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Friday, 22 January 2010

Volunteering Abroad: The Quiet Moments of Life in Samoa - Page 3

Written by Elizabeth Gartley
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I set my alarm for 6 a.m., but since the roosters wake earlier, I’m generally up by 5:30. After a year and half, my life as a Peace Corps volunteer in a Samoan village has in many ways become familiar and routine – but naturally, there are plenty of surprises always waiting to sneak up on me.

 

The Quiet Moments: Life in Samoa, Peace Corps volunteer in Samoa, Peace Corps volunteer, life in a Samoan village, teaching in samoa, Elizabeth Gartley

We wander outside to try to corral the wandering cow. I slowly walk behind her, and Malae nonchalantly walks alongside. The cow has clearly been through this before and snorts at me in such a manner as to remind me who’s bigger. The cow meanders across the road into some brush and banana trees. Undaunted, Malae and I follow. We slowly manage to coax her back towards our land, and by this time, thankfully, Fiu Tuugamau – Malae’s husband and my host father – comes home. With little trouble, Fiu ties up the cow to a nearby tree (he’ll return her to the cow pen later on).

I close most days sitting around the kava bowl with Fiu and his buddy, Amitua, the village handy-man. Kava is a common ceremonial drink consumed throughout the Pacific. Made from the root of a kind of pepper plant, kava is often consumed in social settings and can have a mild euphoric effect. Starting in the late afternoon and finishing the bowl after dark, Amitua slowly serves the kava cup by cup. The two men discuss local and national politics and gossip.

Maybe it’s just the kava talking, but I never tire of my quiet moments in Samoa.

 

The Quiet Moments: Life in Samoa, Peace Corps volunteer in Samoa, Peace Corps volunteer, life in a Samoan village, teaching in samoa, Elizabeth Gartley

©Elizabeth Gartley

(Page 3 of 3)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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