Monday, December 12, 2005

2 days left

Manuia le aso.

I cannot believe that in a few days I will be living out in kua (that's the word the PC use for anywhere rural or basically not in Apia). I am ready to move. We have finished the language test so it seems like everything else is just lesson plans and paperwork, which is important but I think we are all ready to just start already. It can be stressful living out of your bag for 10 weeks in and out of the hotel with the same people 24/7. We were lucky to have such a great group; I never didn't get along with anyone. I have said it before and I will again, I will miss them. They have been like family for the last 10 weeks right after we all left our families at home. I am looking forward to getting to know some more of the current volunteers too. I figure anyone that joins the PC at least has to have a sense of adventure and has to be somewhat fun. :)

It's nice to be done with the village. I wish I could post some pictures, but I usually borrow Marques's jump drive and I didn't catch him in time today to put my pictures on there. My dad is sending one soon, so hopefully my pictures will increase. We left the village early Saturday morning. It was crazy. The whole village seemed to be there saying goodbye. They dressed all the girls up in puletasi's, we all had leis made of candy around our necks. I have never seen grown men cry so much, but all of our fathers were bawling. It is normal for men to cry here. I never once saw my mom in the village cry before, even when I gave her the thank you presents, and she lost it too that morning. My dad lost it. I started crying when my brother Tavita had to leave early to go home and work. I will miss my brothers alot. We were close. Tavita and I talked alot. He's 15 and a good kid. Once my Samoan was better we could chat more. Jason, he's 11, and I played the card game speed alot. Playing Speed with him helped me learn to say, "stop cheating," "I win," and "you liar" really well in Samoan. :) He's a good kid too. I will miss my little 2 year old brother Johnny calling my name (it's Tara in the village, but he pronounced it Ta a ), and running over to give me high fives. And ALL the PCT's loved my 5 year old brother Gaolo. He always seemed to know where we were and was there. We think my shoes had a tracking device on them that he followed. And he looked a lot like Curious George, until my dad shaved his head.

I move out to my site on Thursday. I am looking forward to it. Though I am a little apprehensive. We swear in, start and then have like a month off until school starts. School starts end of January. It will be fun trying to think of things to do, bike around Savai'i, get my diving certificate, maybe try and start a new hobby... but then the holidays happen too, so it will go by quickly. I don't think I will go back to my village for Christmas, I will probably go to Apia somewhere to visit other PC friends. Who knows though really, it's still a few weeks away. Though it is interesting to hear all the Christmas music, see all the sales, and not have any cold weather (snow I am used to not having being from the Northwest), but no fir trees anywhere. They do have a few plastic trees decorated here and there. But they do have the Christmas lights. I miss seeing all the lights dad used to put up on the fence going down the driveway. I was thinking it would be hard being away on the holidays, but Thanksgiving wasn't as hard as I thought it was. We hung out with other volunteers and had fun.

Today we had a session on nutrition in Samoa. A lot of Samoan foods are very high in starch, taro, yams, banana (plantains), breadfruit. And the diet here isn't too varied, so we learned different alternatives and how to start our own gardens. I don't think I will have the means to do that where I will be living, not a lot of area for it, but we will see. It's harder to get fresh foods and veggetables on Savai'i. I just have to make sure I don't eat too much candy while in service. That will be hard. :) But we got some great recipes. I guess I will have to learn to enjoy cooking. One thing that is definatly different here is the way we do laundry. Almost all volunteers, unless living near a laundromat do their laundry in buckets. We have detergent best in cold water, because that's all you have. They soak in the bucket for awhile, then soak in fresh water and then hang to dry on lines. If you take the clothes down before dry and put them in a drawer or don't wear them for a few days, the mold sets in. So we do laundy a lot and it takes awhile. You get used to it. And there are different levels of mold here. We always do the smell test. :) Yeah, this t-shirt smells less moldy, this one is the one I am wearing today. :)

I think the swearing in party will be fun. All the volunteers are there, and 2 family members from the village are invited too. It will be fun. Anyways, until the next time. I will probably write once more before I move away to kua.

Manuia le afiafi.


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