MJ Live

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My Samoan Family (Written Oct 29 2005)

Today in language we did a presentation about our Samoan family – you know, the family we've only know for a week. And to make it even better we had to do our presentation  in Samoan – you know, the language we've only known for three weeks. Anyway since I had to create a family tree for this project I thought I would share it with you. My Samoan parents are Sione and Taeao (Tie-ow). Sione is 46 and Taeao is 35. Oddly enough, they look like the kind of parents I could easily have back in the states – they don't look like your typical Samoans. Sione works at the nearby taro plantation (Taro is a potato like food indigenous to Samoa) and Taeao works at home taking care of two of my brothers. I have 4 brothers. They are Akaima, Isaia, Satuala and Marcelusi-Matusi. Akaima is 12 years old and Isaia is 11 years old – both go to the Falevao primary school right across from our training center. They're both great brothers who are smiling all the time and have the patience to deal with my slow learning process. I hang out with Isaid most of the time (he's the one I had the freezy pop with and watched a movie with) but I've gotten to know all my brothers a little bit better over this last week. My two other brothers, Satuala (5) and Marcelusi-Matusi (1), stay at home. The baby was renamed after me on about the 3rd day I was here and according to Leata that means that I am very important to the family. Unfortunately, M-M suffers from some kind of spinal formation defect where his spine is constantly in a curved position and his legs are as stiff as a board. It's one of those things where I feel sorry for the baby, but there's no good medical doctor in this country to find out what his condition is (all the government doctors are on strike right now). And that's my nuclear family – short and sweet (but not as short and sweet as my American family tree). All of my immediate family lives in Falevao and I do like them, especially my brothers. Since I had to say the presentation in Samoan, you know I had my speech written down – so here's my family tree in Samoan:

             'O lo'u 'aiga Samoa lea. 'O o'u matua Samoa o Sione ma Taeao. O lo'u tama o Sione. 'E fasefulu ono ona tausaga. 'O lo'u tina o Taeao. 'E tolusefulu lima ona tausaga. 'O Sione e galue I le fa'atoagao Taeao e nofo I le fale. 'E to'afa o'u uso. 'O Akaima, Isaia, Satuala ma Maselusi-Matusi. 'O Akaima e sefulu lua ona tausaga. 'O Isaia e sefulu tasi ona tausaga. 'O Satuala e lima ona tausaga. 'O Maselusi-Matusi e tasi le tausaga. 'O lo'u 'aiga e no'nofo I Falevao.

             And there you have it, my Samoan family in Samoan. It's been an intense 3 weeks since I can read and understand what's in the paragraph above. Scary. Anyway, back to Apia tomorrow. Uh-rah!

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