Fri., January 7, 1999

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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January 7, 2000

This is the view from the church near Faga'alu. There are two small islands jutting up from the reef. They are Fatu and Futi. An old legend tells of a husband and wife being turned to stone.

My daughters arrived Monday, Dec. 20. Taking the kids around Tutuilla, it is so much fun to hear Heather say, "This all seems so unreal." Or Steph will say, "What did I see?" Here, you will see things, but not be sure what you just saw. It's fun to have others around. Everybody can rub their eyes together, and then just shake their head.

We've been to lots of church gatherings. I played guitar and we sang as a family for the church service. There was a deaf boy there. Terry signed the service for him. It was such a nice Christmas.

We've been swimming and snorkeling every day. We have gone to a different reef area every day since the kids got here. They are getting a nice burn, even with 40-power sun block. This sun is vicious, especially this time of year. In past years I'd use my wet suit so I could briefly jump in the river on Christmas. Here, you go swimming to try and cool off.

When we got up at 6 AM it was our Chinese New Year. Our friends in Taiwan were some of the earliest people to welcome 2000. At 6PM we watched live New Year celebrations at Disney World, D.C. and Times Square. 6 hours later (6 AM EST), Samoa celebrated its New Year with an incredible fireworks display, parades, honking horns. There was an all night televised interdenominational religious rally at the Tafuna Stadium, very near our house. Groups (and the crowd) singing, dancing, preachers, the governor and other dignitaries kept things hopping all night. Samoans know how to bring in the New Year, even if we were about the last people to let loose of 1999. It was quite a year.

I called to wish my parents a Happy New Year. I also wanted to ask Dad some questions about a book, When Gauley Ran Blood, they had given me for Christmas. (For a related web site click here.)

They told me the author, Rock Foster had stopped by to visit. The book begins in Summersville, WV but follows some the main character into the Shenandoah Valley. This is a "must read" for West Virginia history buffs, Civil War enthusiasts, or anybody that just enjoys an exciting historical novel.

Gossip has it that Nancy (I previously mentioned her 1000 mile kayak trip) is joining the Pacific Horizons School staff. Coming from the Arctic Circle, she admits she still has some adjustments to make. She told of going to one of the local schools and being told she might want to go into the gym. She asked if it was locked. The response was, "Locked? There are no doors. There are no walls." Many public structures are built in the traditional open fale style.

To help Nancy and others unfamiliar with the island, I tried to come up with a Jeopardy game format. Why don't you give a try:

Practice question/ (answer) Walls.
Response: What does a traditional fale not have? Got it? The answers are below.
1. In your ear.
2. Banging of oxygen tanks hanging in trees.
3. Road-toad pancakes.
4. Cracked windshields.
5. Ace Hardware towards Pavaiai.
6. Shoe Tree at Nuu'uli.
7. Big Signs: "AMUSEMENT."
8. 82 degrees fahrenheit.
9. 400 inches.
10. Pua and hibiscus behind the ear.
11. Charley the Tuna at Pago Harbor.
12. If your teeth rattle when you play it.

1. Where do you keep quarters for the aiga bus?
2. How do you know when it is time for village prayer? (Also a warning to not drive through the village.)
3. What became of many of the toads introduced to the island to control the mosquito population? (Incidentally, the toads didn't eat the mosquitoes, so now the Samoans have a mosquitoes AND toads as a nuisance.)
4. What do you usually get if you make a habit of parking underneath coconut trees?
5. Where can you find emory boards (manicure stuff) on island?
6. Where can you find greeting cards on island?
7. How do you know where to find slot machines? (What did you think it was?)
8. What is a cold snap in Samoa?
9. What is the annual rainfall in Samoa?
10. What do men, women and children often wear?
11. Who makes your Starkist Tuna?
12. How do you know when your auto sound system is adequate?

Le Tausaga Fou! (Happy New Year!)

This shows the wave that killed my camera. I was in knee deep water when one came in over my shoulders. I was clutching a boulder so I wouldn't be swept out to sea. Alas that camera would never shoot again.

This is Terry and a Red Ginger flower.

This shows Siniva with our other Arbor Day presenter, Setu.

This is the church we attend near Faga'alu. A traditional open fale.

Colleen and Samoan dance early showing performance.
Kayla and the Samoan dance early showing performance. Colleen and Kayla and several others from the school gave a great performance at the college auditorium. I've never seen hips move like that!

Papaya leaf

Sunset at Tafuna.

This one Steve with his biker babe and dinner.

This one a Tafuna biker babe.

This shows The Voyagers at the Arbor Day celebration at the Tafuna Stadium.

This shows another view of the Tafuna Stadium (site of Millennial Rally.)


Pacific Horizon High School - Marella, Ruth, Crystal, Mara (the boss), Cherish Piriniha. (Alexandra was absent.)

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