Saturday, October 01, 2005

Some thoughts about leaving

It's now 10 weeks before I say goodbye to Samoa and I'm feeling quite anxious, excited, sad, and stressed all at the same time. The last two years have been the most soul-changing of my entire life. I've grown in ways that I'm sure others won't be able to see as they are changes that are internal. I know, however, that I am a completely different person than who I was when I first stepped onto Samoan soil. I'm anticipating a bit of culture shock, as they say, but mostly I'm anticipating some confusion and stress as I won't have my usual routine when I get home. Right now, on the weekdays I wake up around 6:30am to the sound of crowing roosters and then maybe do pilates on my "fala" (mat). School begins at 8:30 and I spend my day speaking Samoan to my students and joking with the school staff. After school I might give a workshop, train staff on using the computer, or have a meeting in town. Around 3:30 I take a not too crowded bus into town and stop at the PC office to check my e-mail before I head to paddling (by far, the best part of my day), where I get to watch the sun set over the ocean. Then my boyfriend, Simati, and I go home in the back of a friend's pick-up truck to make a quiet dinner at home. Everything will be so different when I'm back home. Different from what I remember. Although, I know in my head that different can be good and that this next journey will be just that. Another journey. I really don't have a specific experience to journal at this time. I more or less just wanted a outlet for some of the feelings I'm having right now.


At October 4, 2005 at 10:13 PM, Blogger schaveyt said...

Yes, it will be culture shock. However, there pluses to this culture shock. You'll notice these minute nuances of American culture that you've never really noticed before. Some of those you'll truly enjoy and other you'll wish we did it things in the Samoan way.

What are you plans when you get back? Where are you going to live?

At October 20, 2005 at 12:55 PM, Anonymous JD said...

Based on all that you have experienced, would you volunteer again? In Samoa, or would you want to help out elsewhere and experience another culture?

At October 21, 2005 at 11:17 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

So, my plans for when I get back are to spend a lot of time with family, travel the US a bit, and get my grad school applications finished and sent off before January. I hope to be in grad school in a public administration program by the fall of 2006.
To answer the question if I would ever volunteer again: Yes, absolutely. I wouldn't do Peace Corps again right away but I can definitely see myself doing it again later in life. I loved my time in Samoa. It has been an incredible experience that I could never duplicate anywhere else. I have amazing respect and love for the Samoan people and their country. However, I would not volunteer here again as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Not only am I not allowed to but, I also feel like I have taken everything from Samoa that I can and I have also exhausted my energies and efforts here. It is time for a new experience and challenge.


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