Today we have a school assembly for remembering the victims that died in the Tsunami in 2009. The tsunami only hit Tutuila, so everyone on Manu’a at the time was fine, but a lot of people have family over there, so everyone pretty much knows at least one person who died because of it. Each of the classes had to put together either a song, poem, or skit. My class will be singing Amazing Grace, they’re the cutest.
Yesterday was a really cool day. I was done with prep work at the school by 3:30, so I came home and I found Logoleo and Asila doing yard work at my house. When people here cut the grass, they use a weed whacker; there aren’t any lawn movers. Imagine cutting your ENTIRE lawn with a weed whacker. Then, when they are finished whacking, they literally sweep the pieces of grass that have been cut into a pile. This is super labor intensive, but everyone does it. It usually takes 2 days to do someone’s yard. Needless to say, as soon as I came home from school I went out to help. I was sweeping the grass into a pile so that it could be burned. In my backyard, I have a pretty thick forest; there are coconut trees, bread fruit trees, papaya trees, and cotton trees. When Leo and I got tired we would wander into the back yard’s forest and go hunting for fruit. We climbed coconut trees to cut coconuts down with a machete. We cut down cotton to make pillows. We even cut down some coconut leaves because he said he needed to make something. When we were done, we came back to the house, sliced open a coconut with a machete and shared the water. Then, he taught me how to make a traditional Samoan basket with coconut leaves!! Here is the finished product!!
How cool is it that I climbed a tree, chopped off leaves with a machete, and then weaved a freaking basket. Pretty sweet, right? I also got some quality time with Leo, which was nice. He told me he is going to teach me how to go fishing by throwing a net. After we stopped working around Sa, I came in and showered and got ready to go back to their house to hang out. When I walked out of my house, this was the sunset.
No, this isn’t photo shopped. This is just the sunset. It looks like pink and blue cotton candy resting on the mountaintop. How did I get so lucky? I get to live in this place for a year (well only 8 more months now), when most people will never experience this kind of beauty in their entire life. After I went back to their house to hang out, they kept on calling me a ‘strong girl,’ which I think is funny because all I really did was sweep, which might be the most traditional woman job I can think of. I think it’s safe to say that I’m starting to become more and more part of the family. I spend a lot of time talking to Mealofa, who is Neta’s 5-year-old daughter. She is helping me learn Samoan and I am helping her learn English. She definitely helps me not miss my nieces and nephews as much because she reminds me a lot of them. She has Caleb’s curiosity, Rowan’s sass, Ben’s love for sports, and everyone else’s charm and adorableness.
Those are my only updates now. Until next time. Tofa se fua, alofa ia te oe.