Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Things here that remind me of things or people back home

1- Every time I see the one Sperry I still have. It now has mold and such growth inside of it as well as a spider web on it from being outside. Gotta love the Tropics. Reminds me of Kristin, who bought them for my birthday.

2- The girl that lives next door (Colleen) has the same Hawaiian bedspread Shannon has. I thought I would never see that bed spread anywhere else. I'm glad to be wrong. I have not gone in her room for a month and when I finally do go in there I found that wonderful bedspread.

3- The 25 mph speed limit sign. It reminds me of Charles and Brian who always got onto me for speeding. Well, if they could only see me now....

4- Everytime I see a twenty dollar bill. It makes me wonder when Allen Close is going to send me mine. I won't give up on you Pastor, Sir.

5- The golf course in the back yard. Makes me think of Granddaddy Harold. I have a video I will upload sometime of what the golf course here looks like. And it's only $3 to play. $12 if you want to ride the golf cart. Which I would like to.

6- Mr. Ashley's mustache. Reminds me of Dad. They also both have crazy hair.

7- Everytime I see the crummy trucks here. I think of Ben, who I know could fix them all.

8- The crummy health care system here. Reminds me of Katie. She would have her work cut out for her here, but would love it!

9- Clouds. Mom loves clouds.

10- Someone was talking about mint leaves. That reminds me of Grandmother who grows them.

11- The fact that May 30 is Stacey Mason's 25th Birthday. Happy Birthday again Stay May.

12- I'll add more later...

Monday, May 28, 2007


Everytime I drive I feel like I am going to fast at some point. Usually I look down and I am. I realize I am going about 35 mph. Silly me. The speed limit is 25. Although, I've only seen one speed limit sign on the whole island. I think there are two stop signs. Plenty of intersections though. People just don't care I guess.
Here is another sign on the island. It's a good thing I took a picture of it. They have taken it down now. This sign made me laugh a lot. There are plenty of these on the island. I hope you can read it.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


I went to a graduation last night. It was weird. They got up and had and mother/son or father/daughter dance. It was eighth grade graduation. But still.
I substituted for the secretary of the school the friday. That was fun...It also was yearbook signing day. Which meant signing your arms day as well. I signed a lot of kids' yearbook with you smell funny and i like your outfit (they wear uniforms). But the kids I didn't know I put have a good summer.
Then we all went on a field trip to see Shrek the Third. Good movie. Popcorn was a bit of a trouble. Oh well.
K see ya,

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Stupid Dogs

Dr. Pepper is my favorite soft drink, hands down. There is a store about 4 houses down from the Murphy's house. I have heard stories about the dogs that belong to the houses on the way to the store. Apparently you should either carry a big stick or pick up rocks. Of course I did not want to do that. I love dogs. Well, I did before I came here.
Today, before we played a horrible game of monopoly, Paul went to that store and came back with two Dr. Pepper cans. As soon as the dumb game was over I ventured out along the road. I did fine on the way there. Coming back I encountered 3 dogs that were barking at a passing truck. While I was going by them they started barking at me and I bent down and picked up a big rock and saw them back up. I kept the rock in my hand as I walked home.
I showed them who's boss. Stupid dogs.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sliding Rock and Fagatele Bay

Going to Fagatele Bay you have to hike a few hours and go past Sliding Rock. It is one of the most beautiful places on the island. I almost gave up but I asked God to give me strength and He sure did. It took many hours and some much needed water but we made it to the bay. To get to the bay you have to climb down a ladder because there is about a 15 feet drop to the beach. A tiny waterfall runs into the water so when you are done you can wash all of the sticky saltwater off. I tried to get a tan to beat Brian Sanchez, but I'm not sure how much it worked. At least I'm darker than most of the Palagi's on the island. But that comes from the tanning bed where I used to work and going to the lake right before I left for here. So I sort of cheated there. Anywho, I was with a group of people I met here on the island. One named Leti works at the school Jaime works at. She is in great shape and didn't stop once going to the bay. Lucky. Give it time. I'll be able to do that as well. I got back late for Sunday night house church, but I made it. I think it was a great day altogether.

Right now I am substituting and am almost drained. I did have a huge cup of coffee though, so I'll make it through. Next is recess. Nice....

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The octopus wasn't bad

It just tasted like some sort of seafood. It wasn't bad. I wasn't able to chew it so I decided to not eat it anymore. The coconut milk didn't do much for it.

That's it for now. Night!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sorry this one took so long to write.

I rode the bus for the first time by myself the other day. This is a kind of big deal. I kept telling myself I was going to do this for a long time. They are family buses. They are made out of the front of a small truck and then they build on to it to make the back. It's kinda cool looking on the inside. I'll show my picture later. The problem was, I got on at a stop and just followed everybody on. I dended up going in the wrong direction and went to McDonald's. I talked to someone and he helped me out and I eventually got back to where I wanted to be. Woo hoo!

We went to the flowerpot rock yesterday. Timothy, one of the Let's Start Talking people, pointed out an octopus. We called an octopus fisher over and he stuck his metal rods in the hole and pulled the octopus out. He let us keep it and one lady showed and explained to me how to cook it. So we'll have that adventure tonight.

Last night I baby sat 5 children. They were all very good. After they went to bed I watched tv shows. That was fun.

Just the update for you guys. Love you and miss you!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Captains Log

Today I go paddling again. On the awesome Discovery Channel boat. I did Tahitian Dancing last night and the only way to get rid of the sore is to work right through it, right? I thnk I did better this time in class. I was a little proud.

We went to Palagi Beach the other day. It was quite a hike getting there. I was scared many times. We also had Julia, Ally, and Colt with us. They sure are troopers. They made it both ways. I experienced my first mud slide. I'm calling it that because I slid down a stepe slope of mud.I enjoyed going snorkeling also. There was much to see and we sat on a huge rock island pretty far out. All in all it was a great experience.

I'll write more when it's not so hot outside. See ya.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Be IN the World but not OF the World

How do you go against the world. How do you say no to those who are caught up in the world. It is so tempting. So easy to fall into it. Your best of friends will be in the world and of the world. Saying no to them takes courage. If you say no to them what happens? You risk the loss of a friend. Or maybe not. You have a chance to use this time as an example. The way you act can and will help others. Help others to see how wonderful God is. You don't need drinking, drugs, sexual immorality to have fun. You can have tons of fun without them. It's hard to stand up to your friends but sometimes it needs to be done. Do God's will and you will be blessed. Make each day a daily sacrife for Him.

I just have this on my mind. I hope you think about it and take it in.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Small

I hope you can see this well. This was when I did not have my luggage and I had to buy other clothes with money the airline gave me. This is pretty much the mall. Consists of 9 stores. One being a coffee store. Kristin would be proud of me, I had Samoan Koko bean coffee. I want to send you some Kristin, don't worry. I will send Dad some too. He would like that.

If you can see the mountain in background, It ahs coconut trees growing on it. All of the mountains do here. It's wonderfully beautiful.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I hate the dogs!

It doesn't make any sense! (most) American dogs are friendly. People raise them to be nice and to be their friends. Holy cow is it different over here. They are brought up mean. ALL OF THEM. It drives me crazy they bark and bite and on top of that they are every where! They roam the streets, golf course, anywhere you go you see at least twenty dogs on the way to get there. My instinct is to go up to them and pet them, but I learned pretty quick that you can NOT do that. It really makes me angry because I love dogs. I grew up raising dogs. I wish there was one friendly dog on the island that would let me play with it. Don't make fun of that statement, when there are as many dogs as there are here, you get the urge to play with them at least once. The dogs here are more for protection and guarding. It's really too bad. Anywho, until next time...

Saturday, May 5, 2007

More dogs than birds

Talofa,I finally go tmy luggage last night!!! Woo Hoo!! It is comforting to be in your own clothes and shoes. Since the stray dogs stole my right Sperry I had been using Jaime's 3 inch tall flip-flops. Literally, there were no other shoes for me to wear. I am jsut fine with my height and going three inches taller gave me a complex. I started hitting my head on the top of the porch going into Jaime's classroom. Even worse would be when I had Julia on my hip and she almost hit it too. Picture this, Me, in three inch thick flip-flops which are brown with white florals on the straps, longer shorts than what we wear in the states but not to my knees, a loose 3 dollar t-shirt from some quick mart. I was the epitamy of redneck on the island. Go Gamecocks.
I went with the pastor from Tafuna Ekalesa a Keriso (Church of Christ) to a man named Petelo (I know I spelled it wrong, Philip, I'll correct it later) 's house. Petelo is paralysed from the waist down. I forget how it happened but it has just been since the last two years if I'm correct. Anyway, we went to his house and would read teh bible together. He would read it in English and we would help him understand it and pronounce it. Then David would read it in Samoan. I am not good enough to read it in Samoan. Give it time though. Petelo taught me a little more Samoan. Of course I forgot it as soon as I left. As much as I ran it throuh my head and I still lost it.
Now, Petelo's house. We drove down the unpaved driveway and parked in the yard. We had to walk to his house. So down a skinny trail only big enough for one person, we made it. When I have hours to sit down and upload my pictures I will show you what a fale (house) looks like here. a pretty basic one is a floor set about 2 feet off teh ground and it has walls and a roof. The walls are not thick by any means and neither is the floor. It is more of plywood than anything else. There were two beds on the floor and I saw a burner. Is it called a bunson burner? It was their main source of cooking. I didn't see a refridgerator or microwave or anything else like that. And you sat on the floor. All and all it was a good visit. I enjoyed Petelo. When we began and when we ended they both prayed in Samoan. I could pick out the words God, you, me, and thank you. It was neat.
Well, everywhere I go I see dogs. They are on every street we go down. I have really seen more dogs than birds. Dad would be upset. Dad loves his birdfeeder (I like to call it the yard, since the wild birds live in our yard) and he watches the many different kinds of birds come and hang out with each other and eat and bath. Well, so far I have only seen one kind of bird. And it is not that pretty. Wait, I saw some bats. And I heard there wwere some owls somewhere, but I haven't seen them yet. Anyway, there are enough stray dogs here to make you go insane. They get in the way when you are driving and most are not very friendly. And they steal shoes. Not a fan over here.
Cutting grass. Ben and Rhett could have fun over here there is lots to cut down. the biggest lawn mower they have is used on the random golf course by the Murphy's house. Other than that they used weed eaters for their whole yards. As we drove by a house I saw a kid with most of the yard cut holding a machette. Scared the mess out of me. They say that is one way to cut the grass here. I don't know how you would do it though. Might be interesting to watch. I'll keep the ambulance's number close just in case.I opened my first coconut yesterday! Well, when I say I opened it, I mean, I was sitting on the ground two feet away watching Paul have so much fun wacking it against a sharp rock on the ground. It was nice. The coconut didn't taste like i thought it would. The milk nor the inside. They said it might be because of the age. It's better to get them as soon as they fall from the tree. So I will be scouting for the next few days.
Bible study has been going on the past two nights. Pastor David is doing a study on Matthew so it is going from Wednesday to Friday night (tonight). I enjoy partnering with the local teen girls. I like helping them and they ask. I just don't know what I will start the bible study on. It will be something good though. I pray all is well with you in the states.I'm thinking about all of you!

Thanks! Fa fe tai tele,


The past few days. I went paddling with five other girls around the harbor. It is called an outrigger. It is one you would see on the Discovery Channel...a long canoe with the balencing weight on the left attached to the boat. I can get pictures later but not until my luggage comes in can I put these pictures onto the computer. I didn't do as bad as I thought I would have done. However, my lovew back is killing me right now, but my arms are fine! I have a weird body. Thanks Mom and Dad. It takes a lot to carry these outriggers to even put them on their stand, I guess you could call it that. We had to wait for the other team of paddlers to help up flip it upside down and then to carry it out of the water. It was great. This is also when I met a cute Samoan. The chances of me seeing him again are low.
So, moving on. I also did tahitian dancing. Jaime had a dance class and wanted me to go with her. It is basically a fast hula dance. It works your muscles well. It made me sweat. I am ashamed to say. Last night we played hide-and-go-seek on the golf course behind their house. I am the ultimate hardcore hide-and-go-seek player. Growing up with my brother and his best friends playing this game...we would dress up in all black from head to toe even to the point of turning our shirts inside out, not wearing the reflective shoes, face masks (not me, I could use my hair). I love this game. I get joy out of not being found. Well, I can tell you, I was never it. The only one. Ha ha. It was fun. Of course on the golf course there was only about eight places to hide so we would use them over and over again. Paul kept climbing up the coconut tree. Philip says that's why the tree is stained red. (they call paul the red-headed step child).I will leave some stories for later. Have a great night!

Aunt Whitney

Starting off on the left foot...

Talofa Lava!
I have arrived! Though my luggage did not. The plane rides were not that bad. I was lucky on the first two planes no one was sitting beside me so I could somewhat lay down. The first plane a lady named Linda and her husband David adopted me and talked me though what to do. That was nice and comforting. The stuward on that plane let me move because he said it gets very cold where I was supposed to sit. He was a lot of fun.In Dallas, I was blessed because it is huge and I thought I might have to ride the skyline to another section and what not with only forty minutes to spare, but all I ended up having to do was got a few gates over. There were restaurants of all sorts, but I didn't want to waste my money, so I got a packaged chicken salad, taquito, and a drink at a little store. I was happy. Something wonderful happened in Dallas. I was waiting to board my plane and I hear hollering and clapping and I look up and above in the sort of breezeway were troops. I suppose they were coming back, that would make sense. They must have been coming off that plane for twenty minutes. Hundreds of them, and not once did the clapping and holleringfor them cease. It made me tear up. Dallas to San Diego, no one to adopt me but there was an extra seat to lay down in! San Diego as soon as I got off I had to get right back on.From there to Honolulu I sat next to a man named Jessie. He was a very nice man. He adopted me this trip. Told me what to expect on this flight. This time I actually got some food and got to watch a movie. He told me all about Hawaii. He is in real estate in Hawaii, Las Vegas, California, and I'm sure some other places. I asked him if they lay us when we get off the plane. He laughed and said, "They really only do that for a big group of tourists." I shyly said, "Man..., I'm a tourist." When I arrived at Honolulu, I had three hours to spare which really turned into five. I miscalculated. Charles didn't teach me math very well. Dang smart people. Anywho, Jessie wanted to show me the shops in the airport where I could buy some things. When we passed a kiosk that had some lays, he told me to pick one out and he bought one for me. I don't know what type of flowers it was, but it smelled so wonderful. It is in the fridge right now. I don't know what to do with it. I don't want to throw it away. It's my first real lay. I know, I'm weird. Jessie left and I took to Philip's advice, reluctantly. I ate at Burger King. It was really good actually. About this time, I had time to spare and my phone was still on, so I called a few people at home. Had about as long of a conversation with them as I could to pass the time, but they still didn't last long enough.I ended up going to where my gate was with 3 hours to board. So I made friends with one lady from the Island who is coming back to bring her mother who was diagnosed with cancer. I, being the Relay for Life...American Cancer Society person (and also just happening to be wearing the Relay for Life t-shirt), talked to the woman about it and her mother has stopped treatment because it hurt her and she just wants to go home. It was nice talking to her. I will probably be eating with her one night on the island. On that plane to Pago Pago, this little girl, about 6 years old, sat next to me with her mother. She kept messing with me. Which, I, of course, messed back. We would make faces at each other, she would lay on me, and talk to me a lot. Since I was going backwards in time and my day was elongated, I think I had 5 or so meals that day, so when the stuwardess came to offer me the dinner, I passed and just had a little ( I mean little! ) salad. Well, Mena (the little girl...) didn't want her dinner, so her mother offered it to me. I was surprised that I was actually a litle bit more hungry. Her mother said, "Go ahead, He won't eat it." I asked, "Who?" and she said "Him. He won't eat that, take it." HA. I felt so bad. I guess the little boy having long hair made me assume. Well, I didn't make that mistake again.I got to the airport and when you get off the plane here, you go out the plane and down steps and onto the runway and into the building. As I was walking towards the building I looked around in the night and I could barely see the mountains. But I could see them. If only a camera could have captured that moment. Then you would now how I felt. I get inside the Hut and to through custums to look for my bags. After everyone leaving with their bags, I realize that mine might be lost. So I tell someone and an hour and a half after I get off the plane I go ahead and leave baggage claim.I am greeted by some of the kids from Tafuna Church of Christ. Ally is wearing a beautiful red dress and gives me a lay. Colt gives me a lay as well as a girl from the church. I hug Jaime and Philip introduces me to about ten people, whose names I have already lost. Sorry Philip. I filed a claim with the airline and hopefully, my luggage should come in on Thursday. Hawaiian Airlines have given me $30 a day until Thursday to spend on toiletries and clothes. So basically, a free $90 shopping spree. I have God to thank for that.The next morning I wake up and one of my Sperry's is gone from the shoe rack outside. Now this is okay, because they are just shoes and I wore them to work so they were not in the best shape anyway. I guess the fact that Kristin gave them to me for my birthdya made me feel bad. Sorry Kristin! So the stray dog that took it has also taken other shoes. This time I thought it was ironic because t was my right shoe the dog took. And with the luggage and the shoes, I'd say that I'm definately not starting out on the right foot. Left foot is about right.I seemed to have woken up before everyone that morning also. It was about 2 in the afternoon to me. 6 a.m. here and I am up in just enough time to watch the sunrise. I went off the back porch and saw someting hop real quick toward the house. I jumped back because it startled me. barely being able to see, I thought it was a bunny. Ha! I wish. It was probably the biggest toad I have ever seen! I took a picture of it, but I don't think the picture did it justice. I went to school with Julia, Paul, Ally, and Colt yesterday and wandered from classroom to classroom. Nothing else for me to do.Later that day we went shopping and last night I went to a Tahitian dance class. I didn't do so well. It was a great work out! Right now, I am sitting on the back porch, watching the mountains go into the ocean. There are coconut trees everywhere. This is only something I could dream of seeing, until now. Flying on a plane helped me to realize that the world isn't that big and I can see it all. That is my goal. To travel the world and spread the Good News.

Tofa Soifua,
Aunt Whitney