Saturday, March 6, 2010

16 Random Things I Thought You Should Know:

1. Ants are more coordinated at carrying a dead bug down a vertical wall than across the horizontal floor.

2. While playing cards at my neighbor’s the 12 year old boy accidentally touched the bottom of my bare feet with his hand and got this grin on his face and started to laugh. It took me a few minutes to figure out he was fascinated at how smooth the bottom of my feet were. Samoans have calluses that allow them to walk on anything, including broken glass (I’ve seen it happen).

3. There have been two babies in my village that have received the name “Kyle” since my arrival. Just a coincidence? I don’t think so—in which case I’m honored.

4. If a Samoan say it’s going to rain, it’s going to rain. If they say it isn’t, it isn’t. They have this special awareness of nature,
something the weather forecasters in Michigan could use.

5. Bread left out of the refrigerator will start to mold within two days of its purchase.

6. Driving is done on the left hand side of the road. It had been the right as recent as September 2009, when the controversial
switch occurred.

7. 70-80 earthquakes occur each day, although most of them are too small to be felt. The big earthquake which caused the
devastating tsunami on 9/29/09 was an 8.3.

8. Samoa is made up of 9 islands, with two major islands, Upolu and Savai’i. The combined land area is roughly the size of Rhode Island.

9. I have this tropical shirt I bought back in 9th grade for a “tropical dress-up day.” Somehow it still fits 10 years later and who
would have thought I would be living in a place where it looks completely normal.

10. Samoa is the 10th country I’ve set foot in, outside of the United States.

11. If you ask a Samoan a question, you may just receive the “Samoan Yes,” which often can be translated to “I don’t know
what you’re talking about.”

12. The island nations of the South Pacific have a special phone service called the “coconut wireless.” If you buy a candy bar in
Apia at 9a.m. on Saturday morning, your host village will know about it before you return at 1p.m. the same day.

13. Cockroaches are as plentiful here as the common housefly back home. The nicest most modern homes still have cockroaches
that find their way inside to torture the homeowners.

14. Cockroaches are plentiful, but aunts are worse. They can be broken down into about three sizes. There are really small ones
that can find their way into ANYTHING, and there is a medium and large size. The larger black ants can bite and I hear
cause a little pain.

15. There is a very nice public library here in Samoa, but Samoans aren't allowed to check books out. On the other hand, foreigners, like me, are allowed to. Samoans don't
have a great history of returning borrowed items.

16. The prisoners here in Samoa are let out for the weekends (no joke). One of the most serious
offenders said he needed to visit his traditional healer and was permited to
leave, never to return. I'm not sure if he's been captured since.

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