Life in the South Pacific

Stop in and read all about my Peace Corps journey in Samoa! Don't forget to send me letters and emails!! Packages are always welcome too! :)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Settling In

So we have now been in the village for almost 2 weeks and it sure is a lot different from training. It’s weird to be on my own and not have the rest of the group around. It’s overwhelming and a bit scary. The village is beautiful and my family is wonderful. The people are all very nice, but it’s hard to push myself to constantly go out and try and make conversation with people. It’s frustrating because I can’t say much in Samoan and I really want to be able to speak the language and understand what everyone is saying, but I just run out of things to try and say in Samoan after awhile. It is going to take lots of time. As much as I want to get to know everyone in the village, I also find that I’ve been spending a lot of quality time with myself. The volunteers weren’t kidding when they said that we’d have plenty of time to read, write and get to know ourselves. Everyday I spend about 2-4 hours in my own room and get my nap in and a lot of reading and writing done.

I do like my family a lot. They have been very welcoming and have let me have my space. My nephews are the most adorable things and I’m hoping that my sister in law has a girl the end of September.

So last week I did stop in Apia on Monday, mainly because I had lice. I was eating breakfast Saturday morning when my cousin all of a sudden pulls 2 bugs out of my hair, and then my sister in law and brother pulled out a bunch more as well. Yuck. Teuila gave me shampoo for that. I did run into Jame, Jordan and Jess at the Peace Corps Office and I was so extremely happy to see them. It felt like we hadn’t seen each other in weeks, but really it was only 4 days!

The week dragged slowly. I went running once and walked around the island once. I spent some time at the school. The schools are on break this week and next so last week the teachers didn’t do much teaching. They had sports day and movie day 2 of the days that I was there. I also showed some teachers how to use some of the games on the laptop and they loved it. John came to visit me on Thursday morning with his “mom” and once again, I was very happy to see someone from my group. I showed him around the island and we got to trade stories.

This past weekend I was in Apia for the weekend to run some errands and also because I had to run some errands with my mom and dad. It was nice to be in town and because it’s the start of the Teuila Festival there were a lot of other volunteers in town. I got to know some of the volunteers and we went to the siva afi show (fire dancing) and it was amazing. There was a juniors and seniors competition and they were so awesome. Last nite was the start of the festival and I went with Jordan, Jame and Candice to the choir competition, mainly because Jordan had told her village she would be there to support them. We showed up a bit late, but the same song was sung 31 times! Dane and Amanda were also in town singing with their villages so we got to talk to them too. And apparently Amanda, Jame and I were shown on TV so when I was in Apia today as well as in my village, everyone I knew told me they had seen me on TV last nite. I felt like a mini celebrity.

We spent most of the weekend lying around Jame’s apartment, eating lots of junk food (I brought her lots of cookies and panipopo), reading and talking. I felt like I was in college again.

I am getting adjusted to the village. I’m used to the bucket showers now. They’re really not so bad! I’m slowly getting to know everyone in the village. The primary school students have made me feel welcome. The girls always stop and talk to me and the boys will occasionally walk me home if I’m up at the school.

I’ll be back in town on Thursday. I’m excited because most of my group will be coming in so it will be a mini reunion after 2 weeks.

Time to eat!