Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ava ceremony

the samoan at the back is the orator who instructs me on who to give the ava to.

Rosie is the "taupo" or ceremonial virgin who prepares the ava. the guys on the side of her are protecting her and the ava.
I was the "tautu" or ava (kava) runner for group 82's welcome ceremony. Basically i fill up the cup and distribute the ava out to the ceremony's participants. this is done according to the orator's calling out of names. i was just glad i didn't drop the cup. thanks to other volunteers for the pics.

Monday, October 5, 2009


This was her home. see the foundations in the background.
this is FaoFao beach fales where Peace Corps used to have conferences. The oceanside bar is completely gone. You would never know anything was there.

missing road by shane's house.

look how high the water rose. those little yellow things are people searching for bodies. they are about 100-150 yards from the ocean.

Shane's family's house across the street.

Shane's house used to be to the left of this foundation. The land isnt even there anymore.

Just a few pictures I took on Saturday. It's unreal the destruction that these waves caused.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Farewell to Neiafu

Those "ulas" got really heavy. I had to take them off before i danced.
The school had a farewell for me last week where they brought gifts and sang songs for me. The women's committee in the village had one as well but i didnt take my camera to it. Saying goodbye for the most part was a bit awkward but there were some very heartfelt moments as well. But its not really goodbye b.c ill be visiting throughout the next year.

Father's Day at the Mormon Church

My farewell dance. Longest 4 minutes of my life.
Pati and Vineta (host parents) (in black and red) dancing a couples dance. thats our dog Rover on the far right. always where he isnt supposed to be. he attends school and church as well.

On Saturday before (Samoan) Father's day they a dinner and talent show at the Mormon Church. Most families just do a dance to a Samoan or Western pop song. Thanks to Slumdog Millionaire and the Pussycat Dolls, Indian dance moves are getting popular.

Softball in Neiafu

there are some future hall of famers in that bunch.

"for the hundredth time, stand beside the plate not on it!"

"look i dont want any crying out there ok? alright, lets go over signals."

see if you can spot the one with the glove on the wrong hand.

this was back a few months ago when another volunteer came by with some college softball players and we had a clinic in my village. the game grew exponentially as the day went on.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


my repertoire... (for spear fishing)
my new spear. a fraction of the price and twice the distance as the three-prong pole spear. works like a sling-shot. still not easy to hunt with though. i feel like an underwater rambo with this thing.

this is the can crusher that was part of the recycling program. its bad ass if i may say so. not as easy to build as u may think. especially in a resource scarce area.

here is a catholic church in falealupo-tai that was destroyed by the hurricanes in the early 90s. very interesting inside, but my camera batteries died. theres also an open crypt full of human skulls and bones across the street because lots of graves were washed out and human bones washed up everywhere so they threw them all in this one place.

4th of july softball

plain and simple we kicked navy's ass...
waiting an eternity for the ball to get there...
nice little 4th of july at the rl stevenson museum. the us navy is here doing medical clinics and we had a softball game, cookout, and dancing.