Pirate Blog — Toa Samoa

Tracking my Peace Corps Adventures in Western Samoa

Archive for July, 2009

New Computers! and the flu pandemic.

Posted by Igor Popstefanija on July 28, 2009

Thanks to a generous donation by the ARK computer company in New Zealand, and the tireless efforts of Sara and Cale, my school has acquired 15 new (well new to me) computers, bringing our total up from 5 to 20! Oh Happy Day. The computers arrived on Saturday, and its been quite a hectic couple of days, getting from Wesley College and then setting them up.

I’m fairly happy with the new computers. They are IBMs, with a range from 128 to 512 MB of RAM. The processors are Intel Celerons (1400 MHz) which is a step up from the 1000 MHz AMDs I have in the other computers. Some of the hard drives have been problematic, but I have spares that I can use. I’m thinking of having a computer lab with mixed OSes, meaning the ones that already have windows will keep it, but I will install Linux on the others. That way I’m hoping that my students can figure out how to do general computer tasks as opposed to just memorizing how to do specific tasks. What do you guys think?

In other news, the flu pandemic has hit Samoa with a vengeance. Last week, between 30 – 40% of the students were absent, and on Friday, the government announced that it would cancel schools for this week. Most of the other schools in Samoa followed suit, except for my school system, EFKS. However today there was a meeting of the school committee, and they decided that they should cancel school for the rest of week. This means that I have yet to have a full week of classes this term. I had the flu about two weeks ago, about the same time as my boil. Not just the schools, but all of Samoa has gone crazy with hypocondria. People in Apia have taken to wearing masks.

Here’s some pictures:

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Boils, Zones and Shower Parties

Posted by Igor Popstefanija on July 18, 2009

By popular demand I have included in this post a picture of the boil. Thankfully the antiboitics did their very best and it eventually was reabsorbed. I don’t think the picture looks very bad, as stories from other volunteers (Sara) have led me to believe that mine was nothing compared how bad it could have been.

This Thursday was the regional athletic competition. My school seems to take athletics very seriously as the entire has been canceled yet again. All the schools in the country are divided in 4 Zones (A – D). Leulumoega Fou is in Zone B. The event was rained out unfortunately. Although we managed to get a number of events done that day, the field events and relays were canceled, to be done on Monday (which means another day without school).

Another thing I’d like to talk about also involves the athletes. The athletes have been staying at the school throughout the season, and have been using a pipe in my backyard to shower, both around 6:30 in the morning and about 6:30 at night. Both times they are very loud and by using the water, reduce the water pressure in my house. I now dread being woken up by a bunch of roudy teenagers every morning. Anyway, pictures follow:

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Pictures from the 4th of July

Posted by Igor Popstefanija on July 11, 2009

I know its been a long time since I’ve posted, but my mobility has been decreased because of a painful boil thats developed on my foot. A boil is an infection at the base of a hair follicle. The body sections the infected area away from the rest of the body and it continues to grow until it burts (or you pop it). My father told me not to put a picture of it up, but I thought the graphic description would be enough. Being on my foot its really painful to walk. I was given antibiotics pretty early on, so hopefully my body can kick the boils ass before it starts pussing. Its already much better and I think my guys are winning.

Anyway, I know that its been a week since the 4th, but I would have posted this earlier had I been able to get to Apia. I think that all Peace Corps would agree that it was a great time. The festivities were held at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. There was a US Navy boat that was in town as well, and it was decieded that we would have a friendly softball game between Peace Corps and the Navy. Not to gloat too much, but we kicked their butts 14-4! I even got an run and an RBI.

Following the game we were treated to a BBQ dinner that included hot dogs, fuly cooked chicken and beans without tomato sauce*. Both the Prime Minister and the Samoan Head of State were there. Then streamers were handed out (unfortunately fireworks are not allowed in Samoa). A good time was had by all. Enjoy the pictures:

*This has been a real problem for me, as all the canned beans I’ve bought here has always been in tomato sauce. I even found this can that claimed to be “Boston Baked Beans” and it was also in tomato sauce.  Being from the Bay State, that made me very angry.

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Inter-Church Athletics

Posted by Igor Popstefanija on July 4, 2009

As I said before, this friday was the inter-church athletics competition. We held it at Apia Park, which was built for the Pacific Games, and so is very large. There was 6 Schools competing: Leulumoega Fou, Maluafou(where matt is stationed), Tausivi (where Phil is stationed), Nuosala (sp?), Congregational Senior College and Paupauta Girls College. There was no overall winner, but we ended up finishing first in the Junior and Intermediate Boys levels. I was collecting money at the gate, which meant that I didn’t get to watch the whole competition, but I did manage to sneak away every once in a while to take pictures.

Anyway, enjoy the pics:

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