And the real work begins. Maybe…

DoE orientation filled up a good portion of this week. The sessions weren’t exactly riveting but we were able to finally meet our principal and some of our coworkers. There are going to be about 14 of us on staff at Manu’a High School this year. If school ever begins that is…

Originally we were scheduled to fly to Ta’u on August 10 and school was scheduled to begin August 12. Did I mention that we probably wouldn’t find out what classes we were going to be teaching until Monday morning when school started? That was the plan until Friday afternoon. Then the DoE pushed back the start of school until August 19th because the Department of Health deemed several of the schools’ bathrooms and cafeterias unsanitary. Oops… One of the schools on the shutdown list was Nu’uuli VoTech, where we stayed for orientation. I can agree, there are some issues that needed to be addressed. But anyway, we woke up Saturday morning excited to get to Ta’u and have a whole week to prep our lessons and classrooms. But that would be too good to be true. We got a call shortly after waking up telling us that our flight was indefinitely delayed and that there was no need to head to the airport. The problem? The plane broke down in Apia, Western Samoa and needs to be repaired. This is unfortunately a fairly common occurance. We have no word on when flights will resume but we are hoping it will be back up and running in the next few days. TIS

In case anyone is interested in the news article on the school closings:

In other news, we went out last night to celebrate our last night as a group before we were scheduled to move (we hadn’t found out about the plane yet). We met the new Art/PE teacher at DoE orientation this week. He is Samoan, super nice, and has been teaching at one of the private schools on Tutuila but will be moving to Ta’u with us to teach at Manu’a. He is in charge of the youth group at his church and invited us to the youth service and rally they held last night. We gladly accepted the invitation at met him at Victory Chapel, a Pentecostal church near Leone. I’m not going to go into detail describing the rally to you, but at one point Steevee turned to me at said something along the lines of ‘We must have made some good decision in life to end up attempting to do traditional Samoan dances in front of a church full of people on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean where everyone is born to sing and dance and welcomes us like family’. She is so right. All I’m going to say is that I’ve never been to a church where there was so much singing, dancing, yelling and clapping. The little kids knew all the words and weren’t afraid to sing as long as they could. We all had a great time. Afterwards we headed to Toa for dinner with Michael and Rachel, 2 of the coolest Samoans ever :)

Finally, it’s safe to say that I’ve been in American Samoa for one month! I’m falling in love with this place more and more every day. Hopefully I’ll be posting from Ta’u soon!

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