Hi, I’m glad you found us!
We’re the Clayvilles, former rat-race prisoners, turned care-free island family. We moved to American Samoa in June, 2017 and have spent our time wisely… exploring the islands and learning everything we can about island life and Samoan culture. To read more about our story, see our About page.
readers looking to get in touch
If you’re here for the first time, Afio Mai (Samoan for Welcome)! Feel free to drop us a line and introduce yourself.
If you’re returning, welcome back and thanks for your continued support. You can introduce yourself too, it’s never too late to make new friends.
You can leave us a comment below or email us at [email protected].
Tell us what brought you to AmSamFam. Are you looking for a tropical vacation where you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty, beautiful people, and authentic culture? Are you moving here and wondering where or how to start planning? Maybe you’re moving back home after a long absence. Or you might be a local, just wondering where to find all the hidden treasures you see on our Instagram (there’s no shame in that, exploring these islands is our PASSION!).
Let us know. We love sharing all our island knowledge and adventures!
Also, make sure to search our website to find what you’re looking for and leave a comment on the relevant blog post to ask specific questions or share your own related experience. We love to hear your stories, too.
brands looking to work with us
Local Business- We love featuring local businesses/products in our videos and on social media. Contact us to discuss working together and we can talk details.
Off-Island Business- If you’re an on-line business looking to advertise to the wonderful people of American Samoa, you found the right place. We love to promote products and services that we have found useful or fun. If it’s something we already love, we’re ready to shout it from the fale-tops. If you have something new to us, that we feel would be useful for our audience, we’d love to give it a try and give honest feedback of our experience.
Either way, please know that we will always give our honest and fair opinion.
Hello. And Bye.
Hi. Thanks for stopping by.
Oh my goodness Melinda, I am so glad that I stumbled on your YouTube channel which led me to this blog. I commend you and your husband for the amazing decision to move the family to Am Samoa. My husband and I took a trip to the Island last spring and I was sold. My husband is Samoan and we took a trip to celebrate my father in laws 80th birthday with him. From the moment the sun rose I was just overwhelmed with the peace and tranquility you find there. On the last day before we left I looked over at my husband and told him that this is where I want to live. And so fast forward til now, we have been liquidating a lot of our belongings and will be making the journey to move to Am Samoa in June of this year. We still have 2 school aged kids that will be coming along with us, but I couldn’t be more excited. There are a ton of “I have no clue, how” but we know that we will be okay. Thanks for sharing your story and maybe you can help us our as well. Can’t wait to meet you and your beautiful family. Tofa soifua
Denise, I’m so excited for your upcoming move! And I’m not surprised you fell in love with the island while here. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have and hopefully make your move a little smoother, so you can get out and enjoy the islands that much sooner. Let me know how we can help.
Looks like a wonderful place to visit! I have always wanted to travel to America Samoa and when I do, we will check out this activity center!
I’m glad to hear it! You won’t regret the trip here or the experience of going to Le Faleo’o. Hope you make it sooner rather than later 😃
Just ran into your YouTube channel. Amazing story and will be following. Your family reminds me of JamilyTV!!! If you don’t know them they are another American family but they live in Upolu on the other islands of Samoa. I’ve been to American Samoa and Samoa, Samoa was more enjoyable for me with lots to do. Would be awesome if I got to see a video with you guys and Jamily Tv together!!! Good Luck and journey on!! Supporting from Texas!
Thanks so much! We haven’t actually met JAMilyTV, but we love their channel and we’ve been talking about meeting up once the borders are open and we’re cleared to travel. Upolu is definitely bigger, which means there are more options. That being said, American Samoa still has so many places just waiting to be explored and appreciated. We have had zero regrets about moving here. Hopefully you’ll be able to check out our island home someday too. Thanks for writing and supporting us. Stay safe and have fun.
Are you familiar with this youtube video? What do you think about it?
I’m from Canton,Ohio I like to go American Samoa and live there someday
That’s a great idea! We love it here.
Enjoyed your informative videos, I’m looking at a job in Samoa and wonder what a living wage is (you may have addressed this already, but thought I’d ask.
Also interested in knowing more about the schools and their quality, I’ve heard they are really sub-par and I may end up home-schooling, but with COVID, who cares? right? I dunno. just want to know more.
Great questions. Most living wages are rather low, like under $10/hour. They get better as you get into local government jobs, and can be really great if you’re lucky enough to land a federal job here.
Schools are not quite on par with schools on the Mainland, mostly due to lack of resources and wages being so low. We homeschooled our kids for our first year living here and while they excelled academically, we wanted them to experience the social side of school in the territory too. Now they attend a public school and supplement some at home as well, to make sure they’re not falling behind.
Luckily, we are enjoying in-person school as we still have no COVID cases here.
Let us know if you have any other questions.
My husband and I were binge watching your YouTube videos and it was bringing back a lot of memories. My husband grew up in American Samoa, in Nu’uuli (behind the movie theater), and we were married in Apia. I have been to American Samoa 3 times and we wish we could travel there more often. It’s just so expensive. My questions are, what do you think about the school systems and the health care? Those are what keep me from wanting to live there long term.
Thanks for writing. I’m impressed that you’ve been here 3 times, that’s more than a lot.
Funny that you ask about education and health care… we get a lot of people asking about those exact two. The education system is definitely lacking. Coming from the Mainland US, with three kids, we have been less than impressed. Granted, there are limited resources here and so many of the teachers do the best they can with what they’re given. There is, however, much that could be done as far as simple training and standards. There is, of course, a range in standards and quality between the schools, making some highly sought after, with their quality being closer to Mainland standards.
As far as health care, we haven’t had any problem it. We don’t have every medical procedure or technology available to us here, but being reasonably healthy people with no serious health conditions, we’ve had access to everything we’ve needed and feel confident in the health care professionals’ abilities. There are a few things that the territory is missing, but that’s pretty typical for a remote island.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
I’d like to visit American Somoa after Covid restrictions pass as I’m beginning to study good places to retire in 15 or so years. I found this site via a google search, which led to this page: https://travelingotb.com/2018/06/new-life-american-samoa/
Please add me to your email list if you have one. I’d love to keep track of your updates.
Hi Nate, I’m terrible at sending out email updates, but it looks like you found our YouTube channel. That or our social media accounts are the best way to keep track of what we have going on. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram at AmSamFam.
My husband and I have been enjoying watching your videos, as we have identified American Samoa as a location of interest to him to work as a Physician Assistant at LBJ Tropical Medical Center. He graduates next September (2021) and will be searching for positions just before then. One thing that we want to know, and perhaps you can speak to it: how LGBTQ+ friendly is American Samoa? We have always lived in fairly diverse and accepting locales (internationally), but our research of the island suggests a strong religious presence. Will we be accepted by the local population?
I recognize your name from our LIVE video. Thanks for joining us and for posing that question on there as well. As we were trying to explain, we’ve been impressed with the level of acceptance, especially (as you said) for such a religious place. We have never seen any persecution of anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+. That being said, when asking a friend, she let me know that there can be some judgement. She agreed that it’s never violent persecution or public shaming, but that she’s noticed some “teasing”. It sounds like it’s more within family circles that this happens. I don’t believe that you, as an outsider, would experience any of this for yourselves, but there you have it.
Overall, we have found Samoans to be extremely friendly and welcoming. They are generous and kind. At times we have found there to be a lack of political correctness, which can be off-putting, but the love we have felt here is genuine and sincere.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Hi! Just following up from the question on education on the YouTube channel. I completely understand the sensitivity of a public discussion about education — I think this is true pretty much everywhere.
I’m assuming the quality of education is impacted in different ways. I have taught in Southwest Alaska and now I’m on the administration side in Barrow (yeah, waaaayy up there). Both districts are well-funded and both support and celebrate traditional culture. There are challenges though. Some of it is due to the entire population being English Language Learners; some of it is because parents don’t want their children to leave home after they graduate high school. The biggest problem is teacher turnover. Many come for a one or two year adventure, then leave. Principal turnover is high, too. Heck, in my current district apparently there have been 8 superintendents over the last five years. So it can be a little dysfunctional.
I’m probably 15 years out before I retire from Alaska, but I’m researching and planning an overseas relocation. AS would be a great place to help out the education system if it needs improvement — but the challenge is housing. I guess I have plenty of time to think about it.
Keep up the good work!
Hi Nate, thanks for watching and for reaching out about the education. Coming to Am Samoa from Alaska will definitely be a huge shift, but we’ve really loved it here.
That sounds intense. I don’t believe we have that same problem here. We get federal funding, but there never seems to be enough. Teachers’ pay is ridiculously low, which makes it hard to attract and maintain quality teachers. The ones that are here are underpayed and overworked, but do the best they can with what resources they have. We’ve mostly been lucky with the teachers our kids have gotten.
There are some things that are they way they are just because they’ve always been that way. In some instances, that’s fine, just different, but there are some things that really need to change and I don’t know what it will take to get that change.
If you’re willing to take a pay cut, the territory can always use high quality educators, who care and want to make a difference in the lives of the students they teach.
As far as housing, I’m confident you could find something. It’s more a question of cost vs. pay. But even with that, I don’t think housing would need to be a big stress.
Thanks for reaching out. Good luck up north and stay safe.
I am backpacking traveling. I wonder if American Samoa has bed and breakfast places. If you know, please let me know. I love your blog and YouTube videos. Thank you. Is it a good time to travel to the island during this time? I meant with the COVID virus. Will visitors be in quarantine? Thanks.
American Samoa has a few hotels that offer breakfast when you stay there. Unfortunately though, our borders have been closed since March. Because of this, our islands are completely COVID-free. Stay tuned to our YouTube channel (you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram) as we’ll make sure to announce when our borders open. I’m sure there will be enforced quarantines once we do open up again.
I am sooo excited to see you guys integrate your lives with the Samoan way – and accept what you can … its truly the first step of being part of the Aiga – and be accepted and loved and cherished in your stay in Am Samoa / Samoa.
We came down to Am Samoa early this year for my Dad’s funeral – Rev Faatui Laolagi – from Fatu ma Futi. Our school is the the private school – South Pacific International Christian Center.
I am sooo excited to see you guys showcase your life and your experience there in American Samoa.
If I may offer a suggestion – when you say good-bye in Samoan – would you say ‘Tofa’ – or Tofa Soifua — Fa is yes good bye – but its more of a street abbreviated version .. where Tofa is a more ‘proper’ say of Good-bye , versus – Bye … LOL — I hope I am making sense…
I live in WA State – married to a palagi gal – and met her when I came to college – Seatttle Pacific University – decided to stay here and raise our 3 beautiful children – 24 27 29 ….
Thank you for the videos .. I am sooo homesick right now – I wish I saw this before we came … so I could reach out to you and get to you know you more – and build a freindship – that will be forever — I feel like I know you guys just from the videos 🙂
Please keep in touch .. hope when we come next summer for our Dad’s Annual celebration of his passing — we will reach out to you – and hope to meet and build a relationship… as you know .. you are friends .. and friends for LIFE!!!
Much Alofas to you and your BEAUTIFUL children !!!
Fa’atui Laolagi Kiuga (Tui)
Tui, thanks for introducing yourself and for sharing that insight into the language. We are trying to learn the language, but we haven’t done very well yet so we appreciate all the help we can get.
Next time you’re on-island, make sure to hit us up. We’d love to meet up in person.
Another thing that I wanted to share with you – is that it truly shows how much you ‘respect’ the people / culture / lifestyle … I am sure you know how important that is in the Samoan Culture…
THANK YOU for the respect – I am truly blessed to see your experience and see how you live amongst the Samoan people and culture…. I am learning somethings even though I was born and raised there (back in the day LOL — born 66 – left 85 – class of 83 Samoana High :))
Appreciate your family – Alofa Atu!!
After watching the Samoan firefighters in California, I knew I had to check out these islands. I also rather stumbled onto American Samoa and now I feel, I’m hooked. I’m a recently retired science teacher and a previous park ranger at Yellowstone who would love to continue to work at either position. I love to snorkel and dive and also recently visited the Daintree in Australia.
AmSam seems like a dream come true. Any help you could possibly give in regards to relocating would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
We have really come to love the Samoan people! We could always use good teachers, although I’ll warn you that the pay is extremely low. So, if you’re looking for something to fill your time and not a way to pay the bills, that’s an excellent option. The National Park’s payed positions are filled on a federal level. You could check out their webpage for job posting, to see if they have any openings available. I know that the park’s office welcomes volunteers, which could turn into a payed position.
Some options for you to look into. Let me know if you have any other specific questions, I’d be happy to help out.
Love that your family is sharing. Hope you are enjoying your life and times on the rock. Lol. It is an adventure. My family (Seva’aetasi) village is in Masefau. My grandparents Suitupu and Ioana are buried there. Me and my siblings were not born there however. We are mainlanders from the Monterey Peninsula California. I have shared your YouTube channel with family here. Keep up the good work and have fun. Loving every minute of it.
Hi David, thanks so much for sharing! We are planning on doing a video of Masefau soon. Hopefully, within a month. Just waiting for the tides and ocean conditions to cooperate. haha It’s one of our son’s favorite beaches and he’s been begging to go for months now. I’m glad you’re enjoying our videos and thanks for sharing them with all your family.
Enjoy your Cali coasts for us and we’ll keep sharing your island home.
I think your blog and videos are awesome! A look into a part of the world I would probably never see otherwise. Do you have a mailing address? I’d like to send you some Kentucky items for Christmas ( finances willing) . Is American Samoa under the U.S. Postal Service, or would it be international mail?
Again , I enjoy AmSamFam …amazing locations, and it looks like you have a lot of fun…
Wow, that’s so nice of you! I can include our address, if you’d like to send us some things from Kentucky (we’ve never been), but please don’t feel like you have to. American Samoa is under the US Postal Service, which makes shipping between us and the Mainland much easier, faster, and more affordable. Thank goodness!
Thank you for watching and for reaching out. We love to see where people are watching our videos and get to know our viewers a little better too.
PO Box 983125
Pago Pago, AS 96799
If you can please send me your Mailing address, I have two bottles of Carolina Treat boxed and ready to head your way. The only “Strings Attached” is that you post something on their Fan page regarding you eating the Sauce in Samoa. It is my favorite, and sent 5 bottles to friends in Japan a few weeks back. Have an awesome day, and stay safe. Fiji has a Typhoon headed their way, so the season is going to be active.
Hi David, thanks so much for sending these! Nate, especially loves good BBQ sauce. It will be a nice change from what we can routinely find here. We can definitely share a pic of us eating it in Samoa.
Our address is:
PO Box 983125
Pago Pago, AS 96799
We’ll let you know when we’ve given it a try. Take care.
You have a Beautiful family. I came across your videos on my feed, and I’m glad I did. I love how you and your husband go from village to village and capture everything on your outings. I grew up in Leone born and raised, left home after graduating from Leone High 97. My husband is palagi from Missiouri where we reside and have two afakasi kids 17 years old daughter and 12 year old son. Watching your family videos makes feel like I am at home. Beautiful oh how I miss home. So thankful you guys are enjoying every bit of it.
Thank you! We quickly fell in love with this place and feel blessed to be able to share it with those who can’t be here right now. I hope you’ll have a chance someday to bring your kids to see your island home.
Thanks for writing. Manuia le aso!
Thanks for the great Youtube videos! When do you think American Samoa will be open for tourism without quarantine and mask requirements in 2021 due to the rollout of the vaccine? I have spent extended periods of time in Hawaii and Guam but have always wanted to visit the South Pacific,AS in particular. You mentioned on a previous video about getting pulled over concerning your expired driver’s license. How did they know about your license status or were you pulled over for another violation? Or do the local police profile non Samoans? Is there bias against Caucasians in AS similar to HI and GU? Is “palagi” the Samoan equivalent of “haole” meaning white outsider? On a different topic, the census lists Filipinos as the largest Asian group in AS with around a 1,000 or so in population. Are there Filipino stores on island? In addition, who do you recommend for rental cars? Thanks, Joe
Hi Joe, great questions!
First up, the word is that the borders are going to remain closed until we reach 70% vaccination on-island. We’ve already begun, with health care workers and senior citizens receiving the vaccine first. I don’t feel confident that we’ll be there by this summer and many people are predicting it won’t be until 2022… It all depends on how quickly we can receive the vaccinations from the Mainland and how efficiently they can reach all applicable adults.
As far as the license, yes, I was pulled over for something else. I don’t remember exactly. Sometimes it feels like we are targeted, yet other times I think we just have an some overly ambitious police officers, who like to pull people over for fun. You’re right in assuming “palagi” means white outsider, although from what I hear and have experienced, it’s not usually used in a negative way here, like “haole” is used in Hawaii. It’s literally just a way of distinguishing one group of people from another. However politically incorrect it may be. haha
There is a large Filipino population here and I wouldn’t be surprised if they truly were the largest Asian group. And yes, there are Filipino stores. You can find a rather large range of Asian products locally.
We haven’t personally used any car rental companies here, but there are two that are run by friends of ours that I would trust to refer people to. They are:
American Samoa Car Rentals- #684-256-5656
Coconut Car Rentals- #684-272-1879 or https://americansamoacarrental.com/
Hope these answers helped. Feel free to send any others our way.
Hello, been very informative to keep up with you guys. My good friend is preparing to move to AMSAM, but he is not sure how difficult it would be to furnish his house? I told him it shouldnt be too hard, maybe a little pricey, but definitly cheaper than paying to ship averything from his house here in LA? Any advice that I can pass on?
Hi Carlos, so sorry for the late response. I’m adding “respond to comments” to my New Year’s resolutions. Was your friend able to figure his furniture situation out? Has he already made it to American Samoa? Funny thing, we just published a video all about this topic a few weeks ago. Please feel free to pass on any other questions that your friend might still have. I promise to respond more quickly.
Saw your YouTube videos by accident and I’ve become a very big fan.
How can I purchase merchandise?
Hi Pele Pele, thanks so much for watching our videos. We’re glad that you’re enjoying them so much!! You can find our merch right here on our website, in the upper right corner of your screen under SHOP. Keep watching, because we’ll have some new items available in the beginning of 2022.
Hey guys! I know it’s been awhile since we messaged you on YouTube so I’m sure you may not remember! After 26 years in the Army my husband has finally retired and returned here to his home! Although we’re in quarantine it’s such a blessing to FINALLY be here! I’m sure we’ll see y’all around! Thanks so much for keeping us up to date on this beautiful paradise🌈😊
Hope all is well and going great on the boat!❤️
Hi Kristen, we’re so glad to hear that you’ve finally made it! Welcome to the island and congrats on making it through quarantine!! I hope you’re both adjusting to life in American Samoa and that you had a good Christmas. Please make sure to say hi, if you see us out and about. We’d love to meet you in person.
Your family has gone silent……..Everything ok? last Youtube video you all were in quarantine on the boat. Please update us all as soon as you can.
Hi Cheryl, sorry about the silence lately. I started back to school, going full-time to earn my Bachelor’s and it’s taking all my time. We’re all well, life is good, just busy. One of these days life will slow down and we’ll get back to making videos. Thanks for checking on us. Hope you’re doing well.
I saw you at the dock.
I need some help on the Electric car.
As you know, Venu helped me.
Attached are the details
I have some questions.
1. Can you look my email and see if the Battery will work?
2. where can I buy can I buy Five 60 V Ah Amp Hour rating needed and physical size batteries for the ATV?
I have trouble finding a 60 V Ah Amp Hour rating needed and physical size batteries for the ATV on EBay, Amazon, Alibaba etc
Thanks for your help
Hey Al, sorry, we’re not as good about checking on these comments as we should be. We saw you out driving in your ATV the other day though, so hopefully you were able to get it all figured out. I think you have Nate’s email now, so if there’s anything else we can help you with, just let us know.
Haven’t seen you on You Tube. Miss your videos. Are you folks alright?
I lived there from 1967 ot 1971
Oh, very cool! Yes, we’re all well and fine. I started back to school in January and went full-time beginning in June, and it’s just taking all of my time. One day life might slow down (if we ever let it) and we’ll get back to making more videos of American Samoa. Take care!
My wife and I came across your YouTube channel recently as we are planning to move to Samoa in February. We plan to travel to American Samoa while we are there and would love to get to meet your family. We also have three kids that we want to give a different life experience. We are looking for a new way to provide a living for our family and would love to get some advice on what you both do and how you make it successful overseas. We would love to hear back from you.
It sounds like you have an exciting, new adventure just around the corner. If you’re on Facebook, try messaging us through our AmSamFam page. I’m much better at replying to those messages. We’d love to answer any questions you have or plan a time to meet up. Best of luck with the upcoming move!