It's Sunday afternoon, June 17th. My morning started off with finding a rat in the humane trap under my bathroom sink. He was not happy and proved the truth of the old saying "scared shitless" by pooping extensively. After I'd gotten some suitable clothes on, I called my brother in to take the rat off to be breakfast for the cats. He pooped and peed all across the floor. I felt sorry for him and I felt guilty for sending him to an unpleasant death but he's been making a mess in my bathroom every night, knocking things off shelves and doing his business in my laundry buckets.
Walking to church was hot, but nice. I ran into my friend Mafa just as I was heading out and we walked together, catching up on the week's activities. I found out that the first week in July, 7th Day Adventists from all of Samoa plus Australia and New Zealand will be coming to our village. That explains all the recent building and landscaping that's been going on. The whole village is involved in sprucing things up. The folks from other places will live with families in the village, no matter which church they attend.
Church was good. There were two Australian couples staying at the resort who attended. They looked even hotter and sweatier than me, so I gave one woman my fan. Because they were there, the minister did part of the service in English was a nice break from all Samoan, all the time.
My family surprised me by bringing me a taro and palusami from the umu for my lunch. I'd planned to make chicken but will save that for later.
After getting very full on taro (it is incredibly dense and for me, a little goes a very long way) I decided to do a little internet surfing. I tried to download two photos Betsy had sent of the two of us together at the resort. My computer reported that it would take over 4 1/2 hours to download. Did I mention that my dial-up is really s....l....o....w?
Then I tried to get onto Delta.com to book some tickets. I'm trying to figure out the logistics for visiting friends and family in San Francisco, Reno and Tucson shortly after I get home. It took forever to finally get to the screen to enter destinations and dates. I had no sooner entered the information and pressed enter that the system told me it had timed out and I needed to sign in again and start over. I'm much more patient with that kind of thing now, although it was still a pain in the neck.
We have a new guy staying in the fale closest to me. I have no idea who he is. He's been here for a week or so. Living situations tend to be very fluid here. In the training village, I'd go to bed in my room with two women sleeping on the floor in the living room. When I came out in the morning, sometimes the two women would still be there. Sometimes there would be another family sleeping on the floor with them, or just one guy. I was rarely introduced, no explanations were generally given and I never knew how long they'd be staying.
It's been the same in Savaii. At the house were I temporarily stayed (for six months - yes, still bitter about that) it was the same. Including one time when I came back to Apia to find someone else's luggage in my room and them sleeping in my bed.
I never am quite sure who's living in my compound. Usually (as of January) it's mom and dad; Fred, the oldest boy; Kayla, one of the twin girls and mom of the baby; Sala, Brian and Karl, the high school kids; Esther, the youngest girl; and Julius, the grandbaby. But when I got off the boat from Upolu, coming back from New Zealand, Kayla was getting on, saying she was moving back to Upolu.
Then Kim arrived and stayed for a couple of weeks. She left one day last week without saying goodbye. Then Junior came back and a few days later Peter arrived. He'll be here a month, but Junior is going back to Upolu today.
In Upolu, all the kids used to live together: Junior, Kim, Kayla and Peter. But now, Peter is staying with a cousin, Junior is living with the eldest sister and her husband and daughter and I'm not sure where Kayla is staying.
Got all that? I don't ask anymore about who's living where or who the new person is that I see everyday helping with the chores. I just smile and say hello. The great part of the new guy is he's another example of how handsome Samoan men are. Dark skinned, very fit and generally just wears a lavalava with no shirt.
At the risk of objectifying young Samoan men and sounding like the dirty old lady I am, I'm going to miss the constant views of strong, handsome, partially clothed men when I go home to the U.S.