Adjusting to Life in Samoa

Andrea May is spending her year teaching abroad in American Samoa with WorldTeach! In her first few days on the island nation, Andrea has encountered several new cultural practices. Check out how Andrea is adjusting to this beautiful environment and what she has learned thus far! 

In a couple hours I will head to Tafuna high school and meet my students.  I still have no idea what I am doing but it doesn't matter because no one really no what is going on here.  The first week is spent getting students enrolled and their schedules figured out.  I have a class that only has 15 students in it, and class with 42. 

After being here a month here are some things I have learned

1.  Nothing is organized here....nothing!  Family and God are more important than work so often times things get put off.  We have 8 volunteers who were suppose to go to Ta'u island earlier this week but have not gone yet because the pilot has not felt like it.  We had our all staff meeting on Friday, and we start school on Monday.  The buses go whichever way they feel and will drop you off whenever you ask them for the most part.

2.  YELL Alu to the dogs, or they will bit you.

3.  Hitching is the best!  You can meet people and get free rides pretty much anywhere

4.  A car holds as many people that fit into it.  If you can fit 8 people in the back of a truck than you are encouraged to.  It is environmental.

5.  There is no bad view on this island.

6.  Prices don't make sense.  Some stuff is way over priced, some is under priced and some is the same. 

7.  The schools waste so many resources.  There is very little consequences for being late, leaving early or not showing up.  Many of the classrooms have IMac, smart bored, and printers but they are not often used because the teachers do not have the training to use them or the resources to maintain them.

8.  Teachers are responsible for EVERYTHING! I am  responsible  for fixing my broken printer, cleaning my room, and  providing  all resources besides the text books.  I am also responsible for setting up all the computers and getting past the password blocks that the teacher before me but on the computers .  I am suppose to providing paper, toner,  chalk, batteries for the keyboards and mice,  cleaning products, and whatever novels I want in my room. 

9.  The ice cream at the laundry mat is amazing!

10. The days here basically end when it gets dark, so around 6pm.  The buses stop running and the dogs more rowdy so it is not the safest to walk anywhere.

I have gotten all settled in my new place and get pictures posted when I feel like it ( the Samoan way is starting to sink in)  I am enjoying the hot water and having a laundry mat only like 50 feet away.

Hope everything is going well at home,

If you're interested in volunteering in American Samoa, visit our website at www.worldteach.org. If you have additional questions, feel free to email us at info@worldteach.org, or call us at 857.259.6646.

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