MJ Live

Friday, November 18, 2005

First Aid (Written Nov 8 2005)

We had our first almost 24 hour period of rain last night. It was quite impressive in that the rain never seemed to stop throughout the night. The rain seemed to think it was in an endurance race because it would pour down hard for about 5-10 mins before lightening up to a drizzle for about 10-15 mins and then going back to a downpour. It was the first time I actually felt like we were in the rainy season of Samoa. If this is just what the rain looks like (and it felt almost biblical in the amount of water that came down), I can't wait to find out what rain plus a cyclone feels like. The rain started at about 5pm on Monday and did not stop until about 3:30pm on Tuesday – quite a lot of water. So, as you could imagine, the kids of the village were ready to get out and play soon after the rainfall ended. Once I cam home from school, Isaia and Satuala wanted to take Malina for a walk (not even one yet and she can walk on unpaved gravel – quite impressive). So as we were taking Malina for her walk we ran into some of my brothers friends they started playing with the toy boomerang (which I brought from camp) I had given to Isaia. Don't worry – Maline was being watched by some neighborhood girls. Anyway, at some point Satuala cut his foot on some rocks or something – I don't know. I would not have known something was wrong if the other kids hadn't seen blood on his foot and asked what happened. He's five and he wasn't crying or yelling – he just stood there holding his foot up with his normal face on. I was quite impressed, all the kids around him were about 11-12 so if I had not been there it would have been interesting to see who would carry him home because the road was muddy from the rain and his cuts could have become infected had he walked home – not to mention he had no shoes on (all the kids around here play with no shoes on).

Unfortunately, the negative reality of my situation hit me when I went to carry Satuala home. First, I made sure I had no open wounds on me and then I tried to carry him in such a way that my clothes did not get bloody. While I would not have done that with one of my little cousins in America, I know they are disease free – unfortunately, I know nothing of these kids health and I have to put my health and safety before I help – because in Samoa good health care is not a 911 call away. And in regards to my clothes, unlike in America where I have a wide variety of clothes to choose from, in Samoa what I have has to last me till December and I don't think blood comes out all that well in the bucket wash. So I carried him home and took him to Taeao who sanitized and bandaged the wounds on Satuala's feet and at no point did he cry. I tell you, these Samoan kids are tough. Some have scars all on their legs and arms that look a lot like war wounds but they're just wounds that didn't heal properly. Samoans are a tough but fun-loving people and from what I learned today – it starts at an early age.

You know, if I mention the Rock enough maybe I'll see him in person during my stay here. Anyway, I found out where the Rock's Samoan village is today. His family is in the village of Saleilua on the island of Upolu. It is on the southern part of the island near Togitogiga Waterfall. Hopefully I'll be able to visit it during my stay here – only in Samoa! And today in class, we also found out that Samoan name for Spiderman. Brace yourself now – tamala 'aupogaleveleve [tah ma low ah  ow ponga lev a leva a]. That's right true believers, a word that has 9 letters in the English language has 21 letters in the Samoan language. Make mine English! (and Marvel).

Today was definitely a learning day – not only about the Rock and Spiderman but also learning about myself and how I would react in a situation that could affect my health here and learned about the toughness of Samoan kids. Excelsior on a day well done!

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