Monday, November 9, 2009

Grandpa Would Be Proud!

My grandfather has been a member of the Lion’s Club for decades. Every time I go up to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house in West Virginia I see the plaques commemorating his fine years of service. I knew Lion’s Club was international; I’d seen their signs in Costa Rica while I was there on a field biology course, but I didn’t know they were in Samoa. That is until they delivered aid to me Saturday afternoon. I got pisupo (corned beef), spaghetti, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, water, Ramen noodles, etc. We took some pictures and I told them my Grandpa was a Lion too, so I’m sure they got a kick out of that. I borrowed a camera from another volunteer to take some pictures and caught the kids being their normal, funny selves. Charin likes to sing for the camera while Alofa prefers trying to be the photographer, always curious as to what that goofy thing is I’m holding. I was able to get a funny video of Alofa and Charin fake fighting. If you tell Alofa to “fusu,” she takes a martial arts stance, bobs her head like a bobble head doll, and then attacks. It is so funny and I always get a kick out of it, never gets old. This family, especially the kids, is the only thing keeping me sane at times. Of course sometimes they compound the problem (you know how difficult kids can be and I still haven’t gotten used to the whole family sleeping right outside my door), but the majority of the time they make me laugh when I need to or in talking with the adults my apprehensions are relieved.

The bus continues to be an interesting experience. I thought I’d seen just about everything. In the States there are certain things you can’t do: bring a puppy or any other form of animal (exception of seeing eye dogs) on a bus for fear of biting or allergies, here not so much an issue, kinda of funny what comes on a bus actually; weed whackers, not really a good idea either; machetes are a big no-no unless one is a crazed killer or wants people to think so; and the whole sit on a strangers lap would never happen in the States (you know how we palagi are, not big fans of touching, we need our bubble of personal space). All this I’ve gotten used to as normal; there isn’t much that goes on concerning the bus which truly shocks me anymore. That being said, the other week coming back from Apia and just one village from mine, a fight broke out between two soles. “Great!” I thought, “I’m almost home and these idiots are causing trouble.” They started in the back and worked their way up front. They got up by me and I hunkered down as they shoved each other into me and continued the punching and wrestling. I really didn’t want to have to go back to the office the next day and explain why I had a black eye or worse. I found it very cute when the Samoan lady next to me put her arms around me and yelled to the boys “Teine Palagi, Teine Palagi!” That did nothing to stop them, but it was cute. The lady had a kid about three on her lap who was about to lose it when the boy were wrestling on top of me causing me to be shoved into them. Eventually, the bus driver and other men got them separated. The driver kicked one guy off and told the other to stay put; he didn’t want this continued in the street. From what I heard the fight was about bus fare. While money might be a big issue, $6 is not enough to warrant a bloody nose and several face lacerations. But, I believe alcohol was involved as well so that would explain most of the stupid behavior. Just another day on the bus.


  1. You must be a pretty laid back individual, to have two guys wrestling into you, and to live with 3 kids not your own, without generating even a little angst really proves it. There were times I didn't even want to live with my own three kids....I wish I would have had a Samoan bus in the back yard to move them into!

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