Saturday, December 15, 2012

WHAT Question from America... What are you doing all day?

WHAT question from America...
What are you doing all day?

Typical Schedule

Lilly (my host cousin) and I hanging out.
Waking up and go running, without getting chased by dogs here (most mornings), put on my lavalava to go into the village and get ready. My Tina is making me breakfast while I get ready for training. Eat breakfast and walk to training. Get to training and stay for about 8-10 hours. After training go back to my fale, either study, hang with my family, watch volleyball or swim with the other volunteers/village. When the Lotu (church) bell rings, we all go home, pray with our families and eat dinner. After dinner, hang with families or as of now learning a Samoan dance and then go to bed.

Brad, Rhoda and I hanging out on my porch.
Hearing Group 83 talk about their last two years, every single one of their experiences are different, just like each Volunteer's day, even if we are doing the "same thing," going into the details of it... It is like we are not even in the same village.
Allow me to explain-
When I say I get ready, with my Tina that means I put on an outfit and come out for breakfast. She says it looks nice and I eat. After I am done eating and am ready to walk to training with Lou (Volunteer in the fale next to me) my Tina informs me very nicely that I am not ready. That the outfit is the wrong one. So I change, that one is also the wrong one because I need to match it with this flower. So I change. That one is also not correct because it is too fat for my body and I should wear a different one. After 3-4 outfit changes I am ready but my hair is not, or my shoes are wrong, or.. you get the idea. My Tina likes to dress me up because she wants me to look the best! If other Volunteers are wearing pulatosi then I have to too. Now I am late, so is Lou who patiently waited (and was for probably the first month until I found a way to stop that madness!) and I get to training.

What I do on my breaks
at training.
Language training!
This is my story I made up in
Samoan about my
teacher going to a club. 
What Michelle does on her breaks
at training.
                 Training is a whole other blog.

Every day life. 
After training I personally am free to do what I want. I can get into my fale and read, do yoga on the beach, go on a run if I missed that morning (which sucks because it is more like swimming than running, only I am swimming in my own sweat), or I can really go swimming in the ocean and hang on the beach, play or watch volleyball or sometimes I stay at the training fale and hangout with any of the Volunteers from 83 that are visiting.
Other Volunteers do not have such freedom and have to go home to tell their families what they want to do. A lot of the volunteers have to check in and hope their family doesn't have something planned for them. I know of one Volunteer at the beginning of training had a fiafia (party) every night for the first two weeks.
When the Lotu bell rings, my family does not do Lotu. Sometimes I do Lotu with Lou and sometimes I just go into my room and read until dinner is ready.
Mareko! Games after dinner.
Other Volunteers have Lotu and it can last from 3 minutes of a prayer to over 30 minutes with a number amount of songs and then a really long prayer.
My family sleeping on my porch of my fale.
My family always prays before eating. My dinner used to be strange at the start. I would eat first while my family watched me, literally watching me eat. Watching my facial expression, watching what I eat first, what I eat more of, what I do not eat and then they ask me questions, "Why you not eat the fish?" "Why you staring at the beach?" "You like the tea?"
Luckily those questions have stopped and I can get my Tina to eat with me and it is usually just me and her. My brother Mareko will eat with me along with my Tina if they are both there. Other Volunteers still eat alone and are still getting watched while they eat.
So- We all get ready for the day, we all pray and we all have dinner in out typical day... But all of our days are never ever typical.

No comments:

Post a Comment