Thursday, March 4, 2010

I’m the most spoiled Peace Corps Volunteer

Last week was a bit sad with saying goodbye to my host family. I had the best fa’amavae I could ask for however. Wednesday night we went over to my host sister’s (Anita) parents’ house for dinner. Her parents lived right next to me pre-tsunami and were always very nice to me, giving me bananas, cucumbers, etc. After dinner, they had the kids do a sort of fiafia for us. The kids sang whatever songs they could remember from the radio, pre-school, Sunday school, etc. One of Anita’s sisters was in from Apia and her son did a hilarious Michael Jackson dance. He was moving his hips, bending his knees, and had arm movements to go along with it all. I was cracking up, as was everyone else. We stayed really late into the night, but it didn’t seem like we had been there that long. I really like all of Anita’s family, so they are people I will miss.

We went back to our house and I gave my family going away gifts I had bought in Apia. We chatted for a while and played with the kids. In the morning, the PC office came to pick me and my stuff up. Unfortunately, the kids were off playing and Salesa (my host brother) was already in Apia so I didn’t really get to say goodbye to them. Anita got a ride to Apia with me and that goodbye was really rushed and abrupt as well. I did tell them I have every intention of visiting them in New Zealand after my PC service so perhaps that is why the goodbyes were virtually non-existent. I really do want to visit them in NZ and that is the plan, but one never knows what could happen. Oh well, I suppose this way was better than some long, drawn out, awkward goodbye. I will miss them however.

I’ll miss nothing but the same movie over and over again. The girls get into streaks of nothing but Cinderella, Miss Congeniality, or Harry Potter (not that those are bad movies, but everyday, multiple times a day is a big much, at least I have 5 Harry Potter’s to choose from). I’ll miss coming back from Apia (where I’ve been working over the weekend) and hearing little Charin say “Malo Ta’a” (ta’a means hanging out in a bad way, so she is basically saying Hello/nice job being lazy and not working). But that’s ok because I tell her when I wake up earlier than she does “Malo moe umi” or “Hello late sleeper.” I’ll miss getting off the bus and having the girls run towards me saying “Rita!” Of course, this is mostly because they know I always bring a treat for them.

Oh well, life moves on and we must adapt. I moved into my new house just Monday and started work at the Samoa Football Federation. I have a room with a bathroom inside and have access to the kitchen in the Federation offices. It is a nice kitchen too…fridge, microwave, oven, stove top, toaster! I can’t wait to bake cookies. I have access to the washing machine…used it last night, amazing! Most of my clothes were dry by this morning; it is amazing what difference a spin cycle makes. And I found out last night while showering….wait for it….hot water! Ok, all you Samoa PCVs (and other country PCVs who may be reading this as well) try not to get to jealous; I had to brag a bit. I have a ceiling fan as well…life is rough.

As far as the actual job is going: Right now I’m doing office work…data entry trying to get players registered on a database with the Oceanic Football Confederation (who oversees us and FIFA oversees them). I put together some training lessons for use with the Fun Football program we do with kids every Saturday morning. Office work isn’t my thing (I’m more of a hands on, get a little wet and dirty doing marine biology type gal) but I can rock a desk for five months…and besides, it relates to soccer so I’m ok with doing office work, for a bit anyway. Besides…I got some sweet gear for working here, so it has its benefits. I work with nice people too so it’s all good. I look forward to seeing what other tasks I’ll do. The job description has me doing a bit of everything really. Key aspect of Peace Corps is be flexible, so I’m game for whatever the job brings.

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