The Mysterious Apolima

Resting between the islands of Upolu and Savai’i is a small-inhabited crater known as the island of Apolima. Within its confines lives a modest population of fewer than 200. The small village is mostly self-sustaining supplemented with visits to the main land for goods not produced on island. It operates completely on solar power and…

10 Reasons Samoa and Guyana are the Same!

* Not really, but kinda Last year, a delightful twist of fate brought two PCVs together. One of us was serving in Samoa, a tiny island in the South Pacific. The other was serving in Guyana, a small country in northern South America. Their host countries spoke different languages, were vastly different in size, and…

Very Superstitious, Writings on the Wall

On a cool Spring afternoon I remember playing with a few friends on the schoolyard. We were jumping over the large cracks weaving their way through the concrete yelling, “Step on a crack, you break your mother’s back!” Being a 7 year old with not so amazing gross motor skills it happened, I stumbled upon…

I’m in Love with the Koko 

We all have a particular food or beverage, which from its very smell or taste fills us with love and comfort. This special treat has the power to remind us of days long gone. A simple bowl of tomato soup and a grill cheese sandwich feel me with all the warm and fuzzies. This is…

The King of Sport

  The sun has begun to droop low and the Pacific sky is awash with a splash of pink and purple. A quiet and tranquil field soon gives way to fits of laughter and music as boys from neighboring houses descend upon it. A rugby ball is being passed from boy to boy and then…

A Crash Course in Samoan Cuisine

Samoan cuisine is not world-renowned, nor is it something particularly wowing. It’s charming quality is in its simplicity. Dishes are commonly made from a few hand picked ingredients, which are either boiled or cooked on the “umu.” Every dish can easily be prepared with a minimal amount of kitchenware, or none at all. The majority…

Sei What? 

Sei: a flower worn in the hair or ear  A trend we all recognize is women of all ages decorating their hair with beautiful flowers. This practice has been taking place here in Samoa for as long as anyone can remember. A sei can be worn in several ways and isn’t reserved only for women….

Prize giving 

Remember the end of the school year? It concluded on the anticlimactic note of yearbooks being passed out and the day spent accumulating as many signatures as popularity allowed. School comes to an end much different in Samoa. The final weeks of school are spent prepping for the grand finale, Prize giving. This celebration is…

Slow Moving Art

Announcements: I would first like to say thank you to the my friends, family, strangers, and the Peace Corps for recognizing my blog. It is truly an honor to be selected as a winner of the Blog It Home contest. I am proud to be able to represent Peace Corps Samoa in Washington D.C. come…

Living Abroad

“You come from country of cowboys. You ride horse whenever you want, “ said the host father of a volunteer on our first week living in the training village. For those who have lived abroad stereotypes and pop culture are a daily part of life. As an American I am constantly being compared what is…

The Fa’afafine culture

Anytime the title begins with Samoan word or term I am sure many of you are very confused. Allow me to enlighten you. Across the South Pacific there is a culturally accepted 3rd gender. The term for this gender in Samoa is fa’afafine. When broken down the word comes out as such: fa’a = in…

Children of Samoa and The US

Quick Notes: I like to sit next to the road and watch the surprised faces of passing cars when they noticed a white person sitting in the middle of nowhere. Everyone uses copious amounts of hair gel. (on skin as well) Hair color can bleach, blonde, black, pink, purple… basically anything Men grow out nails…