Thursday, April 21, 2011


1: Number of people who use the “Z” mailbox in the PC office (meaning, me, so I never have any false hope about whether I have mail or not. Either it’s there or it’s not)

Also the number of times I have found a mouse inside my toilet. Let me tell you, you always double check for a while once that happens. Then you don’t care anymore, but it’s always at the back of your mind – should I look for a mouse before I sit down? Maybe…
(This, as with all other problems I would rather not deal with – crabs, ginormous spiders, and a beetle so big you’ve only ever seen one like it safely pinned behind a glass case in a museum – I just ignore and walk away until they solve themselves by disappearing. So far, it’s worked every time)

1.5 Number of tubes of Colgate Total toothpaste I have gone through. I think I did my calculations pretty well and it should last me just over 2 years. But even if it does run out, I have seen Colgate Total in Samoa! Aua le popole

2: Number of consecutive hot showers it takes to turn a cold shower from (bearably) refreshing to icy torture

2.5: Number of buses that go from my village to Apia. There are two regular buses and a phantom third purple bus that I see occasionally but have never yet had the luck to catch. One of these days…

3: Number of Samoan islands I have visited – Upolu, Savai’i, and Manono

Also the maximum number of showers I have taken in a day. Yes, I did take three showers in one day– sometimes you need it (it amazes me now that I used to get by on three in a week!). I don’t make a habit of it though. One is still the norm, with two becoming more regular when I have water in my shower

4: Number of different types of weather in Samoa. Sunny – which is brutally hot. Cloudy – nice temperature, but can get depressing after a few days of a sheet of gray covering the entire sky. Rainy – actually feels pretty cold if it continues for a while. And last, rainy and hot – which makes the air stifling with humidity, but fortunately I haven’t encountered it too much here. Apparently that was the norm during the rainy season last year. I’ve realized that what the weather feels like is determined by the amount of sunlight rather than the actual temperature. I’m pretty sure the temperature varies by about 3 degrees (Fahrenheit) over the course of the year, but it can feel drastically different.

5: Number of run-ins with sea creatures inside my fale (four crabs, one hermit crab)

5 our of 6: Number of the past weeks I have not had water in my shower (I have not had water in my shower for 5 out of the last 6 weeks). 90% of the time I still have water in my sink, just not my shower. After 3 and a half weeks of no shower, I finally went and got the plumber to come look at my pipes, and he just gave them a good shake and it magically fixed everything for…6 days. And since then, sometimes I have a shower, sometimes I don’t. It’s rather annoying.

6: Number of months I have been in Samoa

7: Number of close encounters of the dog kind I have had while running. I tried to chase one once, to try to scare it away, but I just slipped on gravel and fell. It ran away anyway. So now I carry rocks – sometimes – when coming up on fales where this has occurred multiple times. Haven’t thrown any yet, but I have pretended to. Sometimes it works.

Also the number of days it has rained all day in 2011

8: Number of PCVs I have visited in their village

17: Number of students in my class

20: Approximately how many minutes it takes to walk across my village on the main road (meaning my village is less than 1.5 miles long on the main road. Not sure yet how far back it goes up the hill – does it count if it is just plantation or does there need to be a fale there too?)

Also the number of PCVs in my group

24: Number of books I have read

28: Number of weeks I have been in Samoa

Also the number of letters I have sent

38: Number of days without rain in 2011 (This number was more impressive when it was only 8 days of no rain by early March – I’ve been in a drought of sorts since then. Bad news for my garden at school, I don’t think the eggplant will survive the drought)

80: Average temperature of Samoa

83: My group number – we are the 83rd group of PCVs to come to Samoa since 1962 – pretty sure it was 62

493: Number of pictures currently on my memory card (and at least 150 are pre-Samoa. I keep telling myself to take more pictures, but it doesn’t usually work)

And because my phone keeps track of these things
2844: Number of text messages I have sent

2912: Number of text messages I have received


  1. Hi there - I keep thinkikng each one I read is my favorite - but this is definitely my far

  2. 22: Number of blog entries you have written :)