Welcome to my blog, ‘Talofa Lava American Samoa’. Talofa lava is one way to say ‘hello’ in Samoan and was one of the first things I learned to say. Learning Samoan is definitely still a work in progress, but I will hopefully be learning much more over the next year!
For those of you who may not be familiar with what exactly I will be doing for the next year/where exactly I will be, here is a brief rundown. Starting July 11th I will be living and working in American Samoa as a volunteer teacher with an organization called WorldTeach (worldteach.org). Many of you are probably now scratching your heads saying ‘So where on earth is American Samoa?’. When I first found the WorldTeach website and was perusing the list of programs I was wondering the same thing. Turns out America Samoa is a small (and I mean SMALL) unincorporated and unorganized territory of the United States in the South Pacific. It neighbors Samoa (similar name and close in location, but different country. Also very different than Somalia where a few people originally thought I was heading) and is fairly close to Fiji, Tonga, and a bunch of other tiny islands. Here’s a map to help you out.
The best way to get a sense of how small American Samoa actually is and see the gorgeous place I’ll be calling home is to get on Google Earth and check it out for yourself. Explore a little bit and then slowly zoom out. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was moving to a teeny tiny speck of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean :)
I don’t know much else about my exact placement for the year yet. There are 10 volunteers going to American Samoa this year and we are told that we are all teaching at the high school level. I was also told that some of us will be on the main island of Tutuila and some will be on the outer islands (most likely Ta’u). I will post again when I have more details on my placement.
Tofa (goodbye) for now!
PS ~ This blog will be the best way of keeping track of my doings while I’m in AmSam since I’m not sure how often I’ll be on Facebook. There is a place on the bottom left hand side of my blog where you can put your email address. If you provide an email you’ll get notified whenever I update the blog. Convenient, huh?! There should also be a way to comment on my posts so feel free to comment away, especially once I’ve left. I’d love to hear from all of you! This is my first time blogging, so if something isn’t working let me know and I’ll do my best to fix it.