Transportation in American Samoa
Written by Eilleen Hummer, a WorldTeach volunteer in American Samoa. You can find more on her personal blog here.
Well, let’s just say to keep track of the last thing I have written in my blog and the next thing to talk about I pre write them in my notes section. I also use my photos to help remind myself of everything that has happened in the past weeks, so I don’t leave anything out. It’s also a important reminder to go through and delete all the photos my students take of themselves, which is a lot, when I leave my phone sitting out. I always find new photos in my phone when I let students “dj” in class. I have to be careful when my phone is unlocked because I find students on my Snapchat taking photos using the filters and going through my photos. *so if you ever get a random snap chat of students from me, I am apologizing now.”
Okay, for starters I haven’t written a blog in two weeks so there is a lot to say. Over a week ago I spent my week days going to softball games and the gym on days I didn’t have games. I have found myself workout more that I ever imagined. Not sure if I’m happy or upset about this. At the end of the week we had a holiday for Veterans Day and got the school day off! I treated myself to a wonderful breakfast, ocean front, at a place called DDW cafe. After breakfast a bunch of us watched the fautasi race. This is where all of the villages race in boats that fit 50ish men on them though the harbor. This race was a “friendly fun” race in preparation for flag day coming up. On Flag day the race is 7 miles back into the harbor. No matter the race the villages, not just the rowers, are super competitive.
This past week, mid way through, taylor and I decided we would switch classes for a class period. I wanted to try and teach one of her math classes and she wanted a break from her’s so she wanted to give science a try. We switched classes when I would have been teaching my juniors for Earth and Space. This class is my 3rd science class I am teaching and I don’t always have material prepared because I wasn’t always planning to teach it. I also haven’t been teaching it the whole year. Switching classes was a success. Taylor’s math class was filled with a bunch of my students making the experience exciting and informative to see them in a new setting.
This weekend came before I knew it and was packed full of adventure! Friday night I got to watch the boys volleyball team play. Some of my students had been asking me during the week if I was going to go to the game. I decided yes, the day of. Watching sports taking place in our school gym means spectators sitting on the ground along the sidelines.
Oh boy Saturday it already feels like it happened a week ago and it only happened yesterday. Saturday morning my roommates and I woke up and met two other WorldTeach volunteers in town to rent mopeds. We rented a single moped and two double mopeds. Our plan originally was to drive them to Tisa’s a private beach and bar to hangout and then go drive around for the day. Once we made it to Tisa’s “safely” we didn’t last there long. Thinking about all the things we could do now because of these mopeds we figured why not go tour around. Having this beautiful island in the palm of our hands because we actually can go wherever we want was amazing. Driving all the way to the east end where the road literally ends. Yes, I mean just stops. We then had to hope we would make it back up the traitorous hill we came down to make it to the end of the road. At the top we knew we had accomplished a lot and had a lot more to go. Now, driving as far west as we could before planning to watch the sunset and not realizing how much time we had. When making it to what I had figured was as far as what I had remembered before the next curve I thought everyone knew about. The girls on the moped ahead of me took the curve and I figured would just stop and before I knew it the bike was on its side and they were standing. Not knowing what to do, our bike quickly was in the same position but with me sitting next to it laughing historically. We only had one smart person with us who didn’t attempt the curve that turned into a miserably steep hill. Walking our bikes back down we sat and laughed and passed time before we knew the sunset wasn’t far away. Traveling to our sunset location we had a few encounters with dogs where we would have to lay on the horn and speed up hoping they couldn’t catch us. Arriving safely we realized we were again too early and had to wait again 20+ minutes. Laying on the grass people stared and probably asked “why are 5 white girls laying on the grass in our village.” The sunset wasn’t worth the wait nor was the sunrise worth waking up at 4:15 this morning. Returning the mopeds safely back to their owners we made our ways home to lesson plan and prepare for the week ahead.