September 6

I guess the new school year has started, but we just roll along constantly as we have some many natural interruptions. Jonah seems really ready for moving on to more work on reading and math. I got a 1st Grade course workbook from Grandma Barbara that seems to be about Jonah's speed. I still use a lot of the Calvert School kindergarten material but I think their first grade is far too advanced for him. I think the Calvert program is intended to start later and moves at a rapid pace. Jonah is starting very early for school work so he needs to move at a slower more relaxed pace. I will get their First Grade next year although I might get the First Grade Math component earlier as Jonah seems very comfortable with doing all the Kindergarten math and he is ready to move on. I haven't done school in 2 weeks! We will start back on a more regular schedule as soon as we leave American Samoa.

We went to the beach a couple of days ago. It was a little cove called Tisa's Barefoot Bar. Her family owns the cove and beach. Beach and the water in front are owned by families unlike in French Polynesia where beaches are all public. It had a great view and platforms with tables built high on the beach. We drank beer and ate a lovely lunch. Jonah really enjoyed playing on the beach as he hasn't done that since Suvarov. We met Tisa and one of her sons. They were intelligent and well-spoken and seemed to be slightly left of center for Samoa. Tisa's family (I mean the word in the extended Samoan manner - could mean cousins, adopted people etc) numbers around 22. Tisa ran for Governor last year which is apparently very revolutionary since she is a woman. She came in 3rd out of four candidates.

We restocked on meat yesterday and our freezer is stuffed. We should be fine for a long time. We are finished with our provisioning and our waterline is slightly lower! We need more propane and to do some errands before we leave. We still have to get fuel. We cancelled yesterday as the wind was blowing around 20 knots and we figured we might as well wait till it calms down. Last night it blew a constant 25 with driving rain and doesn't seem to be letting up. I hope it will calm down tomorrow so we can get to the dock.

We have been getting around on buses which is cheap and easy. The buses are very small which is odd as the average Samoan seems to be an XXXL. They seem to be hand built on small chassis - plywood is the preferred material and there is no headroom so you stoop as you get on and the seats are small and packed together. They would be considered a safety disaster in the US. The front seats are open to the front door which is permanently open - it seems parents who sit in the front simply hold on to their children so they wont bounce out of the bus as they always threaten to do. The buses whiz by flashing its headlights if they are full and the impression is always of huge broad backs as they tear off into the distance. The buses have acrylic windows which are fogged and dusty which barely allows you to see where you are going. Sharing a tiny wooden seat that has no legroom with someone is 350 pounds makes one slightly spacey. Jordan seems to grab Jonah to share a seat with leaving me with the luck of the draw.