Sunday, November 02, 2003

Culture Shock

It's taken me two days to write this posting. I just can't seem to sum up my week and do justice to describing my experience. The challenge for me was having to accept the role of a child agian. At age 25, I'm not an adult in Samoa. I am part of the family and under the authority of my Samoan parents. I am, however, treated extremely well. They cook me vegetarian meals and always ask if I am happy. They desperately want me to speak samoan and I know they are frustrated when I don't understand...but they are always willing to translate.

The next few days I will be in Apia visiting the school I will be working at, Aoga Fiamalamalama. It's a school for children who are deaf, blind, develop mental delay, dyslexia, and have cerebral palsy. They've never had a PCV and are so excited that the government has given them one. Children with disabilities are treated very differently here than in the States. But I'm definitely up for the challenge. If I could sum up my experience these last weeks about how I'm growing and changing, it's that I am learning to adapt to, accept, and be flexible with a different way to live. I'm so incredibly thankful for this amazing oppurtunity that has been given to me.

Much love,
"Ema" - Amanda