Not much new has happened since I last wrote. Orientation has kicked into full swing and we're doing stuff from about 8am-7pm, which is when we all get together and play cards or get to know each other better. I have 8 people on the smaller island I will be living on. There are 2 married couples, a guy, and then three girls (including me). I really like everyone. My roommate seems great-- she's from Puerto Rico so I'm hoping we can work on my Spanish. All of us already have plans to go on crazy adventures.
Yesterday we made our first trip to the Department of Education. We met three pretty important people and discussed our role as teachers. As we took the 20 minute bus trip from Nuuli to Utulei, I continued to just take in my surroundings. In American Samoa, there is only one main road and it wraps around the coast. You can stay on it for forever because it's a circle. Even the locals joke about how simple it is. The only other roads are small off shoots to take you to back villages or houses. So as we drove I just took in the coast. The monstrous ocean contrasted with the serene mountains. It was beautiful. Once we got to the DoE they showed us to a conference room. After waiting there for about 5 minutes chatting, a group of cameras and reporters walked in. We didn't really say anything, but continued to talk. When the DoE people finally came in they just sort of said, "Well it looks like you guys will be on TV today." All of us were SO confused. In Samoa there are only 2 local channels, the rest are mainland US channels. So if you want to hear local news and weather you have to watch them. Needless to say, both channels were there. So last night as all Samoans were eating their dinner watching the news, they found out that all the WorldTeach teachers are finally on island. I feel like in the US this never would have been news, but here it's a pretty big deal.
For those of you who don't know, WorldTeach only goes into countries that requests its presence. American Samoa DoE contacted WorldTeach because there is such a teacher shortage here. This is why I like it so much. We aren't taking locals' jobs. We here because they want us to be and everyone treats us that way.
When I walk down the street people smile and wave. A few will ask me if I'm a teacher and for the first time in my life I really am and I love it. I like the feeling of being appreciated and I LOVE the feeling of being welcomed by people who don't even know me yet.
OK guys, that's all from me. Tonight I'm going to see Batman at the local movie theatre with a group. Should be fun!