American Samoa


e fofo le alamea le alamea — johannah fields in American Samoa

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa

“The cure for alamea is alamea.” Cultural transition is always one of my favorite parts of travel. The new sights, smells, people, climate… I love having the opportunity to see it all. The other side of that same coin is that it is also very noticiably draining. Here in American Samoa with the welcoming, boisterous people, loud (and sometimes aggressive) dogs and chickens, the tropical climate, and just the island way of life as a whole, there are many, multi-layered elements that add to the daily excitement. As a palagi (white person), it is also very overwhelming at times. It is comforting to have a community of people here in the WorldTeach fam that are simultaneously experiencing the same transition….

Toe Tasi (Just One More)

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa, News & Highlights, Uncategorized

Siva Siva Mai I‘m standing over the stove when I hear the music start to play. The bass carrying over the village kicks starts my rusty math skills; if I finish the pasta and sauce that will take 15 minutes, and its 7:15 right now, but if I go right now and they are setting up then I’ll wait around for 45 minutes, but if it’s starting right now and I don’t go until 8, I’ll probably miss half. I go to the window looking for any signs of life, or lack of life, in my neighbor’s house. I decide to finish cooking the pasta, but not to make the sauce; if I’m early than I can offer to help,…

Weeding the Seeds of Cultural Understanding

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach American Samoa Volunteer Anna Bauder There are only 3 “rules” in my classroom: Respect Yourself, Respect Others, and Respect your Environment. These are the only 3 rules in my classroom because those are the main 3 rules of life and encompass all other rules. Try your hardest = Respect Yourself Don’t curse = Respect Others (or yourself) Don’t litter = Respect your Environment.   However, Environment extends past location (Manu’a High School, Faleasao, Ta’u, Manu’a, American Samoa, Pacific Ocean, Southwestern hemisphere); it goes beyond weather (so warm and SO humid); it covers more than geography (perpetual ocean soundtrack with rugged backdrop). Environment travels into the expansive realm of culture and connecting with people. After living in a different…

Cold Cat

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach American Samoa Volunteer Christiana Galeai The first couple of months were horrendous, the most challenging job yet. Being a full time college student with two part time jobs was looking like chocolate cake compared to seventh grade. It was horrible. Not because of the place, culture, or students. I love my students, I love my school, and I love American Samoa. The elementary I am assigned to sits by soothing waves of the Pacific. Hues of blues and green lavish the eyes with inspiration that travel from deep within the soul to far beyond the horizon. Pulling into the gravel parking lot, I enter an old, new world. A thick wooden door chipped with red paint hides a…

Halfway There

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach American Samoa volunteer Marcela Trocha, 2016 When I arrived in American Samoa on August 7th, 2016, I had no expectations for my experience as a high school science teacher at Tafuna High School or as a resident of the new country, and I didn’t comprehend how quickly the time would pass. The halfway mark of my time here has officially come and gone, and time is speeding up more than ever. The things I’ve learned in the past 5 months have been invaluable. I have developed as a leader, both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. I have grown to adapt to foreign conditions more than ever before. I have studied an unfamiliar culture and analyzed…

I Am Not a Tourist

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach American Samoa volunteer Anna Bauder, 2016-2017 I am not a tourist. Such a simple truth, but until recently, I found it hard to believe. In full disclosure, I can be quick to judge, and this was manifested when I would look at several of the previous volunteers’ pictures and statements. You see a smiling face, holding a coconut, wearing traditional garb, and some cute caption with intermittent Samoan words – seemed pretty touristy to me. I knew they were teaching. I knew they had struggles, but it had the Instagram effect of being perfectly chosen snapshots. When I applied, I didn’t think I was going to be a tourist. When I accepted I knew there were going to…

Havin’ Samoa Adventures

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa, News & Highlights, Uncategorized

By Gabriel Lamanuzzi, WorldTeach American Samoa 2015-2016 I am writing this in the fale (traditional Samoan home with no walls or levitating roofs, only supporting pillars) in front of my house. An ocean breeze plays footsies with a rainbow of towels, sheets, and clothes, rippling them on the drying lines beside me. The edge of the ocean is a mediocre football punt away from my bedroom window – thunderous, unrelenting. Like a liquefied Zeus. The water, nearly pristine in its shining turquoise glory, is visible through coconut trees arranged in straight lines that would make elementary school teachers drool. They were planted as windbreakers for hurricanes (the trees, not the teachers). The warm sand invites wiggling toes as the clusters of smaller rocks, dragged against one another,…

Not the Same Song and Dance

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa, News & Highlights, Uncategorized

by Starr Smith, WorldTeach American Samoa volunteer 2015-2016 It has been nearly a month since school finished at Coleman Elementary in Pago Pago, American Samoa, and I am dreaming of doing it all over again. I was so happy to come home and see my family and dog, and yet, I have a homesick feeling for my American Samoa family and friends. Let’s back up first to where this started. A little over a year ago, I was searching online for positions overseas teaching English when I came across the World Teach website. I had been thinking of South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and China and then I saw an ad for the Marshall Islands which caught my interest. I clicked…

Cyclones and Tattoos and Adventures… OH MY.

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa, News & Highlights, Uncategorized

By Maggie Yurgielewicz, WorldTeach American Samoa Volunteer 2015-2016 Well, I can officially say that I have less than one month left on this beautiful island. I keep saying it, but it feels surreal. How could have 11 months passed so quickly? I have learned so much during my time living and teaching in American Samoa. I am extremely thankful for this experience and wouldn’t change it for the world. What will I miss the most? Wow. The thought of trying to make a list of all the things I’ll miss most is way to stressful… there are just too many!! I love this place and I have had an amazing year. Yes, of course there were some serious bumps in the…

Island Life is Calling! Join us in the Pacific this summer!

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, News & Highlights

Join our WorldTeach Pacific program. Depart this summer and teach in American Samoa or The Marshall Islands and Micronesia. Our Pacific programs are fully funded and fill teacher shortages in remote areas of need, apply today! Want more insight into our Pacific programs? Check our our Pacific webinar below, listen to previous volunteers discuss housing and teaching placements, cultural challenges, health and safety, training, living on a stipend, and more.