Happy New Years
These last few days have been fun. Marques and Holly headed out here to see where we live and hang out. I guess other Savai’i volunteers say that we get visitors less often out here because it is far and just a hassle. But it was fun. Marques stayed with Bob and Holly stayed with me. (For those thinking of visiting me, I have a queen sized bed for visitors) And Josh came to hang out too. Marques and he are good friends. The first night we hung out and watched a Japanese animated movie called “Spirited Away.” Which I would have to say is now one of my favorite movies. I would recommend it to anyone. I cooked for them. Made baked papaya, vegetables, brownies...a lot of food. I warned you I was turning girly. Marques took a picture of me cooking, maybe it will make his website.The next day we headed out to what is considered the nicest waterfall in all Samoa and some would say the nicest waterfall in all of the South Pacific. We hiked for awhile to try and find the most ancient and largest Polynesian structure (a stone mound), but Bob and Josh and I don’t seem to have the best luck getting to it. The first time we tried, it had rained a ton and a small valley turned into a raging river across the path. This time we just couldn’t remember where it was. Or maybe we saw it and just didn’t realize it. It is covered with a lot of growth being in the jungle and all. It will be the joke here, how we never really reached it all 2 years. So we headed back and went to the waterfall. There’s a nice pool to swim in below it with fresh water prawns and you can jump off the cliffs on the side. We swam around and hung out. Right when it was time to head back, it started POURING rain. So we walked to the road, soaking wet, and just kept walking to my village. I would say it was a good hour long walk absolutely soaking wet in the non-stop rain. It was a ton of fun. And every village we walked by there were a ton of Samoans also out in the rain playing volleyball. Holly wanted to stop and play too, but the rest of us were worried about our cameras.
That evening we had a cross cultural experience. It is normal for Bob and I because we live with a Japanese volunteer (Jaika), Moto. But Holly and Marques haven’t. Moto actually wasn’t even here. The Jaika that lives with Josh, Manabu, came over and brought 2 more of his friends. So we hung out, Bob and I cooked dinner for them all. We looked at pictures and talked about their volunteer experiences versus ours. So, for the Jaika, they are never taught Samoan. They spent 3 months in Japan getting ready to come out here and they learned English. Then they head out to Samoa for 2 years like the PC. And like the PC, they can get sent anywhere around the world. They can request where they want to go, but like us, have no real choice. It’s crazy to think they come out here having just learned English in a country where not everyone speaks English. But they do well. Moto is a great guy. I think he speaks English very well and his Samoan is really getting good. It was just a blast to hang out with them and talk.
Next is New Years. A whole bunch of volunteers are getting together in some beach fales to celebrate the New Year and just hang out before we go back out to our jobs and before school starts up again. It will be nice to see some of the volunteers I haven’t seen since swearing in. Some of the other volunteers are thinking of spending a few days in the training village with their families, and I might head there with them… I really miss hanging out with my brothers playing Speed. Another thing I wanted to do was see where some of my other group lives around the island. I think this is a good time to do it because school doesn’t really start up until the end of January. We’ll see. I think it will be fun to get a little bit of exploring in while I have the chance. Exploring my island and ‘Upolu. As a trainee, we really didn’t have a lot of time to just explore or hang out. I hope everyone’s holidays were/are well. For those of my family with whom I did chat with on Christmas, I really loved it. Again, I wish I could have talked to you all longer. It made we realize how much I really did miss you and all my friends and family back home. Thank you for being so loving and supportive. It really helps me get through the days when I struggle, to remember that I do have a lot of support and love back home. Some days it is hard being out here, without a phone and a lot of other things. Once I become a part of my village and know people, I think things will be a lot easier. Also when school starts up again I will be busier and not always trying to fill my time. Then I bet I will miss days like now when I really don’t have anything to do, with no places to be. :) It’s always a challenge out here, but always a blast. Until next time: Happy Holidays. Have a great 12th Night.