Saturday, July 21, 2012

Riding in Cars with Boys.

Hiya folks!

Yesterday was REALLY long. We started class right at 8am and went all the way up until about 6:15pm, with only about a 45 minute break all day. Exhausting. Also, yesterday wrapped up our first full week of Samoan language classes. We take those classes daily for two hours at a time. I’m starting to understand it, but it is taking me a while. I can say a few things like “Hello, how are you?” “I am a teacher.” “Thank you.” “Please.” and other common conversational pieces. We are continuing this practice for the next 2 weeks and then once I’m on Ta’u, I’m sure I’ll get more fluent because people rarely speak English there. It’s just pretty cool to think that I can now speak English and Spanish pretty well, as well as conversational Vietnamese. To throw in Samoa as being close to fluent would be awesome—even if it isn’t that practical once I get back to the States. Our language teachers are two elders from the Mormon church on the island. Both of whom, aren’t native. Both appear to be in their mid-20s. One’s from Idaho, the other is from Denmark. Interesting mix. If these classes have taught me anything, it’s that teaching teachers must be the WORST job in the Universe. Everyone has their own teaching style, so when they’re taught a certain way that doesn’t align with how they want it, they speak up and they speak up OFTEN. So while our Mormon, non-native Samoan teachers aren’t necessarily doing an outstanding job, I definitely take my hat off to them for being willing to spend their time teaching US.

So after having a pretty jam-packed day in class, about six of us decided to go to the 6:30 Batman showing. We were already running behind. It’s about a 20 minute walk from where we’re staying to the theatre and we didn’t leave until after 6, which meant we were cutting it CLOSE. To make up time we decided to speed walk. Along the way, a pick-up truck with about 3 guys our age pulled off to the side of the road and asked if we had wanted a ride. Now, Mom if you’re reading this, I know you said never to get into the car with strangers, but the culture here is different. So, we graciously said “Fa’afetai!” (thank you) and hopped in the bed of their truck. The whole way there they were talking to us about what we were doing in Samoa and how we liked it. Once we got to the theatre (keep in mind, they weren’t going to the theatre, but offered to take us anyways), they insisted we get a picture with them, so we obliged. After a few more thank yous and one of the guys asking if any of us girls were single to become his wife, we went into the theatre. One of the girls here has the pic on her camera, so I will have to upload it later.  The theatre reminded me a lot of the one in Grayling, but it had two screens and was nicer. I felt like I was back home. For anyone on the fence about going to see this movie, YOU SHOULD SEE IT. It was phenomenal. I don’t remember the last time I saw a movie that good. Seriously. GO SEE IT.

Well, even though it is Saturday, we still have orientation. Meetings start this morning at 8am and then we have an “island tour” after lunch. We are essentially driving from village to village to look at the schools. Unfortunately, we won’t be going to my school because you have to take a plane to it. Ahh the joy of being on an even more remote island.  Remember- email me, skype me, call me.

Alofa ia te ‘oe!
(I love you!)


  1. Hi Jessie,
    I have been reading your blogs and even though you are in a different place than I was when I taught overseas (South Korea) it takes me back to my adventures. This will be a great experience for you I am sure. Can't wait to read more. Be safe and have fun.


  2. You might just have Samoan babies yet!

  3. Sounds like teaching teachers is about like having a doctor as a patient!