I won’t be able to post the video yet but I have a few I plan to put up when I get to Auckland, where I’ll have access to an internet connection faster than a slug on downers.
After school I went searching for the right person to talk to about setting up some outreach sessions for the Cancer Society. They’d like to do several 30 minute presentations to both kids and adults. It has not been easy so far but I think I found support today. He’s a high ranking government official who lives in my village. He’s also the guy who generously let’s me use his beach fale down the road.
I was on my way to his house today to talk about the sessions when I saw him at the school. He was watching the church youth practice for the big upcoming conference. It will involve all the Congregational churches in the country and will last two weeks. People have been preparing for it for months. I saw a fine mat that the women of my church are making and it is astonishing. A very fine weave and enormous. Size matters in Samoa and this will be impressive.
I filmed the youth dancing. They’re from the whole village and there are at least 50 of them. They’ve been practicing every day which is why we haven’t been able to have the reading/homework/English classes in the evenings.
I was really involved in my church youth group in high school and it was great. It was as much social as religious. I met kids from all over my town and learned to water ski, thanks to our youth minister. I try not to remember the part where I fell and my bikini bottom came off just before the minister hauled me into the boat. At the time, I would have preferred drowning.
I’ll share the video with the kids dancing but am more excited to share some other video. As usual when anything (or nothing) is going on at the school, the kids from the family next door were hanging out on the wall. And, as usual, as soon as they spotted me they started screaming my name. When they saw I had my camera that was just icing on the cake. They wanted to pose. They wanted to review their film, please, Mr. Demille. They were very happy. They are usually very happy.
A few minutes earlier I saw a couple of my boys enjoying a swim. Naked. They didn’t see me when I walked past the first time when they were demonstrating to the world that they were swimming bare pickle. A few minutes later as I headed back in the other direction they saw me and were waist deep in water. They’re about 9.
One of my fondest memories of Samoa will be the laughing, happy children. Admittedly, sometimes I want to kill them, but mostly I just like to hear them laugh.
BTW – a pig update. The 5 a.m. church bell apparently woke them up from where they were slumbering against my house. The bell woke me up too and I spent the next hour listening to the pigs snort and snuffle around my house. They seemed to mistakenly think if they told me they were ready for breakfast, I’d toss something out the door. Didn’t happen. They also hadn’t been fed by the time I headed for school.
I was followed across the compound by the large sow and two piglets. If you’re thinking cute, tiny things, you’re incorrect. They are the perfect size for a Samoan umu. The pigs were halted before getting to the road by the dogs that are very good at their job of pig wrangling.
I’d rather face a commute that involves pigs and a lovely sunrise over the lagoon anytime compared to rush hour traffic.