Samoa is home to me now, and like any time I leave home, there were things I missed. They include:
· My house. It’s not fancy but it’s home. It has all my stuff just the way I want it. On vacation I stayed in 11 different places in 3 weeks. Too much moving around. I like knowing where my underwear and toothbrush are at all times.
· My family. They are a big, boisterous group and this morning I was ready to whack my big brother whose alarm went off every five minutes for 45 minutes, starting at 6 a.m. But they are the ones who I live with. They know me best and put up with me, good and bad. If I need something, they’re there.
· Having people call my name. Yes, I said I missed anonymity in the previous post and yes, I actually would like to have my cake and eat it too. Coming back into the village the day I arrived back on the island, one of my kids blew me a kiss. Others yelled and waved. I’ve run into women in the market, on the bus and on the street who kiss and hug me and ask when I got back. Yeah, I missed that.
· The post office. I check my mail once a week, usually on Tuesdays when we get mail from Apia. There is one employee. She knows me and can tell me without looking if I have mail or not. I’ve never had to wait more than five minutes. I dread having to go back to the Lake Mary post office where I always have to wait a minimum of 30 minutes.
· The sea. Donna said she agreed that all of Savaii is beautiful but that the most beautiful beach and lagoon is in my village, across from my house. I like hearing the low roar of the waves hitting the distant reef as I fall asleep. I like watching the rain move in over the ocean.
· The laughter. Samoans like to laugh. Young and old alike. I’ve spent much of the week working on my computer and there is an almost constant sound of laughter and singing. There is a big group of kids visiting with their families for a funeral and they spend the days playing with the local kids. And giggling. Granted, at 10:30 last night when they were giggling as they ran around my house I was ready for some silence, but at least it was laughing, not sirens, car horns or shouts of anger.
· The feeling. I’m not changing the world here in Samoa. There won’t be headlines when I leave. No parades. But I know that I’m touching a few, in a small way. I’m giving back as a way to repay all that I’ve been given over the years. It’s a good feeling. When I’m travelling/living in palagi land, my life tends to be a selfish and self-centered existence. I like the feeling that I’m doing something bigger and better than myself.