Pirate Blog — Toa Samoa

Tracking my Peace Corps Adventures in Western Samoa

Long Overdue

Posted by Igor Popstefanija on February 21, 2009

I know that it’s been a long time since my last blog post, but February has been a very busy month, honestly. For one thing, school has started. I’ve been teaching two computer classes, for juniors and seniors, and the school had also been making teach physics classes temporarily, until the real physics teacher shows up. I’ve heard that she will be coming in on Monday, so yesterday (Friday) was my last day as a physics teacher. So far, I’ve generally felt in over my head at school. The first week was as well as any first week probably could be, with me having no idea what to expect. By the second week I felt as though I was getting the hang of things, but this week has completely turned my expectations upside down. I gave my junior computer class an exam on Monday, and the class average was in the 50’s. Preparing for the exam, I felt as if I was being too easy on them, but only one student scored in the 90’s and then next ones were all in the 70’s. Also, the school threw me a curveball with my schedule. After having finalized the schedule for the computer lab last week (which includes coordinating with the fine arts school), the school schedule had to retooled this week, bringing many of the times I thought were good into conflict with one another.

The other thing that has kept me busy, was an unwelcome guest I had last week. One of my cousins from the training village was looking forward to going to the school of fine arts thats on the same campus as my school, but expected to crash at my place. I won’t go too much into the details (for fear of offending), but suffice it to say it didn’t work out, and he isn’t around anymore.

I’ve also had a share of medical conditions. I got this gross rash on my arms (which compliments of my mother, is included below) and I’ve had an itchy flaky scalp. I went to the doctor’s yesterday, and he told me that its “prickly heat”, and prescribed me some ointment and powder. So far that’s been the worst medical incident I’ve had (I’m knocking on wood as I type this).

Well that’s it for now. I’ll try to post again sometime soon. Sorry Lilja, I’m working on the indigenous recipes, most of them require an umu though, which means you make fire to heat stones, and then cook with the stones, and also indigenous ingredients, like taro or breadfruit. Here are the pics:


4 Responses to “Long Overdue”

  1. jane reinking said

    Thanks for posting your update. I am always excited to read each of the volunteers’ updates. I liked the photo of the sugar cane you planted. Will you post another after it has had some time to grow?

    Paul’s Mom,

  2. Susan said

    What does one do with sugar cane, exactly? Chew on it? Cook with it?
    The spider is cute, but it was hard to tell the size from your picture. Is that your only pet?
    Don’t be so hard on yourself about the teaching, maybe you just have lazy students! Make ’em do more work!


    • igorpop said

      The only thing I’ve done is chew on the sugar cane, though I’m sure one can cook with it too. The spider is pretty enourmous. Other indoor pets are just more bugs, more ants than I have ever seen in my life, and beetles which only come out at night and bother me by flying into the walls repeatedly. Oh, and theres also small lizards, which also come out at night. Outside there are packs of dogs. At night they fight and howl, but during the day they are pretty tame, if not smelly. Three of them tend to hang around my house, and wait for me to throw them scraps. The vice principal says their names are blacky, goldy and whitey, based on the color of their fur. I’ll try to get some pictures. (wow, this should be a full sized post huh..)

  3. Sara said

    Is it weird that I am commenting on your blog instead of just calling or emailing you?

    Anyway, keep in mind that anything below a 70 is failing in the States, but anything below a 50 is failing in Samoa. So to get an American perspective on your kids grades, add 20% to their score. Kids that got a 70% on your exam really got 90%. It know that the science doesn’t really work on this, but it makes me feel better. Also, all the teachers at my school (and the pule) react to a 70% as if it was the most amazing grade ever…so it is about par to think of it that way.


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