‘Oiauē: Island Connections and Losing a Student

We were taught the phrase "'Oiauē!" (oi-ya-way) upon our initial arrival in Sāmoa a year ago. The phrase itself is meant as an exclamation and translates to "Oh my!" but after a whirlwind past two weeks, the phrase has taken on a life of its’ own. Let me backtrack for a second: As we were…

Celebrating How Far I’ve Come

Happy One Year Anniversary! This week, one year ago, I started this blog to document my journey serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Samoa. Re-reading my first post now is a humble reminder of my intentions behind using this as an outlet to share about my personal experiences. I’m renewed with a sense of…

Normalizing Breastfeeding

Women are born with the ability to nourish newborn children with all the sustenance a baby needs from day one. Literally. I’ve never given much thought to this biological phenomenon — that is, until I arrived in Samoa. In America, if someone were to merely mention the word “breastfeeding,” the floodgates would open with opinions…

Self-Love Isn’t Selfish: Mental Health in the Peace Corps

Peace Corps prides itself as being “the toughest job you’ll ever love.” But I didn’t expect that the toughest hardships I would have to face would be dealing with the mental and emotional challenges of services: loneliness, isolation, feeling of inadequacy, and dealing with culture shock, to name a few. I won’t go into Peace…