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Samoan memories


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A pictorial journey through some of the Samoan culture, and memories from the great wacky, delicious, amazing, awesome experience.

Published in: Art & Photos, Travel
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Samoan memories

  1. 1. Memories from Peace Corps in Western Samoa Matt Crichton Oct 2007-Dec 2009 Group 79
  2. 2. So Just Where is Samoa? <ul><li>Longitude: 171°50'W; Latitude: 13°50'S </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>My third family. The car is a sign of wealth. The large woman on the right is my mother. Large bodies are a sign of wealth.I guess I was pretty poor. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>My second family—who I ate dinners with at the school. The man “Eseroma” is the vice principal. The little girl “emmi” was very curious about all my stuff and what I did. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>More of my family in Samoa. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Three young villagers after a church service.
  7. 7. <ul><li>A christmas special at the church. Religion was important in Samoa—there were Christian, LDS(mormon), and a few other religions. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Matthew, my father Tuala and two village boys after a church service. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>My Samoan mother (Sofai) and father (Tuala)--my third family,who I stayed with on weekends and holidays. They had no less than10-15 people (and babies) in the compound at any one time. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>A little boy in my third family “Ina” who was also very curious about everything I did and brought. Pic also shows grave in front of the house as is the custom and the outhouse. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Some students had family members living abroad (in Australia, New Zealand) who sent back money and other things—such as this PSP. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>The weather was always changing. Bright sun, dark clouds, strong winds, big waves. Another view of the school. </li></ul>
  13. 13. s My students showing off. This shows a bit of the school I taught at.
  14. 14. <ul><li>My students during a computer project. I had them draw computer parts on paper and then present it to the class. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>This group of students just won “english day,” where they performed poems, skits, and songs in english. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>My students LOVED to have their picture taken. I’m glad I had a digital camera where delete and unlimited pics were easy. The black board in back was where I wrote all lessons for students to copy…it was a very important piece of black board. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>This is my year 11 class, who got two solid years of computer studies. I expect that students from this class do the best in the future. Pink shirt on the left wants to be a bank teller. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>A group of high schoolers from Seattle helped us paint this world map. We really liked it. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>The inside of the computer room at my school. 12 PCs running Windows XP—of which I kept running the entire two years. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Inside the computer room (and library). The hot Samoan breezes ran through the room—there was no air conditioning! </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Teachers in the staff room at school. The woman in far back is the principal. She is very camera shy and giving me a glare. </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>We learned the basics of computers—turn on and off, keyboarding, MSPaint, and MSWord. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Rugy (football without any pads) was very popular in Samoa. Every young boy (and some girls) played rugby. American colleges and pro football teams seek Samaons for their Rugy background. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>School boys in action playing rugby. I saw little kids using a plastic soda bottle or coconut as a rugy ball. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Cricket was also very popular in Samoa. </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Our school did pretty good considering we were from the rural area. </li></ul>
  27. 27. The peace corps boys are attempting Samoan dance.
  28. 28. More practice with the Samoan culture. It was fun to try and sometimes we were even in sync.
  29. 29. The capital city “Apia”. Many taxis and colorful busses. The bus on far right goes to my village “Tafagamanu”.
  30. 30. <ul><li>Fire dancing was one of the more awesome spectacles I witnessed in Samoa. I practiced a bit with the stick, but never got to the fire part…maybe for good reason. </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Tattoos were VERY important in Samoa. This shows the almost full body tattoo the men received as a right of passage and indicating their status in the village. </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>Tattoos were drawn by young boys as designs, maybe to one day be a part of their own real tattoo. A few cheeky boys even drew tattoos on themselves with markers, although that was a big no no at school. </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>And here is my small entry in the tattoo category. I must have still been in shock. Oh it wasn’t THAT bad. Sharks tooth on my skin for a few hours. Just imagine the entire body tattoo… </li></ul>
  34. 34. Many countries, including the Chinese (who built this sports complex) attempt to help Samoa with “development.” some are more successful than others. I saw China, Canada, Japan (who built our school), USA.
  35. 35. <ul><li>Samoans built as large a church as their village could afford. </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>A traditional Samoan hut called a “fale.” </li></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>Building a simple “fale” for visitors to the beach fale business run by man and wife from Australia. </li></ul>
  38. 38. <ul><li>My third family’s “fale” house AFTER the remodel—adding the cement blocks, which made the house cook. This was a sign of great wealth. </li></ul>
  39. 39. <ul><li>The flowers were colorful. Also shows the inside of the newly remodeled house. </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>Inside of my family’s house. </li></ul>
  41. 41. <ul><li>Fishing is one of the main activities for getting food. I tried the Samoan method of spear fishing—I would have starved if I had to catch what I ate. Most of Samoa is still subsistence farming/fishing. </li></ul>
  42. 42. <ul><li>A traditional “cooking house,” separated from the main house, so if the CH burns, the rest of the house(s) don’t. a good idea. </li></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>In Samoa, dogs are not treated very well—throwing rocks at dogs, not adequately fed. That’s the culture, but it was hard for me. and the family knew I liked dogs, so they tolerated it. Also the front of my family’s house before the remodel and another fale. </li></ul>
  44. 44. <ul><li>Keke Pua’a. A pastry filled with cooked pig pieces. I liked it a lot and usually bought one or two when I went to the market in the capital city “Apia.” </li></ul>
  45. 45. <ul><li>Samoans loved to celebrate—every meeting was an opportunity to celebrate, and eat. Diabetes was a big problem. </li></ul>
  46. 46. <ul><li>A Samoan dish with cucumbers and mackerel. Not my favorite. </li></ul>
  47. 47. <ul><li>Pour hot water on the pig to help get the hair off. Peace corps volunteer “Masi” watches intently. What up! </li></ul>
  48. 48. <ul><li>This is pig after cleaning. The dogs got the pig guts. Sorry, not pics of the pig brain. But it was good. </li></ul>
  49. 49. <ul><li>Here we are putting hot rocks and leaves inside the cleaned pig before we put it on the Samoan “umu” to cook. </li></ul>
  50. 50. <ul><li>Now the pig goes onto the umu and is covered with hot rocks and surrounded by other food that will be cooked. </li></ul>
  51. 51. <ul><li>Samoan food—Samoan tea, green bananas with coconut cream sauce, and chicken curry. I miss Samoan food…very unprocessed, unlike American food. </li></ul>
  52. 52. <ul><li>This is a special meal after church Sunday called “toana’i”. Boiled taro root, pig, curry, fried fish, and other stuff. That’s my Samoan father, who is pastor and high chief, which means he gets first dibs on any food. </li></ul>
  53. 53. <ul><li>It wasn’t all Samoan food. When I visited friends in the capital city “apia” I usually found some western food. Here is some spagehtti with sauce and cucumbers. </li></ul>
  54. 54. <ul><li>There was power in Samoa. Cars were a running. And the money transfer was a big business. Huge remittances came from other countries where relatives worked. </li></ul>
  55. 55. <ul><li>This river “Sina” (Vai O Sina) is a very important river in Samoan history and culture. Many legends are told about this river. </li></ul>
  56. 56. <ul><li>The sunsets were very pretty. The ocean was warm. The swimming was good. The poles sticking out of the water show the boundary of the giant clam farm the village had growing. </li></ul>
  57. 57. <ul><li>The ocean was not always pretty. While I was in Samoa, a tsunami hit the islands. I was OK. Other villagers died. This is my emergency kit for a quick run up the hill to escape. </li></ul>
  58. 58. <ul><li>Here is some of the damage from the tsunami. This is a little damage compared to a few villages down from me where people were swept out to sea. Respect the ocean. </li></ul>
  59. 59. <ul><li>Samoan money is very colorful and the coins are bigger and heavier. I think the bills are waterproof too…not sure. </li></ul>
  60. 60. <ul><li>Naming a baby after someone is a sign of respect. This baby (born 6 months before I left) was named Mataio (matthew). </li></ul>
  61. 61. Credits <ul><li>The teachers </li></ul><ul><li>The students </li></ul><ul><li>My Samoan Families </li></ul>
  62. 62. <ul><li>Uma finished </li></ul>