Friday, October 31, 2003

Talofa Lava!

I've been in Somoa almost 3 weeks now. We just returned to Apia today after spending a week with our families in the village of Si'ufaga. We have trainings (i.e. school) everyday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Our trainers are native Samoans who work for the Peace Corps. They are the warmest, kindest, most giving people who take excellent care of us.

The first week in the village was extremely challenging for us. We have all experienced more than is possible to put into words. My challenges were much different than the ones I expected to go through when I signed up for Peace Corps. The family I live with is actually quite modern. They live in the tradiitional open 'fale' but have a television, stereo, and a computer. Everyone in the village has running water and electricity. My Samoan family has cows, pigs, chickens, and two plantations. Both my Samoan father and uncle work at well paying jobs in schools. The shower and bathroom are seperate from the house and are very clean.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

My First 36 Hours

Tolofa Lava!!!!

I've been here 36 hours and it feels like I've been here a week.  You all would not believe how beautiful this place is.  palm trees, blue blue water, and sun sun sun.  i'm doing okay with the jet lag.  i got some dark circles around the eyes but otherwise i'm hangin in there.  i'm having so much fun.  this is by far the most exciting thing i've done in my life.  the rest of the trainees in my group are extremely cool and worldly people.  we've met some of the current volunteers who gave us tours of Apia, (say uh-pee-uh) yesterday.  there's about 50 current volunteers in Samoa.  we become volunteers Dec. 17th.  yesterday they gave us a welcome "ava" ceremony.  it's a very traditional ceremony where there's a lot of talk in Samoan from the chief and we all drank "ava" from a coconut cup.  it's a mild sedative that left my mouth anesthetitized. forgive my spelling but i'm getting charged by the minute, so i gotta be fast.   being a vegetarian is going to be a challenge but it'll be possible.  they like fatty meat. yes, they are big here.  it's going to be difficult not to pack on the pounds here.  we eat three regular meals and also have tea time with snacks twice a day.  the current volunteers all look like they've gained a litttle weight.  okay i'm outta time.  i love and miss all of you but believe me when i say i'm so happy i'm doing this.  i'm having the time of my life.  i've seen so much in the last 36 hours that i can't possibly write it all down.  i'm going to have to tell you in letters until dec. when i can use the computers at the peace corps office.  trainees aren't allowed.


oh, my given Samoan name is Ema.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Up and Running

This is the first of many posst to begin my blog. I hope you enjoy the future entries to come.