Clearly, I’m in the Beach Corps, since I played beach volleyball last week. If you’re thinking buff, brown-skinned Samoan dudes, think again. It is part of the Samoa Health Challenge III that Peace Corps is sponsoring and I was playing with the women’s committee. I’m one of the older players, but not the oldest and not the most “voluptuous”. They play a mean game of voli. They don’t talk to me much, because my Samoan sucks, but they smile a lot and they let me play as an alternate.
They enjoy the game but take it seriously. I warned them (in Samoan) that I was bad. It didn’t take long to prove my point. They had me play on both teams. I think it was so that I was an equal liability. They did seem shocked when I hit a couple of winning serves. They gave me advice in English and Samoan.
I wasn’t clear on how/when they rotated players but they would tell me “uma” and I was outta there. At one point there were a bunch of kids staring at me, most too young for school. I asked if anyone wanted to Hokie Pokie. Didn’t have to ask them twice. We hokied, we pokied. We sang and danced. We counted. We did the alphabet. We did a song that involves pointing at each kid in turn as they dance (Her hands are high, her feet are low and this is how she jig-a-lows). They loved that one and it was also popular with the women, some of whom started dancing to our song.
If you’re in the mood to play some volleyball, stop by. We play every Monday night along the main beach road in Sapini. Hopefully, you’re better than I am.
BTW, if you just want to watch, you might want to walk just up the road where the buff brown-skinned dudes play in front of my fale. And you wonder why I sit at home most evenings gazing at the view?