“To me, one of the best faces America has ever projected is the face of a Peace Corps volunteer. That face symbolizes this country: young, curious, brimming with idealism, and hope- a real honest compassion-” Teresa Heinz
As I notice how sweaty I am sitting here writing this, and forcefully swat at a bug on my computer (bug guts are now on my screen), I realize the newness has worn off. While I have settled in and adjusted to the Samoan way of life, I feel excited and interested in each day and I am learning to just go with it.
At the beginning of the month training ended, I swore in as an official volunteer, moved to site, and got Dengue Fever. It was a pretty rough 8 day sickness where I ached, had no energy, and got a gnarly rash on my arms and legs. There was no medicine to take, I just had to get through it and I did. I am so happy to see the light after that- at times I thought it would never end and I felt like a baby.
My Christmas was definitely one to remember. I woke up to many wishes from home because my super thoughtful mom had friends and family record Christmas wishes for me (Click password: susiesamoa). It caught me off guard and I cried at every single one- even my sisters. After getting myself under control, I went to a church service with my host mom. Later in the day my host sister and I went to a church BBQ with no BBQ…I joined a Samoan meeting where the elders were discussing (in Samoan) top performing students and after, they served me ice cream and crackers, all the elders shook my hand, and then a little dance party started. After, I joined a teacher, SiliVali, and her family at her house for ping pong, french fries and drinks. She regitted me a bottle of Chardonnay that they insisted I drink then. SiliVali brought out a big plate of french fries and her husband insisted many times that we cheers to the White House. Later, a guy kept doing some dance moves in front of the house and I was forced to dance from the porch to “defend the house.” The Samoan cackle could be heard miles away- they loved it. We finished the party listening to 3 teenage boys serenade us with a Yamaha electric piano. They continuously sang Young Dumb and Broke, Despacito, and Three Little Birds.
The dancing man I had to defend off
Teacher friend, SiliVali
See what I mean when I say: “Just got with it?”
For New Years Eve a few friends from around the Island joined me at my house and we read tarot cards, played Settlers of Catan, had some bubbly, and excitedly brought in 2018. I started 2018 with seeing the Taga Blow Holes. They blew my mind!
I am feeling really positive for 2018 and I am excited to continue sharing this
interesting journey with you!