Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Injury Report

Injury Report

For awhile I was impressed, I had a one month streak in which no part of my body had turned green. Of course I had to think that out loud to myself because shortly after, my finger turned shades of green and yellow.  (It is back to normal now.)

Then, one evening I decided to play with my dog like palagis in other countries do.  Dogs are used to be played with, and I got my nose bitten.  It has been a week, and the pain has finally gone down.

These problems are so miniscule to some of the issues I’ve had here already, it makes me wonder what there is in store for me next. 



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Sad Story


It is always sad when bad things happen, especially when they appear as though they could have a billion other better options.  This sad story sadly has to deal with a telephone.  It is hard to believe that something as little as that caused so much heartache to many. 

One of the cell phone companies has a special that if you talk for three minutes during the day, you then get three hours of free talk at night.  I for one hate this special, as it sometimes makes people call me throughout the middle of the night, many times being strangers who I don’t know, and don’t care to know.  Many Samoans love free nights, and think I am strange for detesting it so much. 

Some of the college students have cell phones, and since they are teenagers, they always use their free minutes when they have them-which prevents them from getting a proper night’s sleep often.  A girl’s father found out his daughter was not sleeping and talking all night long on the telephone, and was upset, so he gave his daughter a hiding before she was to head to school.

The girl put on her uniform, took her lunch (a packet of noodles, and a bag of twisties (we call them cheese doodles in America)) and left her house to walk to school.  Along the way, she shed her uniform, and someone saw her walking towards the ocean.  She has not been seen since.

When they went to go look for her, next to the beach they found a packet of noodles, and a bag of twisties and I think her uniform.  They assume she went there to drown, however many of the local fishermen have gone out to dive in search for her body for several days and have come up with nothing. 

It is so sad to think about, that a girl would end her life because of a problem with using her telephone too much. 


Saturday, August 27, 2011

To Manu or not to Manu

Go Manu

To Manu, or not, that was the question last weekend.  After coming into the capital for a meeting, I had planned on heading back to my village so I would not miss church in my village…however enough people convinced me that I HAD to see our amazing team play against Australia (Western Force). 

When I saw another Savai’iian Peace Corp at the game, who also had not planned on going, she explained it simply.  “I was in a taxi on the way to the pasi o va’a, when we passed the team heading to the game.  I told the driver to turn around right away.  I need to see the rugby game.” 

I got to the match about three hours before it was scheduled to start, and I was able to pick out nice lawn seats because of it.  It was good to come early because had a lot of pre games ahead of time.  My favourite was the Golden Oldies, in which there was a hysterical match between two over 50 teams.  The girls also took the field to play in 7’s, and they were pretty good!

When the game started, everyone was excited.  I was disappointed to learn that we were seeing the “B” teams, and therefore no Haka or national anthems were performed.  (The haka is my favourite part of rugby!)  Western Force lead for the first half of the game, but Manu and the fans did not give up.  We quite the show with fans in our area, with men attempting cartwheels and dances, while trying to jump over the railing to get onto the field (well, they didn’t try, they succeeded, until the police came…).  Manu was strong in the second half and won 35-24.

Today the better teams are playing, and I am sure Manu will also be strong, as they mentioned on TV last night for the opening ceremonies of the South Pacific Games in New Caledonia, The Manu team is one of the bests in the world as they prove it time and time again. 

Go Manu!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Boats, Boats, Boats

Boats, Boats, Boats

On Friday I went to Apia for a meeting.  I never pay attention to the bus times except for the morning busses, because I am always in school, and can never take them.  So when I heard the bus comes at 9, I knew to be prepared for anytime.  I stayed at school watching the road (the advantage to our school building being moved…it is closer to the road!)  The bus finally came at 10:30, even though we made only a few stops, I missed the noon boat and had two hours to wait for the next boat.  

The meeting was a wrap up for our Samoa Health Challenge III, a program where I really struggled with getting started, but in the end had well over 100 participants.  Since we all had to travel far distances, the meeting was on a boat, the only floating restaurant that I know of in Samoa.  It was nice to meet up with people to discuss what they had done and learn who had put on the most Jazzercise classes in their villages. 

Afterwards we celebrated with dancing and karaoke on the floating nightclub, “Rock the Boat”.  However, Chelsea and I had an errand to do before hand, and missed the boat launching.  We had to take a water taxi to get to our boat.  It was a lot of fun dancing and singing with my Peace Corps friends.

In one day I was on 4 boats, I think I rocked them all!

(Pictures are of some of the girls I helped train)




One thing I have always learned about the weather is in some places where not many people live the weather forecaster rarely changes the information from day to day.  I noticed this first when I was living in Wyoming, as every day there would be a 20% (I think that was the percentage…it was years ago) chance of snow.  It didn’t matter if it was snowing outside, and snowing for days, the percentage stayed the same.  We used to always have a laugh when we watched the news or read the newspaper because of it.

Here, they always say that the temperate is 30°C.  I sometimes feel like there is a change in temperature, but year round that is what the temperature is recorded as.  I noticed the past few days it was chilly.  Chilly enough those when I got out of the cold shower at night, I could not find enough layers to put on to prevent goose bumps.  (How am I going to survive a Colorado or New York winter?)   Last night on the news I noticed that the temperature had changed.  It was not 29°, so maybe I am not crazy….and that one degree the temperature dropped makes a huge difference. 


Monday, August 22, 2011

School Days

School Days

Some days not being fluent in Samoan puts me in the dark at school.  One day felt like it was the worst, as I had so many awesome lessons planned, and was not able to do any of them. 

Why, you may ask? 

It was time to cut the grass.  Since we do not have school grounds to take care of, our school grounds are scattered throughout the village, so the children have to take care of the village.  (It is a good way to show pride in your community.) 

So instead of teaching, the children were walking around with their machetes to cut the grass and weeds around the village.  When they finished, they were picking up leaves and other items to make our village beautiful.

Other days, like today, school gets out early, and I never know why or when, until all the teachers are gone. 

Maybe one day I will understand schools in Samoa…but looking at the calendar, I am afraid that I have run out of time for that.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bus Delivery

Bus Delivery

The magic of Samoa is that you can have things delivered to another person without even knowing them, and without even travelling.  Someone asked me if I could get a cord to a person easily an hour’s drive away.

All you have to do is stop a bus, give the package to the bus driver with the name and village on it and off it goes, ready for delivery.  The other person will just be on the road waiting for their package.  It is so easy!

I had one little hitch with my delivery on Thursday.  I gave it to the bus driver before the sun rose, and did not look where I was going when I walked away….and I tripped and fell flat on my face.  During the day, the teachers saw my scrapes and asked what happened.  When I told them, they had a good laugh.  Who could blame them?  Leave it to me to find the only concrete step in the village to trip on when walking. 


Going for a Run

Going for a Run

People laugh at me at home when I describe my perfect evening beginning with a run, but running or walking around is the best way to meet people and do different activities.  It always leads to fun.

The other afternoon, I went for my run and was stopped to go help prepare the umu (oven) in one area.  Then I ran with some boys passing a coconut back and forth as a rugby ball.  On my walk back, where I usually enjoy the awesome conversations with others and quick games of volleyball or soccer, I had an even better treat that night.  I was stopped by some women and brought to lead a jazzercise class. It was a lot of unexpected fun. I lead a group of about forty women jumping and dancing alongside me.  It was like a game of playing Follow the Leader as they would do exactly what I did.  Later, I stopped to chat with a few more people as I rejected a game of volleyball.

Walking or running always proves to be a good time. 


School Building Update

School Building

I was walking to my exercise group at 4:45 in the morning, when I was called over by someone.  Confused, but happy that it was not a dog chasing after me, I went over.  It was the contractor for our school building.  He was on his way to Salelologa to order new supplies for the building, and invited me to come by after school to check it out.  Eager to see what has happened in a week, I agreed.

It was only a week since I have been there last, but it is amazing how quickly the school is beginning to take shape.  They rearranged where the classrooms and halls will be in the building.  It was nice to see such a sturdy building taking the place of such a crumbling.  About a month into the school building construction and they are almost done with 8 rooms.  It is amazing how fast they are working.  Hopefully I will be able to have a little bit of teaching in the new building. 


Friday, August 19, 2011

Flu Epedemic

Flu epidemic

Everyone is sick in the surrounding villages.  I mean everyone.  At least half the school is absent daily or the children head home after their examinations.  I wake up feeling well, but after spending hours being surrounded by sick people, I head home with my throat hurting, wondering if the flu epidemic has come my way. Coughing, sneezing, it is around me at all times.  Please stay healthy….please!




I told a lie yesterday, and I think the ghost knew about it and was not happy.  All of a sudden my key disappeared during my run.  I think the ghost decided to take my key as punishment.   I wonder if I will be able to kick away the ghost. 




I don’t get it.  This island is so small.  It is close to travel between the different areas.  So why is the weather so different around the island?

On the north shore of the island, it rains every day, however here; we just get the rain clouds.  I look up at the sky with anticipation and hope that the clouds bring something this way.  Nothing happens though. 

About half an hour’s drive away is where they have the fires because of the droughts.  I am glad we are not that bad…yet.  

Just two more months until the wet season starts again.  I cannot wait for it.  


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Creating Friends Biking

Creating Friends Biking

When I left Nancy’s village, I knew I was in for several hours of biking.  I had planned on making two stops-one to hopefully visit someone, and the second a lunch break at the Blowholes. 

The bike ride was pretty nice, with not too many dogs chasing after me.  After my hour and a half bike ride it was nice to stop and see my friend.  While I was there I heard the rain coming from a distance and tried to outride it…and failed.  I rode through the downpour for ten minutes, before it stopped.

My next stop was the blowholes in Taga, which is in my district, so I was looking forward for knowing I was about 2/3 of the way home.  I stopped at the store nearby to purchase crackers, water and tuna fish and walked my bike down the rocky road to the blowholes.

I sat there for about two hours just admiring them.  They shoot up so high, it is magical, and reminded me of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.  The waves were so strong that they were pounding the lava rocks.  The water was creating such an explosion, that it was simply striking.  It was so nice to relax as I had the place to myself for about an hour.  I talked with some of the people living there, and they tried to get me to stay for the entire day.  Then someone showed up riding a bike.  It was a girl named Paulia from Poland, and she was riding around Savaii.   You never see anyone riding their bikes by themselves, and so we immediately have something to talk about.  She just finished riding around New Zealand, and was planning on riding her bike in India in the next few weeks.  I am so jealous, and would love to experience what she has one day. 

We ended up riding our bikes together, giving each other strength through the hills during the heat of the day.  It was a lot of fun to have company riding.  We ended up spending time together for the next day as well. 

It was a lot of fun riding by myself, and even better when I met someone new to ride with.  Hopefully one day, I’ll be meeting her in Europe.


Beautiful Site

Beautiful Site

While I was walking with my students in the ocean to avoid the heat of the sun, I saw something beautiful which made me smile.  Two of my students from last year who are now in year 9 were sitting under the giant German tree studying and reading books.  These two students were in the bottom five of their class, and I was happy (and surprised) to see that they choose to continue on in their education.  It is nice to see them start to get more out of school and to see them begin to read, even if it is a later start than most. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Father's Day is a Weekends for the Girls

Father’s Day is a Weekends for the Girls

For Father’s Day, I decided to skip the time with Dad, and spend a weekend with the girls.  It was really a fun weekend because I only spent time with group 83, the Newbies (I often feel bad for them for they will always be the Newbies for us, since we will not be getting a new group of volunteers for another year.). 

After Salelologa, I continued my biking adventure by heading the 45 minutes to Faga and had a great time with Nancy (She has the blog “There are Rocks in my River”) and Chelsea. 

Faga is a beautiful area.  It is known for having the bluest water in all of Samoa, and they often shoot advertisements for Samoa there because of it. 

The three of us had an amazing weekend playing card games and just catching up on each other’s lives, and brainstorming different teaching activities that might work in each of our different situations.  (I learned about a game that is so addictive!  Monopoly Speed, or something similar for the title….it is so much better than regular Monopoly!)

Like good Samoans, we gave Nancy’s father candy ulas, and went to church.  I was surprised about the church service, as I was hoping for it to be more entertaining (is that bad to say?).  For Mother’s Day and Children’s Day (White Sunday) there are many performances of singing, dancing and skits.  Although last year I did not see any of that on Father’s Day, I was still hopeful since we were going to the congregation that I think always has the best singing and dancing…..however this weekend it wasn’t so.  Instead, all of the men came to the front to give speeches…..ALL OF THEM!  When people speak rapid fire Samoan, I do not always catch all of what is being said, and with well over an hour of speeches, it can get boring when you are clueless as to what everyone is talking about.  Finally at the end, the children performed a song with dance moves. 

Besides the great company, the best part of the weekend was the food.  Nancy is an amazing cook.  What she is able to do on an electric burner with a water boiler is amazing.  I felt as if it was Thanksgiving with how well I ate during the weekend.  My favorite meal, eggplant parm-so delicious!

On Monday morning, we all woke up before sunrise, Chelsea to take the bus back to Upolu, and me to begin my journey back to my village.     

(For those of you not familiar with the Samoan calendar, our Father’s Day is two months after Father’s Day in America.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Trip to the Bank= A Trip Biking

A Trip to the Bank= A Trip Biking

I needed to go to the bank….and I needed to get a few screws replaced that went missing from my bike, so my solution I came up with was ride my bike to the city of Salelologa.  I decided to go after school, which was a horrible decision, which I should have known from previous biking trips.

Noon, the heat of the day was when I decided to start my journey.  It takes over an hour by car to make the trip, and so I was biking for several hours.  Several times cars stopped me to offer me a ride, but it was nice to refuse and enjoy the ride. 

I only had one time where I stopped my bike to stare at the hill and try to intimidate it so it would go away….of course, I failed. 

I felt strong and good biking, especially when I saw so many people I knew in cars going by. 

When I got to Salelologa, I went to the bank.  I had ordered a new ATM card about two months ago when I thought I lost my card (I ended up leaving it at a friend’s house).  I realized quickly that I was going to have difficulty going to Apia to retrieve it, so two weeks ago I asked them to bring it to my island for me to pick up.  I was looking forward to not having difficulty retrieving money again, but I should realize that things are not always as easy as they should be.

My bank card was not in Salelologa, and it might be in Apia, I am not quite sure.  What makes matters worse is I have my old card again, but I cannot use it because it was cancelled.  The ATM card is officially MIA. 

On a brighter note, I was able to get my bike fixed.  It is always nice to play the “girl card” in the hardware store.  Boys in every country seem more than willing to help you.  It was a nice easy treat because after purchasing the screws, they did not make me go and search for a screwdriver elsewhere. 

I stopped for the night in Salelologa where I realized how bad my biking tan line had become.  I call most of my arms Samoan, and my upper arms Palagi.  It was also refreshing to relax in a fresh water pool. 

It has been my first long bike trip in awhile, and my legs were not used to it, but it was definitely worth the heat and experience. 


Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Athletes go to Apia


Fifteen students packed their bags as they headed to Upolu for the championships of track and field.  Five teachers were accompanying them on a three day trip to see who really is the best in Samoa.

For two weeks they have been practicing on the beach.  I have learned running on the beach in the heat of the day is far worse than running up the dreadful Le Mafa Pass.  I have been having a lot of fun running with them, or learning the tricks of throwing a shot put.  It was a beautiful backdrop for our training and at least there was an ocean to cool ourselves in when the practice was over.

A few days ago they had a walk a thon to raise money for the trip.  I learned how different walk a thons are in America compared to here.  In America we collect money from people for the distance we walk and people agree to pay ahead of time.  Here, it is completely different.  The students marched down the road through six villages singing and collecting money from people on the road.  It was a real beautiful site.  

By now, the students should be settling into the house they are staying at (a gigantic sleepover where they will all share the floor).  I hope they all get enough rest and have a great time tomorrow. 


The Athletes go to Apia


Fifteen students packed their bags as they headed to Upolu for the championships of track and field.  Five teachers were accompanying them on a three day trip to see who really is the best in Samoa.

For two weeks they have been practicing on the beach.  I have learned running on the beach in the heat of the day is far worse than running up the dreadful Le Mafa Pass.  I have been having a lot of fun running with them, or learning the tricks of throwing a shot put.  It was a beautiful backdrop for our training and at least there was an ocean to cool ourselves in when the practice was over.

A few days ago they had a walk a thon to raise money for the trip.  I learned how different walk a thons are in America compared to here.  In America we collect money from people for the distance we walk and people agree to pay ahead of time.  Here, it is completely different.  The students marched down the road through six villages singing and collecting money from people on the road.  It was a real beautiful site.  

By now, the students should be settling into the house they are staying at (a gigantic sleepover where they will all share the floor).  I hope they all get enough rest and have a great time tomorrow. 


Dream Name Change

Dream Name Change

I had a dream last night I changed my name, to have an apostrophe (komaleliu) in it, and somehow I came up with this name:

Lili ‘Lia’a’lilia

When I woke up I wrote it down right away to make sure I remembered it…and I am not sure I spelled it all correctly, and by later in the day I had forgotten completely.  It sounded so beautiful coming from a Samoan’s native tongue (in my dream). 




Living where I live, you get used to remote living.  Radios only work if your antenna is about five feet long (which I do not have).  Newspapers can only been seen if someone travels to the city to purchase it, as it is over an hours’ drive away.  For several weeks now, our television station has also been out. Today it finally came back, and it was great to get a glimpse of what is happening in the world.  My hope is that the local antenna keeps working for when the Rugby World Cup begins next month. 




Whenever my sister in America, Jen, thinks of Samoan food, she thinks of the abundance of food there is.  One morning, as we were getting ready for our daily activities, content on having delicious ripe fruit for breakfast, we began to smell eggs being cooked.  We then saw my brother who had to have been frying several dozen eggs.  “Why is he cooking so many?” she asked.

“He wanted to make sure there was enough of the food you may like.”  People always want to impress their guest so they make a lot of food whenever someone comes over.   This often means waking up at the crack of dawn to cook.  And as always the chef is the last to eat.

I have gotten used to the idea of being overwhelmed with the amount of food, because I have learned if it is not eaten right away by someone; it will sit on the table, under the food cover until some eats it.  Those gigantic pots that we use here to cook really do come in handy because you never know who will be stopping by to eat with you. 

The only time I had the same experience as my sister was coming home from school one day.  My dad was sitting in the front of the house with a toaster, a stack of bread (probably from 2-3 loaves), butter and jam.  It was just him in the house, and he was toasting the 30ish pieces of bread.  When he finished, he allowed himself to start eating.  I joined him, but it seemed like such an abundance of food, especially since I grew up with hot toast, and before Samoa was not accustomed to cold toast. 

Speaking of food, I just found a DVD, where someone had a copy of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, a show from the Travel Chanel.  On this episode he traveled to Upolu, and it was funny to see what he thought of some of the food I have come accustomed to.  His pronunciations of the words crack me up, as they are pronounced worst than the cast of Survivor.  The disc I found is not good, and I was only able to watch the beginning of the episode.  I am looking forward to going on the internet one day to download and watch the entire program. 

Until then, I will keep eating fa’aSamoan-which means eating a lot!




Dogs cause so many problems; they bite, chase after you, and scare you close to death.  If only dogs were on leashes it would be so much nicer.  I don’t think all dogs are bad, but in the early hours of the morning, I always wonder if my rock throwing abilities will hold off the dogs. 

Like I said, I don’t think all dogs are bad.  I have two dogs in my house, one of them is always good and only bites the pigs, but the other bites certain people.  They both seem to love me, which I am really thankful for. 

The other day, my dogs decided to follow me to class.  I didn’t realize it at first, until the wind blew my story off of the chalkboard.  It went backwards and there were two dogs jumping up and down on it on top of the lava rocks.  I had to struggle to get them to stop jumping up and down on it when they saw me.  When I finally got it back, the good dog came in with me and decided to stay for the entire lesson. 

Yesterday, the hyperactive dog that likes to bite people, decided to walk with me to my track and field practice.  I was so nervous for him to be walking with me because he is so unpredictable.  Luckily, nothing happened.

If there were leashes in Samoa, I wouldn’t have to worry about paw prints on my story that took me a long time to write, or a hyperactive dog that enjoys biting people.  Also, I wouldn’t have to be nervous on my morning walks because of the dogs taking over the road.

Bring dog leashes to Samoa!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Trip to the Past is a Trip to the Future

A Trip to the Past is a Trip to the Future

I had planned on visiting my old school building weekly to check on the improvements of the building….but then the busyness of reality snuck in, and that normal half mile walk up and down hills became nonexistent.   “Tomorrow I will go,” I kept saying to myself, but after waking up for my exercise group at 4:30 in the morning, I became too exhausted after school. 

One of the year 8 students said she is mad we are getting a new school building.  When I asked why, she said it was because she would no longer be able to draw on the walls.  It is good to see that they realize graffiti will not happen in this new building, because by the last few days, somehow the students were writing on the walls and ceilings.  I am not a fan of markers everywhere.

 Today after track and field practice, I decided I finally had time to take the walk and visit the school. At a first glance, I did not notice anything different because they are building it on the exact same spot as before.  But in many places the wood was gone, and concrete blocks were in its place.  The window sills are put up, and it looks pretty good, in my opinion. 

They have not done anything with the ceiling, and in many places you can still see the children’s artwork on the walls.  It was beautiful how those little crayon drawing bring so much light into the construction site.

It is funny, how taking a trip to the past on how I started teaching here, makes me wonder about the differences this new school building will make on the children in the future. 

(Pictures are of a current classroom, and of the new school building)


Track and Field Competition

Track and Field

I was told the school bus was at 4 in the morning to the track and field competition.   Then the time changed to 5, and I was unsure of what time it will actually come, since it is Samoan time.  So at 4:45 I left my house with the glow of the moon guiding me to the bus stop.  There were already half a dozen people there ready to go.  One of my girls had found shoes from someone, and asked me for socks, which meant I had a quick run to the house to give her a pair. 

We waited at the bus stop sitting in a circle around the faleo’o.  Some of the students were stretching, others were having fa’aousi (my spelling is horrible…and there is no spell check for Samoan words on Microsoft Word….although it would come in handy many times-it is taro with some kind of sauce).

Finally the packed bus came.  We were sitting four to a seat with many people standing.  I thought to myself, “Wow, this is some way for a school to travel to a sports competition.”  I remember in high school for our swim meets we would have a big school bus all to ourselves which meant we could each have our own seat with extra to spare.  It got us to our meets in Brooklyn relaxed and ready to do our best.  What a different way to travel for these kids.

Along the way we met another bus, and some of the students got off.  We were still lap seated, but there weren’t any more students standing, so they were able to relax their legs. 

We arrived where the match was it was close to eight.  My legs were stiff from lap sitting for so long, but I didn’t have to worry about competing. 

We marched onto the field as a school cheering and found our section of the lawn.  One of the pastors from our district came with his car and a tent for people to sit under.  The  students warmed up while the others were setting up.  Students were taking shoes out of bags of shoes they borrowed, and they were passing them around to see who they fit.  It was beautiful to see them share so well the little things they have. 

I was curious about how the event was going to be set up.  I knew there was no proper running track on Savaii, and I was hoping it would be better conditions than the poop filled field the students had trained on.  They spray painted the grass to make a running track.  They had a sandpit for the jumping competition, and some mats and a bar for the high jump.

All the students from the 10 schools joined on the field for the Morning Prayer and national anthem.  It was really interesting to watch the different schools, because you were able to tell easily which school had more money than the others.  Each school had their own uniforms.  My school had “PSC” painted on the front of a tee shirt.  Most of the tee shirts they used were used, but they looked good in uniform.  I thought they looked really good until I saw the other schools, whose shirts looked like they were made more professionally because of the design (I think in truth only one school had them professionally made), and it looked like everyone had a new shirt.

The day kicked off with a 200 meter run.  In the first run, two out of the six girls on the track had shoes, an impressive number.  They then continued with the rest of the races and competitors moved across the field for their different events.  I took turns watching and cheering to helping some of the kids warm up and get enthusiastic for their events. 

Our school, which seems the most barefoot of them all did pretty well.  The runners were getting their best times, while the throwers were able to get a greater distance.  I did not see a race where our school got last place, but there were only a handful where we placed first as well.  When the day ended our school was in 6th place over all.

Several students qualified for the next round of the competition in Apia, and are doing fund raising to find their transportation money there.  The whole school is helping out and the kick off is a walk-a-thon this week. 

I know the next round will be just as much fun as the first, only with more wealthy schools involved, which means people running in more shoes. 

I am proud of the kids for all they have done so far.



Rubbish Shelves

We were practicing our essay writing, when the students (and myself) became distracted.  All the untitled men were carrying logs around the village.  (Part of the problem with having school in the village, there are so many more distractions, especially when there are no walls.)  “What are they building?” I asked my year 7 class.

“A faleo’o.” said one student.

“No look, it’s right next to the church.  It will be something for the church,” said another.

“I really don’t know Lili,” said a few more.  We kept doing our work distracted as we saw them sawing the wood, and placing it into the ground.  We soon learned they were making new rubbish shelves (where we put our trash for our weekly collection).  They put about a dozen up that day, many with using recycled wood from the school. 

Hopefully this will stop more people the in village from burning all of their trash, as this year’s dry season is very dry, and I would hate to see any of those uncontrollable fires come this way.

(Pictures are of a new rubbish shelf and children in my village)