Placements for the year are finally in!! I will be an English teacher at Manu’a High School on Ta’u island American Samoa! Ta’u island is 17 square miles and there are three villages: Faleasao, Ta’u, and Fitiuta. Depending on who you ask there are between 500 and 1,000 people total among the 3 villages. Most people seem to guess the population to be around 800. All the villages are right on the coast and there is 1 road that connects them all. There are approximately 75 students in the entire high school so my class sizes should be very small. The summit of the island, Lata Mountain, has an elevation of 3,054 ft, making it the highest point in American Samoa. The southeastern half of Ta’u, including all of the rainforest on top of Lata Mountain and within the caldera, and the southern shoreline and associated coral reefs are part of the National Park of American Samoa. The park includes the ancient, sacred site of Saua, considered to be the birthplace of the Polynesian people. Of the 10 people venturing to American Samoa with WorldTeach this year it seems that 4 of us will be teaching at Manu’a HS covering English, Math, Science, and Applied Technology and the other 6 will be on the main island of Tutuila. We will all still spend the first 3 weeks together on the main island for orientation.
With only 10 more days until my Samoan adventure begins I thought I’d share a few more fun facts on America Samoa in general…
- American Samoa is made up of five volcanic islands – Tutuila, Anu’u, Ofu, Olosega and Ta’u – with rugged mountainous peaks and two coral atolls – Rose and Swains Islands with a total land area of 76 square miles. Ofu, Olosega, and Ta’u make up a group of islands referred to as Manu’a.
- 90% of that land is untouched tropical rainforest.
- American Samoa has a population of roughly 65,000.
- The unemployment rate is approximately 30%.
- Samoan men are 56% more likely to make the NFL than other Americans – players include Cincinnati Bengals’ Domata Peko and Jonathan Fanene and Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu to name just a few.
- The temperature averages 82˚-83˚ Fahrenheit all year round and the ocean waters that surround the islands averaging 82˚-86˚ Fahrenheit.
- The National Park of American Samoa is the only US Park in the Pacific, and the only US Park south of the equator.
- The Territory is regarded as one of the last undiscovered paradises of the Pacific with a tourism industry 100 percent locally owned and operated.
I could go on forever, so check out the Visitor Bureau’s site if you want to learn more! My next post will likely be from AmSam!! Thanks for reading and advice on teaching English is always welcomed :)