. She was okay. She slammed her elbow pretty hard and got really muddy, but she made it! Now it was my turn. I tried going really slow and making sure I had a full grasp before I stepped. Pff. I slipped at the same spot and down I tumbled. The only thing I could think as I slid/rolled/twisted was “my butt!!” Haha, I think I might have even yelled that as I slid. I was okay too but I got (in the words of my students) “hecka/hella” muddy. My butt, legs, feet, arms, and hands were solid mud and dirt. I had made it but I did get some battle wounds. I got some tiny cuts on both hands, my butt has some cuts, and it looks like a creature tried to claw part of my left leg. I laughed. Only in American Samoa does all this crazy stuff keep happening to me! Falling between rocks and almost breaking my ankle on Ta’u, almost getting thrown onto rocks and swept out to sea in Vatia, and now sliding down a mountain behind the hospital. Fun.

Poor Lauren was still trying to climb down and avalanches kept falling. Massive rocks fell off the cliff and landed in the creek and waterfall pool below. She literally kissed the ground when she got down. I just laughed. I think we’re done with the waterfalls behind the hospital though.

My butt was so muddy. I went into the hospital drug store and bought a lavalava (in English terms, a sarong, I guess?) that I pretty much live in here, and covered up my uncleanliness. The rest of the day was spent eating a one pound burrito from CJ’s (Carl’s Jr. – fast food. Sometimes you just need it.), riding the bus, getting groceries, and stopping to get bananas from a stand on my way home. Life on an island is the coolest thing ever!

I hope your weekend has been just as much of an adventure! Hopefully you didn’t slide down a mountain like I did.