Teaching in Samoa by Ruby Footit
My name is Ruby and I volunteered in Samoa from the 6th of January 2015 until the 14th of February 2015.
My decision to volunteer in Samoa happened very spontaneously. I was stressed out at university when my friend told me of her plans to volunteer at a primary school in Samoa. That night instead of studying for my upcoming exams, I applied to Projects Abroad and booked my tickets.
It seemed so simple - for my holidays I'd go to a different country and work in a primary school for a month. About a month leading up to my departure date, I started to feel very nervous and questioned if I had made the right decision.
It wasn't until I got onto the plane and met a whole lot of Samoans, that I realised I had made the right decision. My plane ride was like no other I had been on. Everyone was talking to each other like they knew each other; they were singing and joking around. It was unreal. I was even invited to a family reunion before I had even reached Samoan land.
Volunteering in Samoa
My host family was incredible. I have never met such kind, welcoming people. Instantly I felt a sense of belonging upon meeting them. I was really lucky too as they had a daughter similar to my age and we became close friends. They showed me Savai'i (Samoa's biggest island) the first weekend I was there which was so beautiful. They even invited me to a matai ceremony, which is where a member of the family gains a title. It was like nothing I had ever experienced.
Volunteering was by far my most favourite part of the whole experience. The kids were beyond amazing. Their persistence and wanting to learn was inspiring. My favourite part of our school day was listening to the students sing their prayers. Their voices were majestic.
On our last day of holiday school we had a class party which also included a talent show. I have never seen so much talent before. We had kids singing, dancing and even using cups as musical instruments. My last day at Vaimoso Primary School was definitely one of the saddest days of my life. All the kids were so gracious and gave me letters they had written with some beautiful presents to make sure I'd never forget them, which I never could.
Free time in Samoa
I volunteered for 4 weeks and then spent 2 weeks travelling around Samoa with some of the other volunteers. All the volunteers were so down to earth, which made travelling around even better. Samoa is filled with so many incredible places that I still can't believe are real. The To Sua Ocean trench was my favourite. It is a natural creation which is unlike anything I had ever seen before.
The food is Samoa is also delicious. I became obsessed with fish burgers. They were all so good! My other favourite dish was poke. Poke is raw fish marinated in sesame oil, chilli and garlic. It was so good! My favourite drink was Koko Samoa which is their version of hot chocolate. I loved it so much I brought 5 packs home with me!
To be honest I could talk about my time in Samoa forever, because I had the best time imaginable. It was and still to this is day, the best experience I have ever had and it is also something I'm really proud of. I'm already planning my next trip to Samoa!