Being about as far from an astronomer as you can get, Orion is the only constellation that I can reliably locate in the sky. I love Orion. I love that I can look into the sky and see this giant constellation. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but it feels so satisfying, as if the world is right, when I spot it. I didn't think that I'd be able to see it from the southern hemisphere, which left me with a slight sense of unease as I prepared for this trip. Doing some research, I discovered that I was mistaken. I'll still be able to find Orion, he'll just be upside-down. Perhaps that will prove to be a metaphor for my life in the next year as I cross the equator for a southern-hemisphere life on a tropical island. I'm excited to find out.
**Update: I have arrived in American Samoa! I walked off the plane into humid weather with strong breezes (thank goodness!). It's dark, so I can't speak to the beauty, but I hear there's a lagoon directly across the street from my temporary accommodations. We are being housed at a vocational high school, sleeping 8-10 to a room on foam mattresses with a kitchen, bathroom, and showers at our disposal. Training and orientation get started tomorrow, so there's a lot to look forward to!