In Samoa

Thursday, April 12, 2007

back at last!!!

so much for the last attempt to get back into blogging, I forgot my password immediately after the last post...that's what I get for a new system messing with my much cudgeled brain!
Well after tomorrow I should be able to put something in here again.
'Til then.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Blog Update

Wow, has it really been five months? I started this blog to practice my consistency at the whole writing thing; apparently I still need to work on that skill!
So much has happened in the past few months; my parents have visited Samoa, I’ve visited Australia, and Fisheries in Samoa (where I work) has dedicated a new building where we are now at last all in the same place and might actually get things done more efficiently. So far this cyclone season there has only been one gale warning and two floods; not bad, considering Peace Corps in the past consolidated Volunteers as many as five times in a single season! Peace Corps Samoa has welcomed a new group (Group 77) to the crew, and they are off and running teaching music, fixing computers, and generally keeping themselves busy in various schools around Samoa.
As for this update, I’ll work on being more consistent with keeping current stuff posted; maybe later I’ll back up to talk about stuff that happened in the past few months.
For now, though, there's other stuff that needs getting done...until next time!!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Funnel Cakes

Avanoa Tutusa is a non-governmental organization that encourages equality for women and youth through career fairs, preschool grants, and business opportunities. The organization is an official NGO not a Peace Corps organization, but since it was started by Peace Corps a large majority of the members are still Peace Corps Volunteers. For the past two years they have set up a Funnel Cake booth at the Teuila Festival to raise money (the past president, Pete, got a hankering for Funnel Cakes sometime last year). Funnel Cakes are very much an American invention and many people have no idea what they are, so one of the tasks at the booth is to stand in front giving free samples. Of course, free samples are also an American invention; many people pass by with confused expressions and a few have even offered money for their sample! Despite the many cultural barriers, Funnel Cakes are gaining in popularity through word of mouth. Yesterday, we used four 5-gallon buckets of batter…that’s a lot of funnel cakes! I have no idea how much money we’ve raised so far, but judging from how fast the buckets of batter are emptying into the frying oil I’d say we have enough to grant quite a few preschools with supplies and equipment. I’ve been doing my part to help out the organization, which means that over the past four days my waist has expanded at least two inches….good thing Teuila Festival only comes around once a year!

Pictures later, running short on time today!!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Softball game!!!

Been a while since the last post, I'd better catch up!
A few weeks ago, Peace Corps got together with a few of the other volunteer organizations (JICA, AYA) in Samoa for a softball game. Lots of fun! Almost enough people came to make four teams, although we had to take turns anyway due to equipment shortages (we all agreed to make each game last only 5 innings to keep the time on field short).
The first game was Peace Corps vs. JICA (Japan International) and it was a pretty intense game; their team had a guy who played softball professionally and we were caught completely off guard for the fast balls he was pitching. After the first inning the score was 0-4 and several of our guys had bruises on their legs from those fast pitches!

The second inning we got serious and didn't let any more runs get through, and by the bottom of the 5th inning we'd managed to catch up on runs and at last managed one final point to put us over the top! Since we only played to five innings we won with the score 5-4.

The second game was much more relaxed. Since AYA (Australian Youth) didn't quite have enough people for a full team, we mixed up the players and had some of that lovely cross-cultural exchange everyone always gets so excited about. Since it wasn't such an 'us against them' type of game, everyone was much more relaxed; I'm not even sure if anyone was keeping score (I sure wasn't).
Toward the end of the game, we were all really starting to look forward to lunch! Since it was a cross-cultural event, the brains behind the scenes requested everyone to bring some food to share. People brought everything from barbequed chicken to brownies to spaghetti, and the JICA guys who volunteer at the Agricultural station brought a wonderful mushroom rice dish made from mushrooms grown in Samoa! That dish was to me the highlight of the day; fresh mushrooms are a treat beyond compare as they aren't sold in any of the stores in the entire country. I hope the agricultural project they are working on will start to benefit the rest of the country soon, I would love to try my hand at that mushroom rice recipe!

Well that's about it; I've been averaging abuot one post a month so we'll see what next time will bring!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

...more pictures

...from the July 4 barbecue. Will do some new things soon; this evening is the fa'amavae (going away party) for three of the "Old Group" 72. I'll miss them.

Friday, July 21, 2006

July 4 Barbecue, belated

Since we here in Samoa don't get the 4th of July off for a holiday (different country, you know) a bunch of Peace Corps met at Lalomanu for a barbeque (hotdogs and hamburgers). Not nearly as chaotic as the last Lalomanu visit and lots of fun! Lots of new faces, trainees and directors alike; saw some awesome stuff while snorkeling. A note on that: one of the guys (namely Bob whom I will thank forever) loaned me his prescription snorkel mask (our eyes are about equally bad) and for the first time I saw the underwater world clearly! I could actually see the little fish hiding behind their one inch boulders; I could see the camoflaged fish chilling in their places; I saw mushroom corals for the first time (they are all over Lalomanu, I just couldn't see them before). It quite literally brought tears to my eyes. I've posted a few pics and I'll try to post some more once I figure out more about this site. Since this is a public site I'll have to keep the pics very innocent, not that there's anything really bad to post but you never know....
Until next time!!

Friday, July 07, 2006


I finally found the guts to ride my bike to work this morning. Traffic isn't as bad on Fridays as it normally is, so no major events...just a slight run in with a bus or two. Must do this more often, especially if I want to bike around Savaii in the near future!