American Samoa IslandsSamoa Islands
Encircled by the wonderful blue South Pacific blue water, American Samoa is an 18-hour flight from Drenth's home town of Ellsworth. Then there is the potentially nerve-wracking 15-minute cruise from the continent to the isle. When Drenth travelled to the Isle for the first a so-called "sketchy" vessel, she thought: "What did I get myself into?
" There are three ferries a day from 4.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. to transport passengers to and from the shore - on working day up to 15 persons at the same day. Wale like to try to turn the craft around, the one when Drenth saw a cetacean during a trip, the rider said to all of them to remain calm and hang on as he moved the high aisle.
"Your answer is to be really fast," Drenth said. Drenth, a 2012 Ellsworth High School alumnus, graduated from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Only a few month before graduating, she heard of a one-year chance through World Teach, a programme that links educators with pupils in the Pacific Islands.
"In April 2016 I registered and two more weeks later I was already approved and they wanted my ruling in a week," Drenth said. Delivering the message to their folks, Lyndon and Nancy Drenth from Ellsworth in the countryside, was about as hard as the election. "Drenth said. Following some research on American Samoa and Aunu'u, they backed their choice.
At the beginning of August Drenth abandoned the conveniences of all things he knew were meant for an adventurous world. But Drenth was shocked when she saw the relatively American-style home with a cooker, fridge, washer and three double rooms - one for each of the three world teachers to attend Aunu'u for the year.
Their flatmates came from New Hampshire and Alabama, and none of them were educated as schoolteachers. "Drenth said, "We were the only whites on the isle. Aunu' u's total inhabitants are 476 and they were all thrilled that American instructors came to their university. "Before we got there, all the children knew our names," said Drenth.
Throughout the first whole months of their sojourn, Drenth and her American classmates did not have to eat dinner - they were taken to dinner in the houses of many of their pupils and others. Aunu' u's main tongue is English, and while the pupils speak more English than their families, they also speak in Samoa.
Mr. Drenth teaches the 8th class in English, sociology, natural sciences, mathematics, arts, sports, healthcare and medicine, and more. Instructors from Samoa have been teaching other professions. There was no A/C in her college, and as the temperature normally rose to 95°C - at 90 per cent relative humdity - early excursions were usual. "Drenth said the class rooms were like a sauna.
Due to the different grades of her pupils' readings, Drenth provided after-school tuition. They began it with a first-class reader, and they worked their way up during the year. Especially one pupil, Patrick, began the year without any knowledge of English. Drenth found his way to the top with a lot of help and perseverance - and learnt some Samoans.
"He was reading an entire volume by himself at the end of the year," said Drenth, a palpable sense of pride rejoicing in her part. Without a grocer' s shop on the Aunu' u Islands, a monthly trip by ferry to the continent was necessary. She said it took a long time to plan, because after the trip she would have to take a coach to Nuuuli, go to the shops and take the coach back to the ferry.
When you didn't get there before the last trip at 5 pm, they were trapped on the continent - and the other way round when they called. Things she couldn't find on the continent - things like her contacts, her favourite sweets and certain things from schools - were sent in maintenance kits from home.
"Actually, my parish (Bethel Reformed, just down the road from Ellsworth) had given a whole lot of things to schools before I left," Drenth said. It took all parcels from home about a whole week to get to Aunu'u. Her grandmother's parcels were full of home bustle-40 to 50 mail, all three to four pages long, were welcomed on Aunu' u during Drenths 11 moths.
Each Saturday mornings, Drenth would face time with her mother, and at Christmas, she saw her mother open her presents while her face seemed to them on a cell phone placed at the center of the couch-place. On June 17, Drenth went back to Ellsworth and now speaks of the loss of her Samoan host families, just as she did of her own families while she was away.
When she wants to go back to Aunu' u, and if her teaching resumes next year, her dreams come through. It was said to Drenth that she would perhaps not receive an answer to her resume until two months before her comeback. So she makes arrangements for her homecoming and organizes more things for the schools.
On this occasion, her mum and dad are "better off" with their plan. "Drenth said, "My folks came to visit me in January, they found some local residents. "She said, "I really like it there and I really loved that little isle. Is she planning to take root in Aunau? Aunu' u, and folks are invited to learn more about their experience on abbyinsamoa.blogspot.com.