I from someone in the Peace Corps that transitioning into a new country is not nearly as difficult as re-accli- mating to the pace of American society, and for the most part, I find that to be true. I think my life is a lot slower here, and the idea of going faster than 50 mph is mindblowing. In the episode of “The Wire” that I watched last night, there was a Baja Fresh cup on the table at a meeting in the mayor’s office, and it made me shed a little tear (not really).
But there are some days in Samoa where the pace of life here becomes a little ridiculous. It all has to do with how things run minimally here because of the slow pace of life. Shops are closed on Saturday afternoons because people don’t shop on Saturday afternoons. But this creates a Saturday morning rush, and complicates things when you want to have a slow Saturday morning, and you realize that that’s the only sliver of weekend when you can really do any sort of shopping.
For me today, I am running around like a headless chicken because I am rushing off to the village, but I wanted to post a blog before I do that. The busses only run until about 5:00, and given my lap-sitting experience last month, I was really hoping to avoid the last bus, the pasi mulimuli. As soon as I get this thing posted, I have a good 20-minute walk into town to get to the bus stop, and if I want to pick up any food items to bring to my family, we can add another 15 minutes of shopping on to that. In short, I am low on time.
This isn’t completely my fault though. True, better planning (pre-writing the blog, packing in advance, blah blah blah) would have made this moment less stressful, but when have you ever known me to pack in advance? I had actually allotted myself much more time to blog and pack and run out the door, but 5th period this afternoon, the math teacher came to me with a thick packet of paper and asked if I could type up the year 11 midterm exam for the EFKS schools.
I don’t like typing things for staff. I’m a big fan of them typing it themselves. Yeah. I’m gonna pull out the “If I give you a fish, you eat for a day…” line.
But I hesitantly agreed in spite of myself. “Ummm… Sure. When do you need it by?”
It would be one thing if I had to type up another paper for someone’s son’s theology class (Yeah. I had to do that once. It was 8 pages of broken English about sin.), but this was a math test. Not only was it a math test, but it included fractions, algebra, graphing, and square roots.
Don’t get me wrong. I love fractions and algebra. Yes. During my free time at CNET, I would jump on the algebra section of Yahoo! Answers to do homework for lazy middle schoolers. I could do it all day, and I would have aced that test.
Microsoft Word, on the other hand, loathes fractions. And if you want your variables to be italicized, you’re in for a chore. And for some reason, the Drawing function in Microsoft Word is a lot more painful than I remember it.
In any case, 3 hours later, I had a 10-page math exam ready to go. Fully equipped with fractions, algebra, Cartesian planes, and (thankfully) one radical sign.
But now I am forced to BS my way through this blog post, and then awkwardly walk-sprint across Apia to catch the pasi mulimuli on which I will no doubt be obligated to sit on a dude’s lap for 2 hours of bumpiness.
So I suppose adapting to the fast pace of American life will be difficult, but occasionally things can be pressed for time here. And it sucks.
I hope you are managing your time better than I. One picture below.
My pule looking like a Samoan newscaster.
3 months ago