Monday, December 12, 2005
Thanksgiving & Village Return (Written 11/19/05)
Today was Thanksgiving – Happy Thanksgiving! Oh, it's on the 24th you say – not in PC Samoa. We had our first taste of an American holiday in Samoa and it was different. The Thanksgiving lunch is usually held the day after the All Volunteer Conference because a majority of the volunteers are still in town. The lunch was held at the US Embassy Compound in Vailima, so for the first time in my stay here in Samoa I stood on American soil and it felt great! The meal was created potluck style by the volunteers – so there was a lot of American style food like cranberries, turkey dressing, coleslaw, stuffing, mash potatoes and gravy and some other items that I did not recognize but I'm sure they were related to America somehow. But you can't have a real Thanksgiving without one of two things: turkey or a football game. We didn't have a pigskin to throw around but we did have five turkeys given to us by the US Consulate here in Samoa – 50% isn't to bad, but at least it was the most important 50%. We usually only have turkey tails in Samoa but the chance to eat a traditional turkey meal was a real treat. The volunteers did a great job of not only organizing the event but also providing a massive amount of food. While I will be celebrating three of these Thanksgiving lunch (2 more to go) this event can't replace a Thanksgiving meal at home with family. While PC Samoa will be my extended family for 2 years there's nothing like the original. After the dinner and dessert, it was mingling time amongst the volunteers and guests. Quite a few of the guest were Samoan and I asked a few if Thanksgiving meant anything in the Samoan culture and many said 'no', it's a nice get together party but Thanksgiving holds no significance in the Samoan culture – which made me even happier to be a part of PC because while we are here to observe and integrate into the Samoan culture there are certain parts of our own culture (Thanksgiving, 4th of July, etc) that we should celebrate to remind us of where we come from. After talking to a few of the guests, I got involved in a rousing game of Ultimate Frisbee with some current volunteers and Samoans. It was fun playing with the current volunteers because there were so accepting of me and wanted to include me and other trainees in the game (rather than being the last kid picked in dodgeball) and it was also fun because it wasn't the same people I have been hanging out with for the past 6 weeks – a little change of scenery can do you good. Unfortunately, the good times had to end at some point and they did at 5pm when we had to leave for the village stay. We got back into Falevao at about 6pm and unlike last time there was not a mass amount of people coming to get us. So maybe we are becoming a normal part of the village – finally! Once I did get to my own house, I immediately noticed that the Fa'aPalagi Fale (Western style house) was being repainted inside and my room design was once again changed. It went back to the initial layout it had when I first came, only now the colors are blue and green together. So I had a pretty full day and now I feel like going into a food coma (just like a real thanksgiving meal). So that's all the new that's fit to print today. L8r – have a great turkey day!