Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Its been fun, but we are no longer fia taa.
Well, if you've never read the definition of what 'fia taa' means in Samoan, now is the time. Because although we want and will always want to be taa, we've decided now is the time to grow oo (roots). So visit our new blog at

See ya' there.


Etena ma Sala

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Its been a while. But, as Ethan and I have settled into a life and a routine, writing about it seems so mundane after all the adventures I have written about in the past. But, as I have been told...those that do read this blog would like to know what happens apres-R-T-W? Well, after going RTW, one settles down and tries to get used to sleeping on the same pillow, having coffee the same way every morning and finding routine things that seemed so difficult while traveling.

We both work now. Ethan at Walsh Metal Works ( and I at BiZVI Grafix ( I am becoming a bit more computer savy now that I market website and software designs, so maybe I should upgrade this blog? Nah. I like it this way. We finally got the internet hooked up at our new home. Yup, we have a home. The first one we have ever had just the two of us. Well, we are housesitting for a couple that are off island. But, housesitting suits us fine. We even have a doggie and kittie to watch. Sir Happy the German Shepard and Tiger Muffin the big fluffy orange kitty.

So, the reason I really got back on this blog was to talk about our latest adventure. Way back when, when we were in Samoa....Gayle (Ethan's mom) started talking about this sailing trip through the BVIs with her friends Karl and Valerie. We thought is sounded so romantic for a 25th wedding anniversary but it was so far away and all...

It turns out we got to go on that trip to the BVIs. We sailed on a catamaran with four bedrooms and four baths and an airconditioned salon room. It was very luxurious. It was very relaxing. The eight person group we were with included Gayle Washburn, Larry Clemons, Karl and Valerie Ball, Adem Clemons (Larry's son) and his friend Julie, then Ethan and I. We would love to do another one of these yachting cruises again. We have also added some pictures from the trip below.

Us boarding our charter flight from St Croix to Beef Island.

The big blue ocean!

Another catamaran sailing.

Captain Larry at the Helm.

That's the Dodger 2, our yacht for the week and the peeps in the picture are Gayle and Tom Fickle (who is another F'sted St Croix resident, but was sailing on another boat). We had a little interboat party.

Karl and I in the galley, eating seemed to be a big pasttime on this trip.

Sealegs at Cane Garden Bay - first time on land in a while. That's Valerie, Adem and Julie.

Ethan and Sara.

The Baths at Virgin Gorda.

Ethan and Sara again in the garden at Gayle's house.

Sailing, sailing, sailing.

Sunset from the yacht.

Us at the baths on Virgin Gorda.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Good Morning World!

Its been a while since I posted. We have been extremely busy. My first Stateside visitor came down. Elizabeth. So, Ethan and I had a very tight deadline to get the toilet into the house so we could camp there. We wanted running water and a toilet and we had each of our afternoons and weekend days laid out. Yet, this is an island and on an island, not everything always works out as you expect it. So, we didn't get the toilet in and the pump was ready but the doors to the pump house weren't. Anyway, to make a long story shorter, we opted to use the bar toilet down the street, pitched camp inside the shell house, went to the beach and had our bags stolen. Elizabeth was asking how prevalent the crime was and I replied that I was smart about it and nothing had happened to me yet. Well, while we were in the water, a car pulled up and snatched our bags off the beach. Argh! A lady from the bar followed the car, but when they threatened her, she backed off.

So, we decided not to camp. There was a string of crimes that week and we just didn't feel safe. So, Elizabeth stayed with us at the Gayle's townhouse and we all still had a great time. Who says four people can't co-habitate in a small dwelling? Thanks Gayle! We also made Ethan stop working on the house and enjoy playing tourguide and took Elizabeth and I around (or jsut her while I was working).

Yup, I have a new job. Although I am staying at Blue Moon two nights a week, I am working as the Marketing Manager of BiZVI Grafix, a local technology consulting company. Those that know me are thinking, she's not a technology girl. But, I am a marketing girl and they are willing to work with that. So, I like the job and I am very happy to have many non-profit clients in the VI. I have only been there three days and they are willing to work with my upcoming craziness of a schedule, so Ill post more later, after I get to know the job. If you go to the website, please know that my first project is to redesign the website.

Gayle is awesome and we love staying with her, but I have been wanting to make my own nest for a while now. While Ethan and Elizabeth were at an ar opening (at Ethan's work), he found us a place to stay until October. This older couple is leaving the island for the summer and need a dog and house sitter. We volunteered and they are happy. The place has a pool too!

Oh, for those that didn't know this. I have put my MBA on hold. I had some issues with my scholarship and in the long run, I realized I didn't want to leave St Croix, Ethan or the life we started together. I AM NOT GIVING UP THE DEGREE! and will probably enroll at Univ of Virgin Islands when I get residency down here. I am very happy with this decision and can't believe how well things are working out since I made that decision.

Thats about it for now, so cheers and alofa.

Off to Puerto Rico for the weekend!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

In the last post, I realize I put in pictures of Ethan building the water pump shed and told you about going to Puerto Rico. So, I must apologize, but I don't have any pictures of Puerto Rico. The one day trip was so short...I forgot to pull out the camera. I can tell you that it looks a lot like Miami but more authentic Caribbean.

I am gardening a lot in the backyard of the townhouse...Ill post some pictures of that next. It keeps me busy and makes me feel so proud when things sprout up out of the ground. I keep getting stung by fire ants which are leaving lovely scars on my feet, but the alternative is to wear shoes. And that aint gonna happen!

Gayle is planning a RPCV of St Croix party. That should be fun. I run into people all the time at Blue Moon that were associated or involved somehow with Peace Corps. Just yesterday, I met a couple that lived in Embassy housing in Manilla Phillipines and they housed many a rural volunteer coming to the city. We also had a great talk about gender roles. She was a Navy commander and he a teacher and how living ina developing country makes that a very interesting and unique situation. Neat people.

What else...oh, I am waiting to hear from Arizona again. Seems there may be a little issue or misunderstanding on my scholarship. We'll see. I keep calling and writing to everyone but I can't get any answers so I am staying put.

Today, I am off to ride my bike to the beach again. Yesterday the weather didn't cooperate, so I gardened and planted coconuts. Today, I am going even if it does rain. I just wont bring my camera and Ill put my cell phone in a ziplock.

THats life in my world....Sorry I can't give you more updates on Ethan. He works all day and I see him for about an hour before I head to work and then he goes to work onthe house. We reconvene when he picks me up at work late night and then we both pass out in bed. Saturdays are our day and we enjoy them soooo much. Sometimes we work on the house and sometimes we explore the island. This weekend its work work work. Gotta get that toilet in before Elizabeth comes so we all have someplace to go potty!

Ciao for now.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Off One Rock, onto another and back again.

Yup, we didn't quite have island fever, but the break from St Croix was nice. We went to Puerto Rico for the weekend. What a developed place compared to our little island. The purpose of our trip was the scope Home Depot for house building supplies and get prices on everything. So, apon arriving in PR, we jumped a public bus and headed to Bayamon to the Home Depot. We had some other shopping to do, but were quite exhausted from trip and decided that we could brave the buses later and take a little nap. Ahhhhh....hotel, airconditiong, what a life! Then we headed to the Plaza de Americas, which I hear was up there as one of the biggest malls in the US until only a few years ago. Everyone from all over the Caribbean comes to PR to shop and man, the ladies department at Macys was scary. I had post-Peace Corps trauma again going there and decided I could settle with a few mail order items instead.

On Sunday, we headed to the beach across from the hotel and then explored Old San Juan for a little bit. We had a great lunch including some ceviche and calamari...mmmmm.

Back to St Croix, our baggage didn't make it so we had to take a second trip to the airport to pick up our bags.

That was our trip. The End.

Oh, someone asked me for a life update.
Well, we love St Croix. We continue to fall more in love with each other every day. (Sorry you all needed a little sappiness right?) I am still going to Arizona as of now. Ethan is still building the house in Prosperity. (I try to help when I can). Our first continental visitor is coming in May (Elizabeth from DC). Gayle had a birthday. We are heading to the States in August for a trip to Florida, California, and then Tuscon...where Ethan will head back here. Some pics.....

Sunset in St Croix

Gayle, checkbook in hand, when we filled the water cistern FINALLY!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Ethan hard at work.
Some of the hinges and metal things they make at Walsh Metal.
A sculpture by Mike Walsh in the art gallery attached to the shop.
I got some pictures of Ethan at work at Walsh Metal, so I thought I would post those too. Mind you, he is building his mom's house in his spare time and his main job is at Walsh.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Rythyms at Rainbow Beach, also walking distance from the house we are building. Notice the Cruzan rum selection?

The view from rainbow bar facing the ocean.
The beach between Rainbow and the house. Our own little blowholes!
Ethan pumping out the cistern.
Before picture of the house, front view.
Before Pic of the house, back view
Blue Moon, where I work.
Turtles Cafe, where I check my email
My new used bike!

And sunset!
Ah, paradise.
I haven’t updated our blog in a while because we have been trying to get settled. Now, that we are starting to settle in, I thought I would do an update of our lives for all of you that are still interested in the adventures of Ethan and Sara.

Before we left for St Croix, I decided to accept admission at Eller School of Management at University of Arizona. This came after some other planning had changed things. Ethan and I were both sold on going to St. Croix, so Arizona put some distance in the way and we are still figuring out what that means.

Then we got to St. Croix. It was a bit tough at first. We showed up here with a dream to build Ethan’s mom’s house, but no money, no car, no jobs, no cell phones. Gayle moved into the smaller bedroom of her two bedroom condo so we could stay in the bigger room. The classified ads in the newspaper were hopeless the first week and I started to get worried. Actually, I started to panic. Ethan of course told me not to worry and it was just a matter of time.

Then things happened quick. I heard from one of Ethan’s childhood friends that there was a restaurant in town that needed help and another friend of Ethan’s referred him for a position at a metal fabrication shop. The interviews went well and we both started work. Then, we started looking for a small truck. Trucks are very hard to come by on this island and the search was not looking great, when Budget rentals came up with a cute little Toyota 2x4. Unfortunately they sold it and when Ethan went back to check about other trucks, they admitted the guy didn’t show up with the money and Ethan jumped on it immediately. Then, I got me a bicycle! A beach cruiser at that. I love it and am enjoying the freedom of going places on my own.

So, we got jobs. We got wheels. We are meeting people around town and every spare moment we have goes towards working on the house. The cistern had more cracks than expected so it is taking a bit longer to finish, but after we get the cistern fixed and sealed, we will have water. With water we can do plumbing and cement so things will move along.

St Croix is becoming home for me. I hate to get sappy, but I really like it here and see this as a permanent move for me (well, after school and all). Life here is island life! It moves like Samoa or some of Thai islands we visited but we use American money and have some American amenities. It is perfect and comfortable and definitely where I want to call home.

So, I am attaching some pictures of our lives here and we promise that when we have space, we would love to have you visit. Anyone and everyone is always welcome. Just give us some time.

Cheers and Love,
Sara and Ethan