Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Lua is how we say Tuesday in Samoan. Lua also means "two". By the way, all of you I talked to before leaving I was pronouncing "Samoan" wrong. It is pronounced saw-moan. Lua, lua, lua. What was I up to today? Well, our first discussion was with our field director about some logistics for moving day- Saturday, August 4th (this Saturday) followed by a discussion with Moana, a resident of the Leone village, speaking to us about Samoan etiquette and the Matai system. Many of the etiquette thing she described I briefly remember reading in some of the things I was sent in the weeks before my departure from home. The matai system is a chief system in villages here on the island. She also gave us some copies of these tourist brochures, but they do provide some really useful information.

Our final language class took place today where we practiced some things we had already looked at, and looked at a few new things including colors. I haven't really memorized all of the things we've covered, but it was nice to just have some exposure to it, particularly the pronunciation and style of the language. Then we had a little cake with the Elders before they left. Hope to see them out and about some times here on Tutuila.

Next was an attempt at some video chatting with some of my best friends -Karena, Sarah, and Kyle back home. It was a short lived conversation, but it was nice to see them and chat a bit. I have posted one of my favorite photos I have with each of them.

Karena, who is now working for All-State in Lincoln, NE:

Sarah, who is moving into an apartment this Saturday and transferring to College of St. Mary's.

Kyle, who is currently living in Omaha and in the market for a job:

Then I went to the bank, and it was a success. I opened my account with the Bank of Hawaii on island, where my monthly living stipend will be deposited. After that success I decided to go on a short solo adventure, as I had the rest of the day free. I rode the bus and stopped before the village of Utulei, and found myself walking around a bit where I got a couple more nice shots. I enjoy taking photos of the mountains from all sorts of perspectives. I thought this first one was cool because it shows a basketball hoop just like the ones we have at home with the ocean and the mountain in the background.

As I was walking to the bus stop, I had my closest encounter with an angry dog. Something we read all about and to be prepared for when we arrived. He just shot across his driveway barking, and I thought "crap", but luckily the owner was in the garage and called him down, and I waved to them. Just something to get used to here. I was about ready to shout "haloo", which means stop in Samoan as I began crossing to the other side of the street. Just something we deal with here. You get used to spots to take extra caution at. Dogs aren't the normal pets we're used to seeing at home. One big difference here. Enjoyed my little excursion on my own, though. Felt good to get out and find my way around. :-)

I came back to campus and initiated a little walk to try to find Airport Beach. Two others went with me, and it was a nice little walk. Well, an exciting walk really. Not too far along, I noticed an eel, and even got a photo right before he swam under the rock! Not the best photo, something I'll work on throughout the year, but you can see him in the middle of this shot. I looked up some species, and I believe he may be a Moray of some kind. Also saw sevr

Also saw several bright colored fish. Definitely at the ocean. Ooo, and there were some in a little group that would swim along and hop up and out together. Something I will definitely go back and sit around one day and try to catch a good action shot. I sort of have one, but it's hard to see. Need to take my telephoto lens out for that. Was still cool to see. Wouldn't know there's a bit of a biologist in me, would you? An interest in the natural sciences or anything? haha

Here's just a few fun shots I took along the way. First, some coral at maybe a little beach (not sure if it was "the" airport beach or not); next, a random car seat on the shore (there was actually a decent amount of trash along the walk that had washed up... maybe a volunteer project coming along with some of my students); third, a nice shell; finally, a few shots of the sun shining brightly above one of the mountains on the walk back to campus.

That's the really cool thing about this place. Some of my friends are commenting how it looks like paradise here, and it sort of is. It has the ocean, the rainforest, and mountains. Still surreal to think that I'm here in such a cool place. I love the mountains and the rainforest (which differs from my other rainforest experience - the Amazon), and am enjoying the ocean view. Hope to get myself on more hikes up into the rainforest and the mountains, though.

Then, I just came back, showered, and laid on my bed for a while before our Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, I did just say "Thanksgiving dinner". Tonight's cooking group chose to slave over a Thanksgiving meal... in July. haha Wasn't all ready until about 7:40. Sat down, sent a few emails, and updated my blog. Almost left it until tomorrow, but decided I had some cool things to talk about from the day. Now time to go relax and continue to push this little string of "being under the weather" that I aquired. Nothing a little more nighttime cold relief can't help fight. Hope you enjoy my little bit of humor. I'm no comedian, but I just like to flat out write about my day. A nice way for me to close my day.

1 comment:

  1. Love those beautiful shells......why in the world is there a car seat on the beach? Crap from the Tsunami in Japan? Strange. I as usual LOVE those awesome photos. I am glad you are feeling better too. Can't wait to see the photos from that first hike you take :) xoxoxo