Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t feel like it at all. It’s weird not to be celebrating it today while all of America is. We’re back in Apia for the holiday, but we aren’t celebrating it until tomorrow. The American embassy got eight turkeys flown in, and we’ll all be celebrating at the charge’s house. We’re expected to have a big feast since the other PCVs are expected to be making food as well.
I guess it’s been a while since I last wrote. So since then, I went to go shadow a fellow Volunteer at Samoa College (one of the best schools in Samoa) here in Apia. I really wanted them to send me to shadow someone outside of “town” so that I could get to see more of Samoa. But it’s okay, I got to see a Samoan school and how classes were taught. I would have liked to shadow a Volunteer who is teaching Computers since that’s what I’ll be teaching, but I got to see how Science classes were conducted and taught.
After that, we got to stay in Apia for Halloween. There was a Halloween party at one of the bars a bit outside of Apia in Vailima called Zodiac. Our group planned on dressing up all together as a football team with each of us wearing a jersey from where we are from. But Matt decided he wanted to be a mosquito, and then Phil and I changed our minds last minute as well. So we bought a XXL grey T-shirt for like six tala and we each used it to each cut out a spoon and taped it on to a plain black T-shirt. So we went as spoons. I was the little spoon, representing the smallest one in our group and he was the big spoon, being the tallest one in our group. Zodiac was fun. We drank the black beer (beer with loads of food coloring). It made us all happy.
We headed back to Fausaga, our village, then next day, but a couple of days later we got to come back into Apia. It was Election Day. We had class in the morning, then after lunch with our families we went to Apia. There was a party at the American embassy, where they had CNN. So everyone was excited to see Obama be selected as our next president. When he gave his speech, there was definitely tears of happiness going down many people’s face. The embassy provided us with food, beer, and wine. After a while the bottles of wine turned to box wine, so I introduced calimocho (half wine/half coke) to some of the other PCVs (yes, I thought of you guys, my amigos in Spain, and our botellons). Anyways, the celebration continued after at a bar called On the Rocks on Beach Road (the main road in Apia).
Other than that, there’s not that much more to report. We are still attending classes everyday from 8-5. When we head back to Fausaga on Saturday, we’ll only have two and a half weeks away left of training and from officially swearing in as a Peace Corps Volunteer. My typical day is still the same, class, lunch, class, hang out for an hour before going home to pray, pray, dinner, then either walk up and down the road, watch the Filipino soap operas that Samoas love, play cards, or sit outside our house on the grave (yeah, that’s normal here).
Life in the village is not so bad. Everyone in our little village knows us. During my two minute walk to/from my house to the training center, I get about thirty mālō’s, or hi’s, and kids yelling my name. We’re still going to our Catholic church twice a day. One week, I did not attend the morning service because I was doing the umu (the Samoan oven used for making food) for the to’ona’I (the special meals on Sundays). We killed a size two pig by drowning it. Samoans rank their pigs from size 1-10. The bigger they are the less tasty they are apparently. We gutted it, and then stuffed the entire body with leaves and then threw it on the umu. Then prepared the palusami, which is coconut cream wrapped in leaves, then cooked on the umu, breadfruit, taro, etc. We did attend the afternoon service though. Another week we didn’t go to church because our car broke down so we couldn’t go to the service that was being held in another village. The Catholic church has also had several fundraising dances, where we were the stars of the show. There’s actually another one this Saturday.
And I forgot to mention that PC has told me where I’ll be posted for the next two years. It’s on Savai’I island in a village called Vailoa. I’ll be teaching IT at a school called Palauli College. I got to meet the principal, and they had Computer Studies there in the past but haven’t had it for two years. So he doesn’t know what conditions the ten computers we have there are in since they haven’t been used for two years. But we’ll see, I guess. But I’m excited to be going to Savai’i. I have not been there yet, but have heard that it’s more beautiful than ‘Upolu. I’ll be using my Samoan there more because they apparently speak less English. We leave the village on December 15th, and then back to Apia for three days, and then head to Savai’I on the 18th with four other guys from group who will also be working in Savai’i.
Nothing really more to report… Looking forward to finishing these last two weeks up. We go back to the village this Saturday. Sunday to’ona’I and church. Monday we’ll start our Model School for the week, where we’ll have to teach. And Monday is also the continuation of one of my family’s favorite Filipino soaps, Isey. We are also learning a Samoan dance and a skit for our going-away Fiafia (party) for the village. So we’ll be busy. Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving!!!