Pirate Blog — Toa Samoa

Tracking my Peace Corps Adventures in Western Samoa

Archive for August, 2009

August and Everything After

Posted by Igor Popstefanija on August 29, 2009

With my second school term drawing to a close, I am looking forward to the upcoming break. This last month has been both testing and rewarding for me. With the acquisition of the new computers, my school has been very accommodating to me, and has promised me an air conditioner among other things. The matter is now wrapped up in committees so I don’t know how long it would be, but it would greatly increase the life span of the computers. The trying parts has had much to do with the swine flu and the two weeks of school that we lost because of it. Many students coming back from their unplanned holiday had no interest in continuing school, and I had a very hard time getting them motivated again.

In other news, Leulumoega Fou College has a major renovation planned for this year. The reason has to do with the fine arts museum that is beig built nearby, but it seems as though it has been a long time coming. All of the school buildings will be torn down (I recently found out there is asbestos in the roofs). The buildings themselves are over 30 years old and in dire need of repair. This is also good for the computer lab, since expanding the size of the room is also being planned for. I’m guessing that the air conditioner and some additional electric outlets will also be a part of the renovations of the lab. They will be breaking ground when the school break starts, the week of September 7th.

Next month will be interesting. For one, my friends from home will be coming to visit, and I am very excited about that. Other than that, Samoa will have to deal with the road switch. I don’t want to go to much into it for fear of seeming to favor one or the other side (PCVs are required to remain neutral with regards to local politics) but I find it very interesting from a political science point of view.

The final project for my Year 12 computer students included creating a DVD cover for a movie that they made up. Some of them used ideas like a Samoa tourism video or a wedding video, while others went home and made copies of movies they had lying around. Instead of taking pictures from the movies themselves I had the students pose for pictures in the vein of the movie. Below are a couple of examples.

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Photo Tour – Malua and Saleimoa

Posted by Igor Popstefanija on August 8, 2009

Well it’s been a pretty boring couple of weeks what with school out and me with nothing much to do. I had been planning this (and other) photo tours for a while and I was bored one afternoon. So in the other direction from Utuali’i are Malua and Saleimoa. The good thing about Saleimoa is that it includes one of the few supermarkets in Samoa outside of Apia, but this supermarket is not in walking distance so I usually take the bike that Peace Corps provides all volunteers. I make this trek about once a week, in order to replenish supplies that I cannot buy in Utuali’i.

Malua is home to the Malua Theological College, which was one of the first places the Missionaries, from the London Missionary Society, set up shop in Samoa, and was there to educate the locals to be pastors. It is home to one of the oldest Churches in Samoan, built in the 1830s (though you can’t see it from the road.) There is also a really cool pond there that is home to Sea Turtles. Anyway, the pictures speak for themselves, so here goes:

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Photo Tour – Bus Ride

Posted by Igor Popstefanija on August 5, 2009

So its been a very slow week, what with the kids out of school again this week on account of the flu pandemic. This week it was the ministry of health that shut down the schools, so the year 12 and 13 students that were showing up last week aren’t coming this week. So I thought I’d give you a flavor of what its like to come into Apia for me.

The bus costs me about 2 tala, whereas a taxi would cost me 25 – 30 tala. This translates to about 75 cents US. The trip takes about a half hour. Normally the bus is more crowded than the one I took today, so I lucked out. Anyway, enjoy the tour:

[addendum: Just for comparision I wanted to show what a more typical bus ride in Samoa is like. The was the bus I took into apia this morning. There was no sitting room, so I had to stand, by the door no less.]

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