MJ Live

Sunday, December 25, 2005

My Samoan Christmas (Written 12/25/05)

Standing in the rain on Christmas

Well today was Christmas if you didn’t know – Merry Christmas! Of course, I’m use to it being nice and cold this time of year, so weather wise it was just another Samoan day but it definitely was a good day. I started out by going to church at the Peace Chapel (the same church I went to last year) and for Christmas they celebrated Jesus’ birthday – so it was upbeat, energetic and really felt like a party. So while I have been saying “It doesn’t feel like Christmas” the church service today was a good reminder of the purpose behind today – it IS Jesus’ birthday and we are celebrating by the sharing of gifts and fellowship with family and friends.
So that was a new and great feeling to come to that realization and at the same time be in a church that took this new view on what Christmas is all about. It was one of those moments where I was like “if I were back home, I would not be feeling this right now” so it was good to grow in knowledge that way. Candice also came with us (it was her first time) and she really enjoyed it, which made it even better to share such an uplifting experience with her. After the service we went to the Peace Corps office just to hang out a bit and basically have a reason to bike around – the more I bike the better I’m getting at it (and the stronger I’m becoming) so that one day I can do one of those vaunted bike trips around the island. Well when we decided it was time to leave, mother nature decided differently and sent rain down upon us. It was cool because we were like “well, if we can’t have snow at least we have the next best thing – rain!” but of course rain sticks to you a lot more then snow does. We waited a bit for the rain to lighten up a bit and it did (but didn’t stop) so we took the chance of biking in the rain. It was a fun experience but I would only do it on Sunday when there are virtually no cars on the roads and you can bike on both sides of the road (to get away from the pools of water that may look easy to get by but are not). After going our separate ways in the rain, I went to Selima’s house to celebrate Christmas with her and some other volunteers. It basically ended up being mostly volunteers from Group 73 – Skye, Mike, Beth and Selima – and myself, so a nice cozy little group setting. But you know what – I had a great time, we chatted, we laughed, we ate a lot of food and it felt like I was with family for Christmas and that’s a good feeling to have when you’re thousands of miles away from home. So was it Christmas at home? No. Was it a good first Christmas in Samoa – yup, it was everything I hoped it would be: good folks, good people, good talking and good times. Tomorrow is like a Christmas hangover because Monday is also a holiday to observe Christmas – so it will be interesting to see if any places in towns are open for their After Christmas sales. If so, I’ll feel right back at home once again! J Now, onto New Years! L8r.
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