I found out today that one lucky new volunteer, part of Group 84, will be living and working in ….Pu’apu’a! Whoever gets it will be lucky for a variety of reasons.
First, the bus. The Pu’apu’a volunteer (who will henceforth be referred to as the PPPCV) will be taking the same buses I take. There are a lot of them and it’s a beautiful ride, especially the part between my village, Faga, and PP. Plus it means that you can take advantage of the Tuisivi store on your way to and from Salelologa. And, you won’t be far from the Tuisivi hospital.
I didn’t realize that would be a plus when I arrived, but since it’s the only pharmacy in the area, it’s nice to have it close to get the antibiotics that I can pretty much guarantee you will be taking at some point.
Next is the school. The building is large and nice and the field is huge. Check out the netball photos – that’s your school. Complete with Mickey Mouse painted on the side, welcoming everyone. The PP kids are the ones with pink shirts.
I’ve had a chance to chat with the teachers and principal at the school. Nice folks and some speak English well. One teacher recently hugged me and thanked me profusely for the work I’ve done for her country and her children. It was one of the few times I’ve been thanked and it was much appreciated.
The teachers range in age from 60’s to 20’s and there are at 2 men. One is an expert with computers and your school has a huge computer room with about 15 networked computers. Plus you’ll have a copy machine, laminator and giant paper cutter.
You’ll have the same SRO I do. She’s terrific and although we’ve butted heads more than once on some fundamental issues, she’s a caring woman and will have your back.
Plus Pu’apu’a has the best restaurants in the area! That, of course, is a joke.
Pu’apu’a, like most villages, has no grocery store (just the small faleoloas where you can buy chicken and canned mackerel) and no restaurants. Bring chicken recipes. Lots of them.
Another plus is that another principal in our district lives in Pu’apu’a. She hosted a group 80 volunteer and is terrific. She also drives and comes into Salelologa a lot. She gives me a ride every time she sees me waiting for the bus and I assume will do the same for you.
Your principal and his 20-something year old wife live near the school. She used to teach at my school and is cool. She’s the only teacher who’s invited me over for dinner or offered to take a walk with me and I assume she’ll be equally friendly with you.
Whoever gets Pu’apu’a is lucky for so many reasons. Not the least of which is that it’s easy to pronounce.
Update: Just found out that anyone in the village can use the internet at the school for $5 tala an hour. 1/3 of going rate. Lucky dog, oe!