Fellows Blog Posts by agneschu

Dec 20, 2009 WS Samoa

Cooked taro (from

By Agnes Chu, KF9, Samoa

They say that one of the best ways to learn about a culture is through its food.   If that is true, then Samoa should be investigated through taro.  Taro is king in Samoa and in Polynesia.  It is to Samoans what the potato is to the Irish, what rice is to Asians, what pork is to Puerto Ricans; it is loved, revered, and consumed en mass...

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Nov 24, 2009 WS Samoa

Village sign sponsored by Western Union

By Agnes Chu

In 2007, out of all the countries in the world, Samoa received the 7th highest amount of remittances as a percentage of GDP (22.8%).  The following is a look at remittances in Samoa, part two of a three part series on remittances in developing countries.  Part one,  which is Rob’s excellent post on remittances in Kyrgyzstan, was posted earlier today.

Samoa could be sponsored by...

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Oct 28, 2009 WS Samoa

by Agnes Chu, KF9, Samoa

Since the infamous earthquake that caused the tsunami in Samoa on Sept. 29, there have been three more earthquakes felt here. They are minor but no less nerve-wracking. As the ground jolts for a few seconds, people, including senior management, rush out of the office and some stay in the hills for the night. When a harmless earthquake struck near Vanuatu, an island 1,400 miles away, Apia was evacuated for a couple of hours; tsunami drills are certain to be a fixture in Samoa’s future. Ghost stories also abound around the island (Samoans are very...

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Oct 2, 2009 WS Samoa

By Agnes Chu, KF9, Samoa

My placement in Samoa was supposed to be a quiet one.  A tiny country smaller than Rhode Island, Samoa is part of the group of Polynesian islands that are usually associated with the words “dream vacation” or “exotic getaway.”  Samoa is located in the “calm zone” of the Pacific and the demeanor of its inhabitants follows suit; there is actually a term—fa’a Samoa—for the laid-back attitude Samoans have towards life.   Although the UN has categorized Samoa as a “least developing country,” it is well-known that Samoans are always smiling.  I thought I...

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