Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lining Up the Ducks

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m not great at packing. I have a tendency to wait until the very last minute. There are horror stories from group 81 that make me think I’m not the worst—one volunteer claimed to have started packing up their apartment until the morning of staging. But I’m pretty bad. For vacations and short weekend trips, I don’t feel a sense of urgency until a couple minutes before departure time, at which point I go on a rampage, tearing through the house haphazardly throwing things into a backpack.

I’m going on 2 overseas trips in December, one to American Samoa and one to Australia, and they both require more preparation than I’m used to. Between the Peace Corps paperwork, the passport issues, the travel agency, the required visa, and all kinds of other tiny requirements, it seems more difficult to get out Samoa than it was to get in.

My trip to American Samoa is approaching rapidly, and I have no plane ticket yet. I trudged over to Jane’s Travel Agency this afternoon to see what could be done about that. Koa and I went a month ago, and they told us to come back closer to the date when fares might be cheaper. That method seems to have paid off since the woman and Jane’s said I would probably qualify for a $60WST discount. This is exciting except for the word “probably” and for the fact that I didn’t leave with a plane ticket. Apparently the airline is small enough that their system of ticket sales isn’t computerized. So Jane’s is going to call me when they’ve got my ticket ready.

Americans need a visa to visit Australia, and I have yet to start work on that one since my trip isn’t for another month. Evidently that process is very easy since I live 3 blocks from the Australian High Commission. PCV Trent says all I need to do is drop off a form and I’ll have my visa within 5 days—for free. “Free” is very exciting as I’m told it costs $20US to complete the visa online. We’ll see how that goes.

I’m going to Pago to take the LSAT, and the Peace Corps allows for a couple days time off to take tests for academic purposes. I submitted my paperwork for that, and I was approved for 2 nights that won’t count against my acquired vacation time: Friday to Sunday. But I’m hesitant to fly back Sunday since Samoa is mostly shut down on Sunday and American Samoa can’t be much different (or maybe it is?). So I’ve been mulling over how long I want to stay—whether I want to come back Sunday and keep whatever vacation time I have on the off chance I want to visit Fiji or somewhere else next year, or if I want to bum around Pago for a while and take in America.

Whatever. One day’s not going to make that big of a difference. And mostly I want to be done with all this stuff.

Is it time to pack yet?

Happy Thanksgiving. The Peace Corps is celebrating Saturday. We’ll talk more about it then. I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

Boys carrying around the ladder to climb up to the roof again.

They saw me with my camera out and asked I take their picture. That's my year 13, Sinaumea, making the young ladies swoon.

Too many staff meetings this week.


Lorena said...

Good luck with the LSAT. Hope you are well.

Law School Podcaster said...

Good luck. In such a beautiful place I wonder how much studying you can do.

We have a new podcast on the LSAT that you might find helpful.

busycorner said...

Welcome to Pago. You might start by visiting the Wyland "Whaling Wall" in Utulei.. It is one of one hundred in the world. And its right across from the public library. After that: Have a nice meal in a luxury setting: Sook's Sushi, Sadie's,. Hike the National park!

From Pago,