Thursday, August 9, 2012


To start off this blog, I just want to say thank you to everyone who purchased stuff off of my Amazon Wish List. I received my first shipment the other day and it included everything from crayons and markers (shout our to Jeff Liu!), to ESL materials. Unfortunately, none of the products told me who sent the stuff which stinks because I want to send you all a little something, so if you chipped in let me know! Once school starts, I will show all of you how they were put to good use.

This week has been pretty uneventful. I spent the majority of the beginning of the week going to DOE workshops and prepping for my move to Manu'a. Earlier this week I was told that I would be moving Saturday, but due to traveling issues, I won't be leaving until Monday afternoon. What? Monday is the first day of school and if I leave then I'll miss it? Yea, I know. This is Samoa. Turns out the first day of school is pretty optional. In fact, so optional that a majority of my coworkers won't be there either. I guess so many people come to Tutuila (the main island) for summer break and wait until the last minute to go back to Manu'a that they aren't able to get flights out. So not only will the school be half empty, but no one really sees much wrong with it. Here it is more of a matter of fact than an abnormality... which is SO FRUSTRATING. Also, since the plane is so little, I'm only allowed 44 lbs of luggage-- you're not even given the option of checked baggage. Because of that I sent pretty much all of my clothes and food over via boat. Looks like I will be living out of my backpack for longer than expected. Oh well. One thing I've learned here is to just go with the flow and laugh things off because you aren't really given any other options. Because of my extra time and the fact that I don't know what I'm teaching yet, I'm trying to find other ways to spend my time. Tomorrow I might go for a hike to a waterfall and Saturday I might head to a beach bar. We'll see.

New Zealand- Steinlager

China- Tsingtao
When I'm on Manu'a I won't really be able to drink, so with my time left on Tutuila I've been trying the various beers that I've never seen back in the States. Most are lagers. Here are a couple pics of the two beers I've had. One's from New Zealand, the other from China.

Also, here's a gem of me on the first day of DOE orientation. While this isn't a full on puletasi, I'm wearing a puletasi bottom. With my hair pulled back tight, a flower in my hair, and my knees and shoulders covered, I'm looking pretty professional! (Although I think I look kind of goofy.)

I will keep you all updated on when I leave for Manu'a. Last night I had dinner with the principal of Manu'a High School and everything she talked about made me so excited to get there and start the next chapter of my life. Hard to believe that I will soon be living in  a place where less than 1% of the world population has ever been to!


  1. If this helps, the 40 pounds of luggage is for your checked bag (or cardboard box, or cooler, as you'll probably see). Your carry-on bag is weighed with your body weight (you'll have to step on the scale at the airport--fun!) so it doesn't count. So whenever I flew inter-island I always put heavy stuff in my backpack (to carry on) and made my checked piece mostly clothes/bulky stuff/toilet paper. Oh, and it's not a hard-and-fast 40 pounds, either. Just as long as it's one piece of carry-on and one piece of checked. Coming back from Christmas break my backpack was 48 pounds and my checked bag was 55, and I didn't pay any extra.

    Enjoying your blog so far. Good luck getting out to Ta'u.

  2. Not the same Erin!

    Amazon tells me there was a problem delivering my order:
    We're writing about the order you placed on July 25, 2012 (Order# 104-3462972-4736225).
    USPS attempted to deliver your package but was unable to leave the package unattended.
    You can ask USPS to redeliver the package or hold it for pickup at the local post office. To do this, please go to and use the package tracking number 9101901021790057103956. If your package was shipped to a PO Box address, it was likely too large to leave in your particular post office box.

    For more information about picking up this package, please visit and click "Locate a Post Office" to find contact information for your local post office or call 1-800-ASK-USPS.

    Please let me know if there's something I can to do help on my end, but I really don't know what to tell USPS...