A New Day & Year Dawns
Manuia Tausaga Fou (Happy New Year) everyone! For my new year, a group of volunteers decided to go to Lalomanu to ring in the New Year on the beaches of Samoa – so I joined in on that unique occasion. I rode over to Bryan’s house on my bike the day before New Year’s Eve for a dinner he was having as a housewarming party and a gathering for those going to Lalomanu the next day. It was a great time of just hanging out and the food was simply amazing. Bryan and John live close to a store called Lynn’s and I have to say it sounds like the Walmart of Samoa – to bad it’s quite a bit of a bike ride for me to get there otherwise I might be shopping there all the time. Anyway, I spent the night over at Bryan’s and John’s and I’m glad I did because it decided to rain for a good majority of the day on New Year’s Eve and biking in the rain around here is definitely not a fun experience. Once it lightened up a bit, we took a taxi van from Apia to Lalomanu which is about an hour’s drive (we drove through Falevao as well – kind of a surreal experience to not be stopping there). We stayed at Litia Sini’s Beach Fale’s which is very popular with the Peace Corps Volunteers – our stay there included a beach fale to sleep in, two meals and a fiafia so it was well worth the money. Since it was rainy for the first part of our stay there everyone just hung around the bar area and chatted. Once the rain started to go away we went out on the sand and played a little ultimate Frisbee and playing on the sand is tough. I also utilized the snorkeling gear that was sent to me and let me tell you it was well worth the investment – being able to see underwater here will reveal a totally different world to you. I had a great time just coasting along with the waves and watching the fish swim under me – very cool. Thanks Dad! The fiafia they had for us was great and they even had a part where the Peace Corps guys went on stage and performed the slap dance we do at our village fiafia’s – a fun time was definitely had by all. The dinner was simply amazing – it included steaks, lobster and sushi – so I definitely stuffed my face as much as I could. This also allowed me to end an amazing week of travel with an amazing feat – at no time this week did I cook a meal! After the dinner was done, everyone kind of just waited around for the New Years to arrive. It was cool to watch my watch as I counted down to the New Years and thinking about what people back home were doing at their New Years celebration. I know that by the time it actually turned January 1 here, my family and friends back home were well asleep and partied out. J It was a great feeling to watch the sunset from an island and then sleep under the stars to bring in the New Year – it will definitely be one of those experiences I will never forget.
One of the many benefits of not drinking is that you can wake up pretty early in the morning the next day – which is what I did. I got to watch to sunrise on the New Year which was something I don’t think I’ll get to say to often (maybe one more time if I stay on the island next New Year’s Eve). That was a good moment of peace – sitting on the southern shores of Samoa with no one to distract me as I watched the sun rise. Just a beautiful moment. So that’s how I celebrated my New Years Eve and what a celebration it was. 2005 brought a lot of change to my life and a heck of a lot of traveling – I can’t wait to see what 2006 has in store for me. And it’s crazy to think that the next time I celebrate New Years, I’ll be less than 11 months away from going home. And despite all the crazy things that happened that can’t be put on this website, just know that everyone at the beach had a safe New Years Eve. The countdown is on to 2007!