Monday, December 31, 2012


Since many of you are still a year behind me stuck in 2012, i'd
thought i'd tell you what the future is like so you can get a head
start. I would like to type it in a list.. However i dont know how to
do that on a phone.. Things that will be popular in 2013... 1 poodle
skirts and 50s wear. 2 mullets. The party is back. 3 80s
movies..especially with the actor van damm in them. 4 driving on the
left side of the road (however in america it might be due to being
drunk on new years) 5 bouncy castles. 6 facebook on phones (i guess
its been popular for awhile but some countries just got internet
phones..) 7 farting on others..dont ask i dont quite get it either. 8
eating spaghetti sandwiches. 9 playing dominos. 10 cutting grass with
machetes.. I hope these 10 hints help and you can get to the store or
the hairdresser and get ready for the future.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy new year

Being that there are only a few hours left of 2012, i wanted to wish
everyone a happy new years. For those of you who might be curious as
to how new years eve will be ...i'll tell you about the future since
samoa is the first ones to experience it all. The stores will be
crowded.. Esp with people buying chicken go bulk for bbqs. Cops will
be stationed on the roads to make sure people are wearing seat belts
and drivers actually have drivers licenses.. As for weather it will be
rainy, which means a good time for family fun-which includes fun games
like dominos and watching movies. I hope you all enjoy your new years,
and are thankful the mayans got it wrong! Manuia le taosaga fou

Monday, December 24, 2012

Hurricane evan in savaii

We left for savaii well before sunrise and it was interesting to see
all of the villages with and without power. Upon arrival in savaii we
saw that upolu definatelly got the brunt of the storm. The rubbish
shelves were down and many trees as well. A few of the samoan fales
were down. Overall i am happy i get to spend my christmas with family
and running water and electricity.. Who could ask for a better gift?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I retreat!

Day 11- I retreat!
I have made it past double digits…We are at day 11 without water and electricity.  I decided I am giving up after tomorrow.  I want water to shower in and not to carry buckets of water up a hill in order to flush the toilet.
Last night, I became quite hopeful as I saw people working on the electric longer were the power lines in the river and dangling ready to strangle someone passing by.  However, my hopes were quickly swept away as I saw the uniform of the people on the ladders with the new wires were from the telephone company.  I guess we will just have to wait a little longer for electricity where we live.
Tomorrow, like I said, I am giving up.  I am heading over to Savaii for Christmas and hopefully I will return back home when there is running water or electricity.  I am really hoping for at least the running water as being without any water can be such a hassle!
Manuia le Kerisimasi!
Merry Christmas!
P.S. We have been using Chanukkah candles during the eleven days of no power.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Photo Blog - Cyclone Evan

Flooding in Apia Town Area

Flooding in Apia Town Area.

Pulu Trees fell down all along Beach Road.  The ones that did not fall are now just stumps allowing no shade on the seawall.

During the cyclone my neighbors braved the conditions to clear the road for anyone who needed to get past.

A fale that collapsed, amazingly, the roof is in tact.

About 8 men were lifting and shaking this car to get all the mud and debris out from it.   It was incredible how much came out.

Cyclone Evan and Apia Businesses

Cyclone Evan and Apia Businesses
Cyclone Evan killed many Samoan businesses, I think the ones that I feel bad for are the ones on the south coast that had to endure the tsunami and the cyclone.  How often can you keep rebuilding your business without giving up?  If it is exhausting for me, I can’t image those business owners.
Aggie Gray’s had to evacuate their guests as their hotel was flooded with mud.  I was told that the mud in the back reached up to my waist several days after the storm.  All of their back up generators broke.  Luckily, they have their resort in Mulifanua that they were able to bring their guests to.  They have had all of their workers coming daily to help with the clean up efforts, and excavators coming to get rid of the water.  I was told that they are hoping to reopen the front portion of their hotel on Christmas Eve.  However, just like staying at other expensive hotels, I would hate to pay the big bucks if you don’t have full access to all of the nice things on their property.
Mc Donalds had some roof and sign damage.  I think they were in a flooded area too, But I am not sure of it because when I walked around town the area was dry.  Several days after the cyclone hit, I saw that their drive thru was open.  However the next day it was closed.  I was told by someone that the Health Inspectors allowed them to be open for 24 hours to sell everything that they could before shutting down.  After hearing this, I am glad I don’t eat there!  Wouldn’t everything have gone bad after several days of no electricity?
Some businesses are open, however, be careful as restaurants may be open, but they may not have toilets.
Aggie Grays.

The river at Aggie Grays.  I don't know if you can see, but there are two boats stuck and broken there.

Every PC favorite store- KK Mart.  Finally reopened after 8 days of being closed.  

Roofing problems at MC Donalds

Water and Electricity

Water and Electricity
During the Hurricane in New York a month ago, I wondered how everyone was on the internet without power.  I was informed they did this through telephones.  I am so removed from technology that this thought never came to me until several days later.
A few days after the storm, a friend of mine staying at a hotel with a generator invited me over to charge my phone.  I was so thankful because that is my connection to the outside world.  I also learned at that point that the two telephone companies were allowing people to come and charge their telephones during work hours, which seemed pretty generous to me.  But all of this gave me hope.  I am not stuck in a disaster and have the ability to call someone to make me smile.
On the 7th day after the storm, the Peace Corps office restored power.  This meant during working hours I had a back up place to charge anything I needed.
Although I say we have electricity, it is often shut off for hours at a time without notice.
Although I keep being told that we will have electricity soon, looking at the power lines dangling that cars have to swerve to avoid, electric poles that are not connected to each other, and even electric wires in the river.  I don’t see them being quick about getting electricity to my area.
As for water, I felt really fortunate about my situation.  We bought bottled water, and ground water was flowing from the wall.  However, after several days of heavy rain, it soon stopped, and my hope for everything to be alright started to go away.
On the 5th day of no running water, our wall began to only trickle.  I spent four hours filling up all the buckets that I could after an exhausting day at work.  I knew though that that was my last day of having water at my fingertips so I wanted to fill up with as much as I could.
The next day as I went off to work, my husband went down to the river to collect the not as clean water and carry the buckets up the hill to our house.  He keep doing this task several times a day.
After work, in order to clean myself, I bathed in the river, hoping some disease does not jump into my body somehow.
I thought I hit the jackpot with my friend staying at the nice hotel as I could shower there…however when I went over one day, they had just ran out of water and wouldn’t be getting more in for another several hours.  Their water supply shrank considerably and were going to be issued buckets for when they showered to collect water to use for the toilets.  I could not image paying for that kind of “luxury”.
My river bathing continued and I began to feel completely frustrated with life as not having clean water and electricity can just mess with your mind.  I had begun eating poorly during the storm, as I did not want to eat anything that might make me defecate.  I was becoming malnourished and still busy with all of my commitments and just feeling so worn out.  On top of it all, I was not drinking enough and was dehydrating myself.   I couldn’t drink in the morning and during the day because of having no toilets around, and so I only had evenings to pee freely.  Sometimes when I arrived home, most or all of the water had been used up, and I had felt guilty for not collecting water that day, so I would wait until dark and simply urinate outside.  
Finally, I reached my breaking point.  Being unclean for 8 days without electricity was enough.  So many places had water and electricity, why couldn’t we have it?  I just kept dreaming of my Christmas trip to Savaii, an island full of running water and electricity.  It almost seemed too good to be true…kind of like a mirage.  But at my breaking point, I went to see (I guess I should say cry) to my nurse.  She said everyone is feeling that way, which I understood, but it sucked.  She encouraged me to drink more water and gave me rehydration salts to put in my water.
I have now reached double digits of not having water and electricity, and I know I can hold out another day or two until I can reach Savaii.

The debris in the river that I bathe in.

The bus station.

The bridge broke see the picture below.

A crack in the bridge above.