MJ Live

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Fitting In (Written 3/19/06)

Standing on Vaiala Beach

Well this week nothing super new or exciting happened but that's
probably one of the best things that could be happening at this point
in my service. I'm just getting to the point where I'm getting into a
groove with work and doing some side projects (like a Peace Corps
March Madness) that keep me active away from the grind of work. One of
the things that I did encounter this week was the realization that
computers were not meant for second or third world country – they were
not meant for places in which spiders, flies and humidity could attack
their components without much resistance. I've run into a mystery
problem with the video display on my main server and while I would
have all the tools (and advice) I would need in America – such is not
the case here. It could be anything from a monitor problem to a video
card problem, both of which are not easy to obtain here (or are very
expensive). As such (this happened on Thursday) I just hit a point of
frustration and decided I needed a break from work and get my mind on
something else. That's when I got the bright idea of trying to fit in.

For those who know me I like to have my headphones on a lot because it
blocks out the world – no one really bothers you when you have
headphones on (it seems to be a universal rule for the most part) so
for the past few days I decided to leave the headphones and music
player at home and just kind of enjoy the Samoan sound. So on Saturday
I tried this little experiment and the first thing that I kind of
noticed is that people talked to me a bit more without the headphones
on. As I did my shopping, I used my Samoan a little bit more then I
normally have in the past (gotta use it or you'll lose it) and as I
was walking from the Peace Corps office a Samoan just came up to me
and starting speaking to me in Samoan (I understood bits and pieces
but he was very friendly and told me in English what he was trying to
tell me in Samoan). As I rode the bus home on Saturday, a lady that
was on the bus when I rode it into town asked me some questions and I
had a nice little conversation with her and the bus driver (who sees
me all the time) actually drove me up to my house – which he hasn't
really done unless I had people with me. So in all Saturday was just a
great day of feeling like I was somewhat adjusting to the Samoan
lifestyle and the Samoan sound. Who knows, I may just venture out more
without the headphones and hear what I can hear.

On Sunday after church I again decided to do a little bit of exploring
– this time trying to find Vaiala Beach (another personal goal for
me). It's a beach that's pretty close to the Peace Corps office and
some of the other volunteers had told me about it so I wanted to see
it for myself. I found it and it's on the same coastline as Palolo
Deep so it's got a great view. It was nice to once again be able to
sit down on a Sunday and just enjoy something that I could only enjoy
while being here. Another part of fitting in anywhere is enjoying
where you are and the beauty that it has to offer. I definitely did
that and enjoyed myself quite a bit. The beach also reenergized me for
this upcoming week in which I will attend my first teacher in-service.
Oh joy! L8r.

Note: The 'Volunteer Life' Album has been updated with photos from Vaiala. Enjoy.

1 comment:

Timothy said...

Maybe I, too, should leave the headphones at home.

Computer problems... I feel ya. For a while it was like a computer would die each week at the school where I work. I think they end up replacing them every 3-4 years.