Education: Growing Up in Samoa

Tattooed clan chiefs wearing lava-lava skirts still stroll across the main square of Pago Pago just as they did when young Willie Maugham stopped off and scribbled the notes for Rain.

But in other respects, American Samoa —seven volcanic islands and two coral atolls 2,300 miles southwest of Hawaii —is trading old romance for new bustle. It has a jet airport and zip code numbers for outlying villages; a Pan Am subsidiary has leased a 100-room tourist inn to compete with the old Rainmaker Hotel. Most striking of all, the whole Samoaft school system has been turned over to television.

Antennas & Thatch....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!