Friday, July 30, 2010

You’re really important

I was at work yesterday morning when the phone rang. I answered it and the guy speaking wanted to talk to my boss, who wasn’t in, so I told him I’d take a message and pass it on. The guy then says, “This is Misa Telefoni.” An alarm went off in my head saying...this guy is important. Misa Telefoni is the Deputy Prime Minister, basically the Vice President of Samoa. So that was pretty cool yesterday. I don’t think I’ll ever talk to someone that important in the USA.

The Peace Corps soccer team is still playing, just 2 more games left. We’ve struggled with getting numbers for every game, even had to play down a player on several occasions. Injuries have also taken their toll on the team. We are for the most part having fun playing, there are some teams though that really need to take it down a notch; this is after all a social tournament, not an official league or anything like that. I can be competitive, but I’m not out for blood like some teams are (or to give people concussions like one of our players received). I enjoy watching my teammates, some of whom have never played before or aren’t athletes, play soccer and I’m quite proud of our team. We have to work much harder to get numbers every week than businesses based here in Apia since most of the volunteers aren’t in Apia. We manage though and have a good time getting some exercise.

I promised one of the players who doesn’t usually play we would go for pizza after the game if she played; we were in desperate need of players so I had to do what I had to do to get players. So we went straight into town for pizza at Italiano’s. Afterwards, we went next door to On the Rocks to split a couple of pitchers of Vailima (the local beer). It occurred to me as we were sitting there just how great of a country this is...I can go to a bar in soccer shorts having just played a soccer game and no one thinks anything of it. Awesome! That is one of the things I will miss about Samoa, you don't really have to be dressed up to go out on the town here. That is perfect for me since I hate dressing up.

Monday was a sad day. Three of my fellow Group 80 members left the country to head back to the USA. It is weird to see your group leave, makes you wonder where 2 years has gone. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago we were newbies and just getting into the country, all of us still strangers to each other. Now we are really good friends and splitting up is hard. It is amazing how close people can become in 2 years in a foreign country. Their departure also means I’m the sole remaining member of Group 80 on my island of Upolu. There are still 6 on the big island of Savaii, but I’m the only one on’s an odd feeling knowing your time is coming soon too.

It isn’t that I don’t want to leave necessarily; I’m ready to go in many ways. However after 2+ years, Samoa is just as much of home as the USA is, so in some regards I’m leaving home too...I’ve gotten used to island life. But it is time for me to go and I know that; got to move on to other things and let life continue. I’m still not looking forward to taking the GRE and applying to grad school; something I need to start preparing for. But for now, I’m still on and island and going to faifai lemu (take it easy).

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