Saturday, December 15, 2012

What Question from America... What is your family like?

WHAT question from America...
What is your family like?
My Training Host Village Family
My family does not live in this training village. They live about a 10 minute walk from my village. My Tama (Samoan Host Dad) build my fale for me and it took him only 2 weeks! My Tina does sleep on my porch every night to protect me. When I first arrived I found it strange and I felt bad to keep her from her family. I am slowly learning the ways of Samoans here and it would be rude for her NOT to sleep on my porch. All the Volunteers have someone sleeping on their porch at night.
My Tina is here all the time either cooking, cleaning or waiting for me to get back from doing whatever I was doing. She is great and we get along! Our conversations are strained since she speaks very little English and I speak even less Samoan. However- we still laugh A LOT and somehow manage to keep fun conversations and a great relationship. At times we struggle when we have certain things we need to ask or get across. I did not realize that is was just as frustration to her as it is to me until one discussion we were failing at she said, "I just wish I could talk to you." It really made me take a step back and see her differently than I have looked at her before. I really love my Training Host Mother and am very very sad to leave her.
My Tama I hardly see. He works at the Plantation and is a really hard worker. Sometimes he comes over and brings me fresh mango or pineapple from the plantation. Those are my favorite days when I see him!
LOVE these two!!
I have three siblings. When I first got here the two little ones were my saviors. My host mother was too shy to try to speak English and my host dad did not seem to care to try. After school I would come to my fale and the two little ones would be there along with the parents and we would sit in silence. They would watch me eat and nobody would say a word. After a few days of awkward stumbling with words to get a conversation I could not stand it! I enjoy hearing my voice way too much to sit in silence!! So I taught my two young siblings some games. We played rock paper scissors (later I found out they have a better version of that game), the slapping game and eventually they taught me some Samoan hand games. The silence dinners were broken! For the first few weeks it became the norm for me to eat dinner and then play games all night with my siblings until we all went to bed.

1 comment:

  1. I hear how protective and loving the Samoan people are but .... sleeping on your porch? Wow! Whenever I doubt your safety I'll be thinking of the measures your sweet Tina went to to keep you safe and care for you. My heart is filled with gratitude!!!

    No surprise at all that you broke the silence with play and laughter! No matter the language our joys and sorrows are universal.