MJ Live

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Moving Day (Written 12/15/2005)

The day of separation has finally come – the people of Group 75 went out separate ways for the first time in 3 months. We moved to our individual sites today and boy did it feel like I was moving out of college yet again – saying goodbye to friends that I might not see for a while (and by a while I mean maybe 3 days). We started moving out of the hotel at about 10am today, Ryan and I were the second ones to move (Candice and Charles left first) so it was both hard and easy for me because I was able to say goodbye to people and then go – unlike the people who are going to Savai’i who left well after everyone had moved away (they left at 2pm for the 4pm boat to the other island). When I got to my place, it was a ghost town like Michael told me it was going to be simply because everyone is on holiday. Fortunately, there’s a priest in training here named Mika who is watching the place for the father so if I have any problems or concerns I have someone I can go to locally. My place is huge, more then enough space for me, and its got a great location in the village of MoaMoa. Luckily, I made arrangements with the previous volunteer to leave a lot of his stuff in the apartment so when I came in it didn’t feel like I had to do a lot of shopping in order to make the place liveable – I do feel as though I have to do a lot of cleaning, but that’s what these first couple of days are for. So I spent the first part of the day just making the place somewhat liveable for me and in the afternoon, my APCD – Esera – came by to check the place out and make sure I was okay and didn’t have any problems. I got a ride back into town with him (Sara and Holly were also getting rides) and in less then 10hours I was back at the hotel – old habits die hard! I didn’t stay to long simply because I had to do some basic shopping before the buses stop running (the era of free rides are now over, so I gotta live by way of the buses and the taxis now – thus is the life of a volunteer). But it was cool today, because I felt like I was in a city that I knew – I felt like I was actually a part of the culture and not really an outsider looking in anymore. I know I still have a ways to go, but you know I felt as though I am at that mental point in my mind where it doesn’t feel like I’m a tourist anymore. I guess getting the opportunity to not live out of a bag anymore does that to a person! One other difference between now and training is that I have to be conscious of what I buy because whatever I buy I have to carry back to my house, so I have to make sure I only buy as much as I can carry on the bus – ah such is the life without a car (and I really can’t carry that much on my bike yet, just getting the hang of it again). So after doing my bit of shopping, I headed back to the fish market area and waited on the bus. So this marked the first time that I actually took the bus to my apartment – not the hotel, not someone else’s house – my house and boy was that a strange feeling in Samoa, but I good one. While I won’t get a chance to do that to often – I live really close to the school, it was great to get a chance to do that on the first day. So I continued unpacking/surfing the net (I think out of all my groupmates, I’m the only one that got internet on the first day) until I had my first blackout in Samoa. That’s right, on my first night here with half my stuff still sprawled everywhere the lights all of a sudden went out. For some reason, the entire area had a massive blackout – the weather was clear and there was no rain – so I have no idea what caused the blackout. So I went to talk to Mika and his brother and that was a great time of just getting to know him (he’s going to be teaching here next semester in economics and he arrived only a month ago) and share with him some of my observations about Samoa both culturally and educational wise. The lights did eventually come back on, so I took this as a message from God that I was suppose to go out and talk to Mika instead of just holing myself up in my new house for the night. It was a good talk and I’m glad I was ‘forced’ to do it. But here I sit, typing this blog, in my Samoan home away from home. It’s odd, I feel like an adult now but at the same time I feel like I’m on summer break (because I am) and I realize that soon I’m actually going to be teaching.
BTW, I also found out when my first day of school might be – January 24, a couple of weeks earlier then I had expected. I was expecting a February start date, but at least know this upfront gets me mentally prepared for the challenge that awaits. Well that’s it from me, when I have something interesting to say I will post. L8r!

12 Days of Homestay:

On the 3rd day of homestay my family gave to me:

Tolu ofu tino

Lua lavalava

And pea soupo ma le mulipipi

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