Posted by: monsonmadness | April 17, 2012

Big decision…help!

The first night that I arrived in American Samoa and Michael brought me to the house, I put on a brave face and smiled. It wasn’t until he left to go to work and I was home alone with the kids that the tears came. Wow…this was going to be hard. We were accustomed to a higher quality of living, and this would be a learning opportunity and a big adjustment. I tried to be positive in my blog post about it, and to be honest, it really was better than I was expecting, but the reality was, it was still going to be tough.

As you have read since we have been here, we have had many opportunities to develop patience and gratitude for what we have. It is ironic that when we did go looking at other houses after our break in six months ago, we realized how fortunate we really are. Not only is it almost impossible to find a furnished house to rent, but the house that we have right now is huge compared to most others. All the other houses available are 3 bedrooms. Not once have we found a 4 bedroom. We have learned to be happy with what we have, and we’re doing just fine here. The biggest problem is the heat because we are so low on the island and we are surrounded by trees, so we have no breeze to cool us down.

So, just over a week ago, we found out about TWO homes that are available for rent in about a month. We weren’t even looking…I’ve been setting up my home school and just plodding along with life, but these opportunities found us. Now I CAN’T STAND moving, so it has to be a big improvement for me to even consider it, but the thought of teaching home school in an inferno where tempers are short isn’t ideal, and if there is a way we can find a better place for our new life/routine at home, then we’ll give it a try, especially since a year is a long time. Here is the lowdown…

Our place is great size wise. It is big. It is well set up for home school. It is cheap. It is furnished. We don’t really mind the old furniture. We have covered parking. We have two bathrooms.

House #1. On the golf course. AMAZING view of the ocean. Higher up, so cooler than our house. Wrap around enclosed porch on two sides of the house, perfect for all the kids toys and play area, like an extra room. Covered parking. Same price as where we are now, BUT NOT FURNISHED 😦 They are selling most of their furniture so we could buy a lot of it as an investment and then sell it all again when we leave. Only one bathroom. Only three bedrooms. Not set up very well to accommodate home school (funny thing is my friend who lives here home schools right now, but she used one of the bedrooms for that. With 6 kids I don’t have that luxury). Dogs outside that are not very friendly 😦

House #2. Downstairs house with our friends living upstairs. American standard. Costs more than where we are now, but my friend is bending over backwards to accommodate us and is getting us all the furniture that we would need. Kitchen is awesome, fans and air conditioners. Furniture is way nicer than what we’re used to. They are remodeling the master bath this month and putting in a new shower. Two bathrooms (although the kids bathroom is a little odd, it has the washer and dryer in there!!!! Guess if we can live in a 2 bedroom apartment in Salt Lake with the washer and dryer in one of the bedrooms, we can do anything!) Three bedrooms, but two of them are really large and we could put 3 kids in each. House would be much cooler than what we’re used to. It is home school friendly. Downside is sharing walls with someone. They are grandparents, so just the two of them, and don’t really make noise for us, but I am really concerned about how much noise WE would make! It’s hard keeping kids quiet, so that’s a big concern for me, especially since they’re friends and it may be awkward for them to say anything, and if they did, what could I do? Only other downside to this one is that they don’t have covered parking. (Our mini van leaks water in through the roof when it rains really hard!)

All three houses have GREAT yards for the kids to play. They all have the same Samoan issues with ants, cockroaches, centipedes, termites and rats.

When I think about all these choices, I think that both of them would be a nice change from here.  Both are smaller than where we are and we’d lose a bedroom, but there are more upsides in both too, and at this point it might be better to be cooler and kinder than spread out and hot! It would be harder to accommodate visitors in both houses, but that should hardly be a determining factor since they are few and far between! OK, thanks for listening…that really helps.

I think I’m ready for a change, which is a big step for me. Guess I’ll wait for Michael to get back on island and then take him to see both since he hasn’t even looked yet! Ha! Ha! It’s quite exciting actually. Should have a decision by the weekend 🙂


  1. Wow! Strange that 2 places have just appeared for you! If it were me I think I’d have to go for the air conditioned house- especially if I were going to be there all day doing homeschool. I’m sure your friends will be understanding of the noise when they agree to let your 6 kids move in!! Good luck deciding. Exciting times!!

    • I’ve led you all astray a little. Remember that we do have air conditioners where we live now, in two of the bedrooms and in the family room, but the family room is so big that it doesn’t cool it down enough, and it costs HUNDREDS of dollars each month just to turn it on a few times a week. If we had it on all day every day for home school, it would be over $1000 a month.
      House #1 has air con in one bedroom only, and house #2 has it in all three bedrooms, but we would still rely on ceiling fans for the living areas. It’s just cooler in both of the other houses because they are higher in elevation…

  2. Your friends must know what they are getting into by inviting you! Anybody would be LUCKY to live next to you and enjoy the sweet, loving noise that you would make. Seriously, air conditioning is a must. I’m a JERK when I’m too hot. (No, I don’t think I’m coming to visit, so make this decision without me in mind. I mean, you can think about me a little.)

  3. I don’t envy you as I’m really bad at making decisions. But it seems like you’ve made the hardest one already – you are pretty sure you want to move. Both the other houses sound great, so I’m sure whichever one you go for will be the right choice! Good luck and try not to stress too much with the decision-making process.

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