Talofa, Ta’u!

Hey e’rbody. We received our placements today!

Unless something changes, Wes and I will be living on Ta’u. He’ll be teaching high school science and I’ll be teaching elementary everything (not just English–are you surprised?!?). I’m not sure which grade level I’ll be teaching yet.

Ta’u is the largest island in the Manu’a island group and is about 70 miles from the main island, Tutuila. Ta’u is roughly 15 sq mi (more or less, depending on your source), but it is mostly uninhabited since the majority of the island belongs to the National Park of American Samoa. So, it’s all rainforest and mountains and beautiful views. There’s something else that’s pretty special about Manu’a that makes me feel all “oh gosh this is like ‘the Garden’ kind of paradise!” If you can figure out what it is, I’ll give you a present (leave your guesses well researched answers in the comments).

Ta’u is basically a very small town in the middle of a very big ocean. According to the Lonely Planet guide, the total population of Ta’u is 800. I can barely even understand that. Naturally, the schools are pretty small. (I found an article in the Samoan news congratulating the senior class of Wes’ school; there were 16 kids graduating.) I always think Wes and I are very small-town type people, but that’s not exactly accurate. Last month we totally freaked out, as in “oh my gosh, what do we doooo?” when someone rang the doorbell at 7pm (after some frantic discussion, we decided to open the door). We are both pretty terrible at small talk. And most of all, we are usually in a hurry. I’m really excited about moving to such a remote island, but I know that we are in for some pretty serious culture shock.

Also, from what I understand, the internet and cellphone situation on Ta’u is a little…not great. We should have somewhat regular access but, from what I’ve read on past-volunteers’ blogs, it’s hit or miss. We’ll do our best to keep our blogs updated though. If you look to the right, there’s a little “subscribe” thingy on the sidebar; if you want to get email notifications whenever I update this blog, you should definitely subscribe! There’s also a link to Wes’ blog over there somewhere, too.

P.S. We are leaving in 24 days. If you wanna see us before we go, speak now.

P.P.S. lookit it!

Yea, I could live there.

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About Cat Q.

For three years, I lived on a tiny little island in the South Pacific called Ta'u, where I taught elementary and high school English. Much of this blog is a chronicle of my time there, and of the travels we were able to do while we were on that side of the world. Now, I'm doing a different kind of travelling in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. I graduated with a B.A. in English and a history minor from Kennesaw State University in 2010, and earned an advanced certificate in TEFL while teaching abroad in 2012. I love Jesus and enjoy knitting, Atlanta Falcons football, and spending time alone with my Kindle. I've been married for 10 years to a beautiful bearded man who makes me laugh like no other. The Beard occasionally blogs over here: http://www.leapfromthelionshead.wordpress.com
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2 Responses to Talofa, Ta’u!

  1. Jessifer says:

    I’m speaking. (Because I can follow instructions and I guess this is what I have to do if I want to see you before you leave. No exceptions for the pregnant and/or Brain Twin!)

    My guess as to why Manu’a is very “Garden of Edeny” comes from my lack of time to research and the first thing I read on Wikipedia. So, I’m gonna say that it’s because of the high emigration rate of the islands. (Get it? Like Adam and Eve emigrated from the Garden?)

  2. Mike & Susan Betzler says:

    Susan and I will be looking forward to your blogs and pics, vicariously; since, we were ready to relocate to the Marshall Is. (Kwajalein Atoll), a few years ago.

    So glad that you are taking advantage of such a Life Experience while you can!

    Mike & Susan (Chris’ dad & s. mom)

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