Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saying my first goodbye in Samoa

Saying my first goodbye in Samoa

Today we left the training village to go to Apia for the week before heading off to our permittante sites. Very very very difficult to say goodbye!
I LOVED that all of us Volunteers were in the same village for training, which they have not always done in the past. It felt like a huge family (which I believe most of them were related) and it was really nice to know I could go ANYWHERE in that village and be at home. EVERY SINGLE FAMILY LOVES US! Just from my walk to school I would receive over 20 "Malos," "Where are you goings" "Come and eat" and "Have a good day" and that is just on my WAY to school.
Some of my favorite days are watching volleyball and playing skipping around from fale to fale saying hello to everyone in the village.
One of the MANY goodbye
dances performed for us
Partying it up!
The last night in the village was a huge party! I like the way they say goodbye here. Instead of being sad they party it up! Tradition here when people first arrive or leave is to stay up all night. We had moments at the party where everyone would tear up and get sad and then... They play a song everyone loves to dance to and we all jump around until we start to laugh again. We took as many pictures as we could and at the end of the party all of the village went around the room saying goodbye to us individually. It was really rough and the room was full of sadness.
After the party Lou and I (we are in the same family) gave our goodbye speeches to our family and everyone exchanged gifts. After all the individual photos were taken we played Uno.
My Uno boys
Tina, Sili, Essi (who just got injured by a chainsaw!)
and of course my brother Mareko!
It is another one of my favorite memories from training is Uno. Samoans LOVE Uno. I do not know what it is about that game but I have never seen groups of people go so crazy for a simple card game. I have 3 main guys that come over to play with me and Lou's family. They showed up and we all forgot about Peace Corps leaving and just enjoyed the game until around 1am!
My mom and I talked after until around 4am, 2 hours before I had to get up to get ready to leave. Our conversations are light since both of us struggle with the other's language but what we were able to talk about I think we enjoyed. I slept on my porch next to my family for a few hours before packing up and having to do it all over again. Having to say an official goodbye and get on the bus. Everyone was crying. It was hard to say goodbye to my family in the states but to say goodbye to an entire village was on a different level or sadness.
Goodbye party!
We will be back for New Years and we get to see them for our ceremony!! But... it is a goodbye from being apart of each other's daily lives like we have been the past 10 weeks.

I don't think they have experienced this type of sadness before. Normally when people leave their lives it is goodbye because of death or goodbye because you are moving to New Zeland or American but eventually  you will be back... Goodbye forever is not something they are probably used to saying. 

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