Friday, January 8, 2010

Village Site Assessment

Village Site Assessment
There are two parts to our jobs as Peace Corps. The first is to teach in the schools, the second is to make the community a better place. To do this we are to do a questionnaire that we ask around our village. It has us asking questions about health, water, businesses and other topics. It is very difficult to do as it is very unSamoan to ask these kind of questions in such an informal session. I have been breaking it up and asking a few questions at a time to different people. They are curious as to what I have in my hands as Samoans are very nosy. So I show them the paper with my questions and it is my leeway to ask them about the specific topic I picked.
Today I was asking about small businesses and I was asked to inquire with the Samoan government about getting a small business license and find out how to get a loan so our village can get a gas station. It is a great idea to get a gas station in this area as there are several people with cars and the nearest fuel station is about a thirty minute drive in either direction (probably longer).
No matter what I was not expecting this kind of an answer. Some villages do a sewing or craft project to make money, others make bread and other goods, and others do things to beef up their tourism.
I told them I do not know about it, but I will inquire about it. Making a gas station is a huge project as it needs drilling and a lot of other environmental issues.
If I am to succeed at creating this gas station they told me they will name it after me. “Lilly’s Petrol” is what they thought of. I told them it should be “Lilly’s Got Gas” and explained the double meaning of the word gas. The younger people found it more amusing than the adults.
Anyway, gas or no gas, wish me luck.

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