Monday, April 30, 2012

Sudden Dose of Reality


Some days I feel as though I have a normal life, working, enjoying time with my friends, etc….and then reality sinks in. 

I was working on something for the NGO that I am a part of….helping to create a tee shirt and using the internet to help design it when one of my girls came into the house.  She asked what I was doing and I had her assist me with colours for the shirt to make it look more fashionable (our spelling work for the week) and then began to tell me about her day.

My student had spent the day at court because her trial was going on, and she mentioned that she saw the man that raped her and she was so angry.  She didn’t want to look at his face or have anything more to do with him.  She said that when the judge asked to point out the man who did this act to her she closed her eyes and pointed.  I asked her if she knew this man before the sexual assault and she explained it was her father.

Oh man I though…..No wonder this poor girl is constantly acting up.  She must be so confused with her life and who she can trust.

I try my best to treat all of my students like normal students….but some days they just need that extra bit of love and you can only hope that you are there for them when they need you most. 


Friday, April 27, 2012

Dog Bite

Dog Bite


While my computer was out of commission, I ended up getting another mark on Samoan Bingo.  (I already had boils, fallen off my bike, bitten by a centipede, fallen asleep on a strangers floor…etc) This time I had my dog attack….I actually had two within a week.

The second one wasn’t so bad.  While I was walking, the dog bit my heel when I lifted my foot.  It didn’t leave any mark, so I was not too worried about it.  In fact I don’t think I told anyone about it.

However the first dog bite, that one startled me.  I don’t know if you have ever been bitten by a dog…but while it happened to me, and even after, my body went into a little shock. 

Here is how it went down…

I was walking down a street I normally walk down by my house during the day time.  I guess the dog saw me and liked me, so decided to leave a love bite.  He did not bark or anything, which normally gets me nervous around certain dogs.  He was very quiet during the entire process.   

I limped home, not too worried as it was only a few small places where the teeth marked the skin. 

I limped around the following days, taking the bus well more than usual, and then my leg started to give me more pain.  So I decided to play the game show is my leg infected from the dog bite, or is it something else…Many people chimed in, and suggested I see the doctor…but being a stubborn girl, I thought I was okay.  The pain went away about a week and a half later, so I think I won the game show.

Unlike my bike accident(s) and my boils, the dog didn’t leave a visual scar on me…so I will not have a permanent reminder for when I travel back to the US on Samoan dogs.

Lesson learned: The quiet dogs are the ones to fear.


Thursday, April 26, 2012




I have to say…I need to give more credit to all the principals out there.  I am only in charge of one teacher and an ever changing enrollment of never more than 30 students, and I find some days wayyyyyy too rough. 

It is so difficult to find the right line between being a friend and being a supervisor.  You need to have the respect of everyone, and that is something that can be so hard to gain.  Confronting a teaching on their mistakes is so difficult to do, and going through with enough follow throughs to ensure the error is corrected feels like a never ending job. 

I think what makes what I am doing even more difficult (besides having kids with emotional problems) is I still have the cultural barrier.  Although I understand many things about the Samoan culture, there is still something blocking me from being as effective as I can be.  I am not exactly sure how I can overcome this obstacle. 

After this treacherous week, my hats off to all the principals out there- kudos on surviving on one of the most difficult jobs. 


Monday, April 23, 2012

Back to Blogging

Back to Blogging

Wow does this feel nice again….I just received my computer wire and so I am back on a computer again.  It is so nice to not have to borrow computers and search for computers that have the programs I need….I now have it all again right here where I need it.

Let’s see…how can I catch up on my life…

In the past month since I have been blogging, I have spent a lot of time working.  Way too much time if you ask me!  The school and the girls have taken over my life.  We spend several hours in school, then several days a week we do Zumba on my front lawn.  It has been a lot of fun, and you really grow to love all the children in my school.

For birthdays, I believe that these kids need something special to celebrate since they don’t have their families around them.  To make the day a little special, we have started to create homemade birthday cakes for the kids.  This means I have several kids in my kitchen learning about measuring, reading a recipe, and how to use a palagi oven. 

On top of my normal work, I am on the executive committee of the Samoan Victims Support Juniors which keeps me extremely busy.  I am working on a project proposal right now that will hopefully take place in the upcoming months.

I was also just asked to work on a project at the Attorney General’s office.


Besides all of that workload….I am still attempting to train for the half marathon that will take place during Independence Weekend (June 1st) and doing what feels like a billion other things as well.

So I apologize for my silence.  I promise it won’t last! 




Postcard Project 2012

Postcard Project 2012


Last year because of all of you I had a successful postcard project which taught my students a lot about the outside world. They learned about each of the different continents, oceans and what people like to do in each place.  There was so much language and cultural information shared-it was incredible. 

With having a new group of students, I am hoping I am able to do this project again.  My students this year are not your average students.  Some of them were taken from their families because of physical abuse, others for sexual, and others for about a million other reasons.  They are aged 5-20 and are at a variety of ability levels (which makes grouping them for lessons always interesting!).

I know they would love hearing from you, and responding back. 

If you can help out with this year’s postcard project I would really appreciate it. 

Just send a postcard of where you are, or where you are from with any information on it.  It can be about what you enjoy doing there, a history lesson, about the nature, about your family, the possibilities are endless as they all have great English lessons to attach to them.

When sending a postcard, you can put your return address on it, or email it to me at


My current address is:


Lillian Watson, PCV

Private Mail Bag


Western Samoa


Hope to hear from you soon!