Monday, February 28

Maddy Locks Keys in Car

Our son has managed to lock our only car keys in our car. I've been trying for the past 3 hours to find a way to break in to no avail. Maddy likes running ahead of us with the keys and inserting them into the ignition. But tonight, he put the keys in the car, locked the doors and then jumped out and closed the doors before either of us were even in the garage.

We're going to have to wait til tomorrow and call a locksmith or something to help us get back into the car. *sigh*

Friday, February 25

Cyclone Percy Approaches

Okay, who comes up with these names?

Cyclone Percy has formed about 218 nautical miles northeast of Apia and is headed in our general direction. Early forcasts have it missing us in much the same way Olaf did but these things have minds of their own so it's still too early to say whether it will hit us or not.

Three more weeks and cyclone season will officially be over. It can't come soon enough!

Thursday, February 24

Would You Believe It?

Part of my job here at Peace Corps is to keep track of impending cyclones that might impact Samoa. As of this morning we have a tropical storm to the northwest and a convergence zone to the northeast heading our way. *sigh*

I guess they don't call this cyclone season for nothing!

Wednesday, February 23

Madison the Cock-a-roach Hunter

Last night me and my son were reading books in the room. Well, actually it was more like he was reading books to me. Anyways, while we were halfway through his "Good for You" book a cockroach flew into our room.

Madison jumped up immediately and yelled, "Daddy! Cock-a-roach!! Go kill it!" So I told him to go get my shoe and off he went. He came back with the palagi broom (which as all Samoans know, is completely useless at killing mogamoga's). So I told him to go get my shoe again and off he went.

By the time he got back with my seevae kosokoso, the cockroach had disappeared. So Maddy started looking for it, very carefully mind you, and he managed to find it lurking bythe door. So with a big swat I killed it with my jandal to Maddy's obvious delight. He was jumping up and down as if it was Christmas and he just got a new car or something.

So we swept it outside, me behind the broom and Maddy behind me with a big proud grin as if he was a hunter who just bagged himself the biggest lion in the jungle. It was priceless!

Tuesday, February 22

Maddy's Uncles Visit

Nigel and Sonny arrived on Thursday night for a business/kafao week. It's been good to see them. The last time the 3 of us were together were at my wedding back in 2001.

Madison took almost instantly to uncle Nigel which is strange because it took him almost a week to warm up to uncle Sonny. Nigel is with a group of 17 friends from Sydney called the 'Le Manaia Golf Club' (I wonder if they know that literally means not pretty haha) and they seem to be having a good time.

Maddy has been battling a cough lately and it's been a challenge getting him to take his medicine. He likes the grape tasting one but avoids the strawberry one like the plague. We managed to get him to take some this morning by letting him watch us take it too. I didn't mind it but mommy said it tasted yucky so I don't blame the li'l guy too much!

Thursday, February 17

Bring KFC

If you're coming to Samoa and wondering what to bring as an oso, just bring KFC okay? You can't go wrong with KFC!

Bad One Daddy

I forgot to pick Madison up at school today at 12.00pm. OOOPS! If grandma hadn't called me at 12.30pm Maddy would still be at school waiting for me! OMG I can't believe it slipped my mind! What a bad one daddy!

Wednesday, February 16

Lucky Escape

A funny thing happened last night, Mr Olaf decided not to drop in after all. Contrary to all the weather reports, Olaf made a 90 degree turn and went around us instead of right over us. It was almost as if there was an invisible force field around Samoa that deflected the cyclone until it went past us, because it resumed it's normal course and hit Manu'a full force.

The winds didn't pick up much at all and apart from some heavy rain, there doesn't seem to be any damage at all from Cyclone Olaf. Thanks for all your prayers!

Tuesday, February 15

We're Still Here

It's 7:30am and while it's raining, we have yet to feel the effects of Cyclone Olaf. The weather services are predicting that Olaf will be directly over us at about 1pm today.

Most businesses and government agencies will be closed today, including the Peace Corps office so we have nothing much to do except sit here and wait for Olaf to arrive.

Monday, February 14

The Latest on Olaf

I just pulled this from a weather website.



Update on Olaf

I've been tracking Cyclone Olaf all day and it looks like it will be stronger than Cyclone Heta which was a Category 4 storm that missed Samoa by over 100 miles to the south early last year but not as strong as Cyclones Val and Ofa which passed directly over and devastated Samoa back in 1990 and 1991.

Heta was still strong enough to down numerous power lines, cause flooding and burst water mains all over the island. It was also strong enough to knock over trees and remove roofing iron off many houses in the worst hit areas. And now Olaf is predicted to be worse.

It took Samoa over two weeks to restore water and electricity the last time, I'm not looking forward to life after this next one.

Olaf is Coming

You may have heard but just in case you haven't, Tropical Cyclone Olaf is going to strike Samoa sometime tomorrow night and pass by us sometime on Wednesday afternoon. It's a category 4 storm which means that winds will reach speeds of up to 130 mph.

Northeast winds of35 to 55 mph are expected to affect Upolu from 10pm tonight or earlier and increase to 65 to 80 mph by tomorrow morning.

We were fortunate that cyclones Meena and Nancy missed us over the last 2 weeks but it looks like a case of third time unlucky! As Maddy would say, this is "no good".

We'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, February 9

Madison the Schoolboy

Well there he is in his brand new school uniform! Doesn't he look smart?

I took this photo this morning before we dropped him off at school. He was quite keen and much more comfortable with the thought of going to school. I think he may have made some new friends yesterday.

I'm off to pick him up now, I hope he had another good day at school. I'm so proud of him. I'll post more photos of him on his website after I get back.

Tuesday, February 8

Day 2

I woke up a little earlier this morning to get Madison ready for his second day at school. I made his bed in front of the tv and put his new favourite movie, Bambi on and made him a bottle of Milo. By the time his bottle and movie were finished he was raring to go to school.

When we got there, he must have had second thoughts because he didn't want to get out of the car. He still looked a little nervous but grandma told me after I picked them up this afternoon that he had a much better day at school today.

I can't believe my boy is in school already. I'll take some photos of him in his cute little blue school uniform tomorrow morning. I keep forgetting to take the camera!

Monday, February 7

First Day of School

Today was Madison's first day at the Anglican pre-school in Malifa. I was so proud of him. He was a little nervous at first but as soon as mommy and daddy left he settled in nicely and had a great time. Grandma went with him and stayed in the little fale by the playground just in case he needed her. According to her, he didn't need her at all, he loved playing with the other kids and singing songs and reading books with the teachers.

His best friend Teresa is back from a 2 week trip to Tonga. He was very happy to hear her call out, "Good morning Madison" from her room this morning. When I dropped grandma and Madison off after school he went straight over to her house and asked her to come outside and play.

Thursday, February 3

Cyclone Coming?

We're tracking Tropical Cyclone Meena, which has formed about 200 miles east of Upolu. It could miss us completely but forecasts estimated that it would head south overnight but has instead turned west, straight for us. If we're lucky it will head south again but who knows with these things. Time to start stocking up on candles and fresh water again.

Wednesday, February 2

Happy Birthday Mommy

Here's a little poem I wrote for Rachels 34th birthday today:
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Rachel,
You don't look a day over 42!
haha I know I'm gonna pay for that one later.

Mother of All Tantrums

Madison had the mother of all tantrums last night. He wanted to eat Milo right out of the can but grandma wouldn't let him since he already had 3 spoonfuls already. He was screaming, kicking, hitting and scratching anyone who would pick him up. He just wouldn't calm down, even after assurances that we would give him some more Milo after he calmed down.

Now we know what Terrible Two's mean!