Fri., February 2, 2000

Romney, WV


Introduction: Steve Bailes and his wife, Terry, both Hampshire County educators, are spending a year out of the country teaching as well as learning. Steve will keep us updated on their experiences on this site. Join us in the experience of teaching abroad.
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February 4, 2000

This photo shows: You might recognize some of the places I've talked about. 1) We live between the airport and Iliili; 2) From the airport clockwise you would next come to Vaitogi ("Turtle and Shark"); 3) Then Larsen's Cove (camera ruined); 4) Fagatele Bay (field trip); and 5) Leone. 6) Traveling east (counter-clockwise) from the airport you see Coconut Point; 7) Pago Harbor; and 8) Aunu'u island at the east end of Tutuilla.

Tolafa from Samoa,

I've had a ball, hearing different reactions to the website from people. And I appreciate the sympathy I've received concerning Terry's "turning weird" on me. I still get a big kick out of hearing from old students, friends and even kinfolk I've never met. Y'all please stay in touch.

Some people bought cable service so they could be sure to get a good picture for the Super Bowl. The game had only been on a few minutes when the cable went off-no picture! No game! And it didn't come back on until the second half. Luckily, we have the rabbit ear attenna, so Terry and John got to watch the Super Bowl. I stayed awake for part of the game. Wednesday was Groundhog's Day. My crazy wife had people singing (complete with sign language) songs in honor of Punxatawney Phil. Six more weeks of winter-in Samoa? I don't think so.

The Pacific Horizons Voyagers, my middle school class, received a copy a braille copy of, "The Dot Connector," a newsletter from Mrs. Clark and the WV School for the Blind. We have enjoyed our contacts with Mrs. Delawder's class.

We were musing with friends about fa'a Samoa. We feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to come here, to meet some of her people, to get a glimpse (if not an understanding) of the lifestyle. Some trivial points still fascinate me. Friends, especially people newer to the island than ourselves, are especially helpful in appreciating "the little things" that help to make Samoa unique.

For example, back home I used skim milk when I wanted to froth milk for a cappacino. I could never get the whole milk to froth. I tried and tried to do the same here in Samoa, but the froth would disappear as quick as I made it. I had forgotten to take milk to Jim and Emi's and so I borrowed what they had-whole cream milk. Guess what? It frothed beautifully. It often seems that things work completely opposite from what we experienced back in West Virginia. (Terry thinks it's because we are south of the equator.) Here in Samoa I really enjoy cooked bananas and raw fish (oka). Enough of that. Here on island a Tongan might ask for a shifter. Today, Lidwinna wanted one, but she asked to borrow a spanner. I normally would call it a wrench. Nancy (Canadian) offered me a seat on the chesterfield. I found out that's a sofa or couch. With many nationalities represented on island,communication can require some Explanation. Soifua tofa, Steve

Lidwinna, a New Zealander on staff, is always too serious!
What you might see when you first fly in to American Samoa. This fale is the traditional open house found on island.
Beyond the nose of the jet, you can see Coconut Point and the opening to Pago Harbor in the distance.
Fangatele Bay, a marine sanctuary. Puni, at Marine Science, led the Pacific Horizon School field trip here. The light tan area is coral reef that grows just to the top of the water. You'll note a light blue area which has deeper coral.

Spear throwing contest.

A twilight beach scene at low tide.

Flag Day, April 17, is a big event here. Some people still live in the open fale. But they are more commonly used like a BIG West Virginia porch, village prayers (sa), or family gatherings and ceremonies.
Notice the tatau (tatoo) of this weaver. (I'm envious.)

Kolio said his village , Fagasa, is preparing for the boat (va'a) race on Flag Day like this one. Many villages will compete.

Youngsters at sunset.

A boat and an outrigger canoe (paupau) ready to go over to Aunu'u island.

A beautiful view of one of the coves.

Maybe someone will let me know what village this is.

The contruction of the traditional fale roofs are a real work of art. The view from underneath reminds me very much of a boat hull. Here you see a craftman placing the coconut fronds to thatch the roof.

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