Saturday, February 13, 2010

Good news

I had a meeting yesterday and have some good news. I have a job and a place to live! I won't be in the village anymore, but I'll take it. I don't have much work in the village anymore and not having a place to live is a bit problematic.

I'll be working full-time for the Samoa Football Federation on various projects and living in Apia. I'll be helping with a grassroots soccer program where we bring soccer to the villages and encourage them to play, youth programs, and technical aspects of developing soccer here in Samoa, as well as continuing to help with the Saturday soccer matches.

I'll have a pretty nice set-up for housing as well: microwave, full-sized fridge, toaster, oven, and stove-top...talk about getting spoiled. But after the ridiculousness of the past year and a half I'm ok with that. It will be a bit weird to live on my own again, but I enjoy cooking so I look forward to it.

I move out the same time my family leaves for New Zealand and will start the new job March 1. I'm excited for this new opportunity. I never thought I'd be helping the game of football in this manner, but I look forward to the opportunity.

So I'm glad it worked out well for me. I was stressing quite a bit Monday and Tuesday when I realized these next couple of weeks could be my last in Samoa. It hasn't always been rainbows and sunshine here but I wasn't ready to leave the mountains and coconuts just yet, so I'm thankful to be able to finish my service.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The craziness continues

A couple of weeks after I moved in with the family I currently live with I found out they were planning on moving to New Zealand. This was bad. I was still adjusting to life post-tsunami and was starting to get used to living with a family. I told the office this and kept updating them on the situation as it developed. The paperwork, as the nature of paperwork, kept getting returned and delaying the process to where I knew they weren't leaving until sometime past the New Year. So it had somewhat fallen off the radar, especially while I was on vacation for 3 weeks around the holidays.

I got back from vacation and they were still trying to sort paperwork out. Ok, I have time I thought. Then it became "everything is good, just waiting to hear back from Immigration here in Samoa." This was problematic, meant it would be sometime soon. My family picked their visas up last week. The visas are valid until May 4th. So that means sometime between now and May 4th they leave. Not good. This means for the 2nd time in 6 months I'm homeless.

Yesterday, they got tickets from their relatives who were paying for them...valid for Feb 26th. I now have 17 days to find someplace to live. Really not good.

The village's plan for me was to move back into the pre-school. Well, it isn't finished. The outer walls are done and the roof, but no shower, toilet, doors, walls or windows...and no electricity. Again, really not good.

So we have 17 days to finish the pre-school. It is possible, but not likely since we have no money nor supplies to finish it. We are still waiting on two proposals to go through to get the funding to finish it. Not looking good.

But, the village is re-building some buildings near the church and the pastor's wife is going to talk to the matai to see if we can borrow some supplies, finish the pre-school, then replace those supplies when the grants go through. Problem is, I don't think they have the right supplies for this style of building (open vs closed house makes a difference in necessary supplies). Plus, getting things done quickly is always hard to do here.

So, the next week will be very interesting. If they can't complete the pre-school in 17 days (or even soon after), I might be moving to Apia. This depends though on if I can find a job and housing. Housing is the biggest issue, quite scarce in Apia. We are trying to see if I can work for the Football Federation more hours, but I doubt they have anything more I can do since it is a small operation and still in development. Or, I might be coming home, an option I'm not too fond of nor ready for.

So I have a very stressful week ahead of me, especially not knowing if this is the last few weeks I have in Samoa.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Waterfall & A New Job

In the past year and a half I don’t know how many times I’ve asked if there is a waterfall or anything fun to hike to. Response was always no. My host family had some visitors from Australia in a few weeks ago and I came to find out there is a waterfall only 10 minutes from the house. So I convinced my host family to take me one day. It is an awesome waterfall!!
The pool is so cool, refreshing, & deep.
You can climb the rocks to jump from halfway up or from the very top (about 40-45 feet). It was a nice outing and I really enjoyed the fun change of scenery. I very much look forward to going back.

I finished the proposal for the new pre-school. Finally! It took a while to put it all together. I don’t know how many drafts of the budget we had to go through, but I’m glad it is all done. I’m not as busy as I should be since work has decreased a lot in the past few months so I’ve been looking for something else to do to fill my time. I found a new opportunity through my boss and Saturday was my first day.

I now help the Federation Football of Samoa on Saturday mornings with their league games. Mostly I organize and supervise the ball kids and I’ll be helping with the kids’ hour as well (coaching kids how to play soccer, should be fun). It is nice to be around soccer again and I realize how much I’ve missed it. Nice to have a day of all soccer again, just like the old days of soccer tournaments. I’ll be helping them every Saturday through the end of April, so I should get my fill of soccer.

I definitely needed a break from it after college, but a 2 year break was a little long. I look forward to joining a league when I get back to the US just to play again. There is a team here who wants me to play for them, so we’ll see if I do. It would be nice to strap the boots on again.