Saturday, September 26, 2009

Brake Check

I was on my way to Apia via the bus last week and was traveling down Cross Island Road, or Tiavi as the Samoans call it, when the bus had a showdown with a cow. Cross Island Road is quite steep as it is goes right up a mountain. It would be a fun road to ride a bike down, a little unsafe with the twists and turns and blind corners (not to mention the crazy drivers), but fun nonetheless. We were coming down the mountain towards Apia when a cow ran out into the road. This cow was good sized too, definitely enjoyed the grasses which grow on the mountain slope and would have caused some issues with the bus. The driver slammed on the brakes as the cow barreled into the road. I look up, see the large cow, and think “Oh boy, this is going to be messy.” Luckily, the bus stopped in time and the cow crossed the road with no issues. The Samoans gave a “Malo fa’auli” or “good driving” to the driver. It would have made some nice steaks had we hit the poor bovine, but the Samoan cut of beef isn’t great anyway (hacking with a machete usually ruins the cuts of beef).

I am happy to report I finally got computers for the village. I’ve been working on this for nearly a year now and am happy my patience has paid off. A company in NZ donated a few hundred computers to Samoa. Most of them went to the Ministry of Education to be put in schools of their choice, but 30 went to Peace Corps Volunteers since two of my fellow PCVs were key in getting the computers here. So I applied to have a few of the 30 and was successful in getting three of them. I’m excited to set them up and start teaching people (I’m looking forward to exploring the Linux operating system as well; I’m usually a Windows gal). I know a few of the women in the village are eager to learn so they can get jobs in Apia and the kids want to learn as well. Teaching computers should keep me a little busier as well so I’m excited.

Funny child story: I was working around my house a few weeks ago trying to nail down some loose boards when two of the pre-school kids came over to swing on the swings (my house used to be the pre-school and the swings are still there). I was squatting down trying to straighten out a bent nail when one of the girls came up and started petting my head. It is odd to have a four year old petting your head, but they also like to rub my arms (Samoans don’t have a lot of arm hair and it is funny to them to see it). The girl continues to rub my head and then says “Manaia lou ulu” or “you have nice hair.” Ok, quite the compliment. I’m just amused the girl was petting my head, makes me laugh.

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