Friday, June 16, 2006

Off to the village

Well it has been a great week and a half here in Apia but I am feeling ready to head out to our training village. We leave for two weeks tomorrow. Training has been going real great but today is a little crazy. I am trying to upload a couple pictures so hopefully that works out.

Yesterday we went to the extreme south east end of Upolu for our ocean safety training, the fact that we need such training I feel is amazing. We were taken out by a dive company for the afternoon. First we went in groups and let the currents start to take us out through the break in the reef and then had to swim back across the current to the boat. After that we had about an hour to snorkel around the reef. We saw lots of fish and some blue starfish. The whole area was beautiful. The volunteers say it is the best beach on the islands and I am ready to believe them.

This afternoon we are going to the Ministry agency that is our counterpart agency in the village development program. I am interested to see what they have for resources that we can draw on. After that I am meeting with two volunteers that are engineers that have been working on water issues in Samoa. I am excited to get as much information and contacts as I can before they leave Monday. It sounds like there are many interesting projects happening here.

In other news congratulations to my dad, he has now retired from St Paul public schools. So we will all have to see what he ends up doing next.

got to head back

Monday, June 12, 2006

Samoa the first week

Hello all Hope this finds you all well. First there are a couple slight changes to my address so check those below. Stagging went well in LA, or as well as sitting in a windowless room for two days can. It was a nice hotel and we got to know each other. The group of trainies is pretty broad which I think will definatly be an asset. So here is a quick run down.

The group is 16 trainees with an even split male to female and an age range of 21 to three retired members, including a married couple who served in Morrocco 25 years ago. 13 of us are in the village based development program(VBD) and three are Intercoastal Management(ICM). The backgrounds of the group cover a broad range including agriculture, business, economics, marine biology, politcal science, and theater. The group also covers the geographic spread of the US. More about folks as stories arise.

Since we arrived in country we have been in the capital Apia in a nice small hotel getting some initial training. We will head out to a village on the south shore of Upolu next weekend where the majority of our training will take place. Samoa is an incrfedibly beautiful place and I have been enjoying every minute that I've been here. Our days have been filled with a variety of activities and training sessions. We usually have four sessions a day broken up by tea or lunch. Language training has been wonderful and is about a third of our time. Other topics have been culture, an intro to some of the counterpart organizations, and medical which has included a few shots but all pretty basic ones. The training staff is wonderful and are all full time staff members which is a great asset.

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to spend both saturday and sunday afternoons on beaches relaxing. The water here is wonderful and very clear. Much of the island is reef protected and both beaches I was at had lots of fish and other aquatic life.

We have also been getting to know some of the current volunteers at various training and after hours events. They had a welcome pot luck and party for us saturday night. It seems like this will be a wonderful place to serve the next couple years. There is one volunteer here with a civil background and from talking to her seems like there are going to be lots of oppertunities to use my skills at levels ranging from village to national levels. She is leaveing next week so I hope to glean as much info as possible while she is still here.

Need to head back for the afternoon sessiions soon, but things here are great we're eating well and having some great times. More to come soon .

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Well made through staging. The group is 16 with lots of diversity. Got to check out and head to the airport. so talk to you later.

Friday, June 02, 2006

first post address

So I have joined the world of blogging. Things are getting a little crazy as I get ready to head to Samoa. I head to staging in L.A. Sunday and will be in country Wednesday. My address is below hope summer is starting off great for everyone.

Timothy Martin, PCT
Peace Corps
Private Mail Bag
Apia, Western Samoa