I have been asked that question probably a million times, and I'm going to be honest: there is no Reason. Oh, there were a million reasons why I chose AmSam: I wanted to go abroad for at least a year (but the Peace Corps 26 months seemed daunting), I wanted to work with youth, I didn't want to live in the middle of nowhere all by myself (and WorldTeach American Samoa promised roommates), I wanted to go somewhere I’d probably never get the chance to go otherwise (and the South Pacific definitely qualified), and, after I had decided on WorldTeach, the American Samoa program was fully funded (and I was a broke college grad). Those are all reasons, and decent ones…but they’re not a Reason. There was just something inside me that told me it was what I needed to do; maybe I’d feel the same way if I was in Tanzania or Costa Rica right now, but I guess I’ll never know.
Anyway. When I give people the above reasons, they’re never quite satisfied. So I have another story.
Way back when I first started looking into WorldTeach, my friend Melodious and I were clicking through programs on the website and we got to the AmSam main page and saw this:
And I thought, man. Those kids are cute. I can see myself teaching kids like that. So I put AmSam on the list, and as the list got shorter and shorter, Samoa moved farther and farther up. So, I’m not gonna say I moved here because I saw a picture of cute kids. But, I mean, maybe a little bit?
The cutest part of this story though: the kid in the front? His name is Nainoa. He’s my neighbor. And it’s his 9th birthday today.
Happy birthday, Nainoa! Thanks for being so adorable! If not for you, I might be in China right now. That's why I always try to remember... everything happens for a reason.
Alexandra Savinkina, WorldTeach American Samoa 2013-2014
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