"You're wearing palagi clothes!" Those were the first words my BFF from Group 83 in Samoa said to me. I had the same reaction to her palagi attire. But since we were at Disney World, pulatasis and lavalavas just didn't seem appropriate.
We met when we were assigned to be roommates our first night at staging in L.A. We remained roommates for our first three weeks in Samoa. Although I'm about 40 years older, we bonded.
It was wonderful to see "Sesa" again while she was here with her younger brother to visit Orlando's theme parks. It was also great to spend time with her brother, who she loves dearly and talked about constantly while we were in Samoa. I felt as if I knew him before we actually met.
We talked a bit about transitioning back to the U.S. We both agreed that because there are so many options and so much "stuff" to choose from, decision making is hard. We also commented on how food seems so filling. We agreed that it isn't just the volume (because Samoans can pile on the food) but the fact that there's more "food" in the food - more ingredients.
In Samoa, you just have taro. Or bananas. Or chicken. While we were having this discussion I was eating a sandwich that involved turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce all on freshly baked bread. That's a lot of goodness packed into the kind of artisanal bread that I never saw in Samoa.
I brought up the fact the people seem to be either texting, facebooking or talking on the phone constantly - and frequently doing it to people who are sitting in the same room. Sesa'd had the same experience when at dinner with a few friends she realized two of them. who were sitting across the table to each other, were texting ... each other.
We agreed that we both miss Samoa. As we strolled through the crowded shops and sidewalks of Downtown Disney, I just kept thinking about how my Samoan kids would respond at Disney. And how much I could have used all the games and activities while I was teaching.
It was hard to hug goodbye but I know it was just "See you soon." not "Goodbye."