Friday, February 13, 2009

Siva Afi & Birthday

A Siva Afi (fire dancing) competition was held a few days into training, naturally it seemed like it could be a fun thing to attend. I was in awe at the guys and girl (awesome!) and their ability to throw and twirl these sticks as the ends were ablaze. Lighting the sticks was amazing to watch as well. The fire dancer would come out with one end alight, then grab the fire with a hand or their mouth and light the other end…badass! Some competitors threw two fire sticks, others connected two or three together to form one giant fire stick, and others did amazing tricks with just one fire stick. It was quite a nice Pacific Island cultural experience.

I spent my 22nd birthday on the volunteer visit, basically a trainee pairs up with a current volunteer to see what volunteer life is like. The first night I was on Manono, a little island between Uplou and Savaii. This island is so gorgeous. Four villages make up the island and it only takes 3 hours to walk at a casual pace around the island. The views of the other islands are breathtaking, makes you want to get a hammock and a coconut and just sway in the sea breeze while you drift off to sleep. On our walk around the island we saw thousands of bats (flying foxes) flying overhead, heading to the inner part of the island. I even saw one land on a palm frond and use its claws to pull itself up. It was a nice place to be on my birthday. I even got a cake (thanks guys).

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