Monday, September 7, 2009

Well I have officially left my site and home in Savaii and have moved all my belongings up to Avele College located right outside of Apia. I think the village is Vailima, or perhaps Avele which would make more sense. The massive secondary school sits up on the hill with around 600 hundred students and 40 staff members. Unfortunately the pule (principal) has just lost her husband, so as you could guess I haven’t had much time to talk to her about what I’ll be doing for the school. Originally with talks between Aiga (the principal) and Kellye (my PC boss) I was slotted to help with their science program and perhaps math. Those of you who went to any type of school with me will remember that I cannot possibly teach math, so those details will have to be ironed out. My roommate, a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer named Blakey was kind enough to let me move into her house on the school compound. The house itself sits in the middle of a taro patch and amongst the many people that live and work at the school. There are three bedrooms, a kitchen with refrigerator, bathroom and shower. Blakey has done a great job with the house, so I’m very happy to be there. I’m sure everything will work out just fine with the Avele part of my assignment.

Ministry of Fisheries however, I can’t say. When we asked them if they wanted a Peace Corps volunteer back in July, they said they would be unable to accommodate me because there were no more funds in their budget. Now that I have my own place to live and would be completely free labor, I have still not heard a word from them. Perhaps they don’t want to have the burden of finding things for me to do. This is quite unfortunate since I do have a background in Marine Biology and could help them with their programs. We’ll see what happens. If MAF doesn’t want me as a volunteer I am going to try to work with Conservation International that does work in Samoa. Their office is up close to my school, so who knows maybe it would even work out better. That’s my update for what’s happening now.

As far as my old village, I am very interested in continuing to help them with any projects they want to undertake. I will be going on at least once a month to do the monitoring on their Marine Protected Area and giant clams. My family although sad, if still very welcoming and want me to come back often to hang out. Overall the move is alright for everyone, and that’s what’s most important. Now my hope is actually getting some work done, but here that’s a pretty big goal.

Here are some pictures of things and people I'll miss back in Salimu. I'll put more pictures up later, when I get my camera card.