Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Postcards and Haircuts

Hey Lew, I hope you’re enjoying Macedonia.  Lew is a brand new PCT, training for service in Macedonia.  Before he left the US, he was thoughtful enough to send 3 postcards to my kids.  I picked up 2 of them today at the post office, along with 2 letters from Granny T.  Thanks, Lew.  Love you, Granny T! 

I’m working with the Year 7 kids on letter writing.  Monday we discussed the parts of a letter and the format.  I asked why someone would send a letter.  “To say ‘thank you’!” a couple of kids yelled.  “To ask for money!” several others yelled.  It seems that just sending a letter to say hello is not so common.

We’re going to keep working on letters and will begin posting responses to your post cards soon.

I need a hair cut.  In the year that I’ve been here I’ve had my hair cut several times.  Sometimes with more success than others.  I have baby fine blond/white hair.  It is not typical of hair here.  I know that by looking around and also because children, when they think I won’t notice, touch my hair.  A few women, too. They seem to find it fascinating because it is so fine.  The color, too, is unusual, which seems to be a source of great interest to children.

I’ve always had my hair cut in Apia.  It’s expensive, about $50 and requires a multiple bus and ferry rides which all cost money.  It also requires an overnight stay in Apia.  Usually I combine the hair cut with a visit with friends and shopping at Farmer Joes, the most well stocked market in the country. 

I’m saving my tala for my trip to New Zealand over the holidays so decided I’d see if I could get a hair cut in Savaii.  The short answer is “no”.  There are a couple of barber shops but they are aimed toward male Samoans and involve clippers rather than scissors.  One of the women in my women’s co. has short hair and I asked who cut hers.  Seems she used to go to Apia but now her son (an adult) cuts it.  With scissors.  I asked if he could cut mine but that didn’t work out.  Her hair is typically Samoan…thick and course.  Very nice and very unlike my wimpy, wispy mess.  Her son would be too afraid to touch it.

A man on the school committee said he could cut it.  Someone else told me he’s a professional hair cutter.  Seems they are both “pepelos” (liars) and he was using “hair cut” as a euphemism for what he wanted to do with me in my fale.  Samoan humor. 
My hair currently looks like Meg Ryan gone wrong.  Or like the hair on a baby chick.  It kind of sticks out and has some curly bits and some straight bits.  Mostly it’s so windy it doesn’t really matter.  Plus, since I only have a hand mirror and look at it rarely, who cares?  The only problem is the amount of time I spend trying to keep my blowing hair out of my face on the bus.  Guess I’d better plan a day in Apia.

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