Two weeks ago one of the Housing guys told me they’d started work on the house across the street, and that it would be ready “in about a week.” Having dealt with Housing before, I assumed this meant sometime between February and never. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Mary took last Friday off of work so we could go snorkeling. We’d just finished breakfast and were getting ready to leave when about fifteen Samoans showed up at our house. Duffy, the man in charge, said, “We’re here to move your stuff.” Not, “Are you ready to move?” or “Let us know when you’ve packed your boxes.” We weren’t complaining, though. We didn’t want to spend a minute more than we had to in that old termite nest.
Since we didn’t have anything packed ahead of time it was a little frantic, but we had a lot of help and we were only going across the street. Almost everything was moved by early afternoon and we finished the rest on Saturday.
The new house is fantastic! We haven’t noticed any termites (I know they’re here, just not nearly as many of them) and the house is generally much nicer. It’s exactly the same size, with the same floor plan, but there are a lot of little things that make it more comfortable- a vent fan in the bathroom, doors that latch properly, new kitchen cabinets, fresh paint in every room, and really nice light during the day.
The main attraction is the covered patio in the back. It’s really nice to have a shady, breezy spot outside. And it keeps my new foosball table out of the rain!
Also, the new patio features this view:
There’s a big papaya tree in the back yard with dozens of nearly ripe papayas, and Duffy said it’s OK to keep picking breadfruit from the trees in our old yard.
It’s far from luxurious by mainland standards, but it’s a huge improvement over where we were before. We already feel more at home here than we ever did at the old place. I take back all the bad things I’ve said about American Samoa Government Housing. (Well, maybe not all of them…) Thank you to Duffy, Lafaele, and all your guys for making this happen!