On my first, last day in Samoa
My village gave to me…
A Birthday and a Red Invasion!
Today was Stewart’s Birthday, the 17 year old… excuse me, 18 year old student who helps me with the library and homework center. To celebrate and thank him for all of his work in the library, I took him out for pizza. This was his first time to eat pizza in over two years and only the second time in his life, but he loves it and he ate a whole pepperoni pizza by himself. Oli came along because she loves Stewart and wants to adopt him and take him back to the states but she is so crazy he wouldn’t go. But it gave me a chance to treat her for all her help in the library over the last couple weeks. Anyway, when we arrived in Apia Digicel had taken over and everything was RED! It was as if someone had come through Apia and covered every surface with red Digicel sign and paint and people running around in red from head to toe and every shop that once had anything red in for sale had been bought up by Digicel. It was scary, but after our pizza Oli and I decided to fight back.
When we walked in front of the government building we heard a man with a microphone speaking in Samoa about how great Digicel is because they will give you a brand new phone if you bring them you old phone and it hit me… I turned to Oli and said, “We can get Stewart a free phone… we are palagi… we are Peace Corps… and we can say how great and wonderful this poor little student is and how much he helps us and that its his birthday and he deserves a free Digicel phone, because Digicel is the new phone of Samoa and Stewart is Samoa!” We darted across the street, assessed the situation, moved in for the microphone and then I saw Stewart’s face… he was petrified. Sometimes we palagis get a little too carried away and do crazy things we normally wouldn’t, but Stewart had never seen me in my hyper crazy mode and I think I may have scared him. ABORT. ABORT.
So we moved on to a movie. Fearless. Jet Li’s last martial arts movie of his career. I believe next spring his first Romantic Comedy co-starring Jennifer Lopez comes out… I can’t wait.
After the movies we had to get a bus. When we arrived at the bus stop the Falefa bus was waiting, empty and quiet. We climbed on and had our pick of seats hoping the bus would stay this way the whole way home. And we thought it might when the bus driver took the bus to the round-a-bout the leads out of town, but he just kept going around the round-a-bout and next thing we knew we were back at the market and everyone wanted on. So much for having your own seat. Shouldn’t I only pay half price if someone else is sitting on me?
Just over an hour later we arrived in Saoluafata where we relaxed a bit, ate some dinner (chicken soup of course) and went up to the library. Oli and Stewart were awesome!!! We got everything done and the library is all setup. What a huge relief. Now I can just relax for my last 11 days!