A family from New Zealand was staying at the beach fales up the road not too long ago. I met them on the bus and we had a chat about what brought us to Samoa.
The twin daughters of the family, Ruby and Tessa, are in Year 8. Mom asked if it would be ok if they came to spend some time at the school. The next day, mom and dad dropped the kids off and went for a stroll while the girls joined the Year 8 class with me.
I can’t imagine how scary it would be to a girl at that age to be expected to enter a new school, in a foreign country, to spend a couple of hours with kids who barely share your language. These girls did it with aplomb. I assured them that the Samoan kids were way more intimidated by having not just one but two palagi girls in their class. They were also fascinated.
There was a bit of singing, some dancing and an art project that let the kids work in small groups and just talk and be kids. A couple of the boys also ran to get palm fronds to demonstrate how they’re woven into baskets and used for decoration on homes and other structures.
The family took pictures and I hope the girls enjoyed their visit. I know the Samoan kids did, and they talked for days about how pretty the girls are (they really are beautiful) and how nice they are.
It was a huge surprise and treat today at the post office when I was given a package from New Zealand. At first I didn’t recognize the return address. Then I remembered. They were nice enough to ask others in their school to donate items and sent a package chock full of notebooks, crayons, stickers, pens and other items that the kids will love. I think they’ll especially like the school newspaper that you included.
Thanks for visiting our school and remembering us. I know the children will be excited. I told my host brother, who’s in my Year 8 class about the package and asked if he remembered the girls. “The really pretty girls?” Yes, those are the girls. Thanks, Tessa, Ruby, and your Mom and Dad!