Friday, May 22, 2009

Odds and Ends Early Service Conference

Between getting home Thursday, the VAC meeting on Friday afternoon, and taking off for New Zealand Friday night, the last couple days have been a whirlwind, and it’s nice to relax now. It’s been a lot of fun having group 81 around, and I’m a little bummed (but not that bummed) to be heading out of town. With so much going on, my days have had the feeling chaotic yet days have required rigid planning to ensure everything gets done on time. The week on the beach was restful and stressful. Here are some other odds and ends from VAC and Early Service Training:
  • Today was Sara’s parents’ last day in town, so she asked me to take minutes at today’s Volunteer Advisory Committee meeting. I asked her for advice on taking minutes, and she told me, “Just write down what everyone says.” So I sat there in the corner of the room like a court reporter this afternoon. I typed out 9.5 pages. I definitely didn’t catch every word that was said, but I could paint a pretty good picture.
  • I wish Early Service Training came after my trip to New Zealand. I feel like my Samoan language skills have a lot of momentum right now. Koa and I agreed that having our parents in town forced us to interact with Samoans a lot more, and that we got a lot of language practice out of that too.
  • I’ve listened to the new Green Day album, 21st Century Breakdown, a lot since it came out last Friday. It’s very good, but I’m not sure I like it as much as American Idiot. I think it will take a while to come to a final decision. It’ll probably need at least a year to marinate, I think.
  • We played Mafia on Monday and Tuesday night at Faofao. A number of people were drinking during the game, which only exacerbated the tension. Kind of awesome. Definitely uncomfortable at times.
  • The movie “Angels and Demons” has been banned in Samoa because of its portrayal of the Catholic church. Maybe I’ll see it in New Zealand. I haven’t seen “The Da Vinci Code,” but I read the book. I haven’t read “Angels and Demons” though… and I do want to read the book before I see the movie.
  • It sounds dumb to be all staunch about mindless Dan Brown fiction, but whatever. I want to read the book first. I’m thinking I could probably get through it in a day or 2, so maybe I’ll pick up the book AND see the movie in New Zealand. I don’t want to get too crazy though.
  • The bug zapper Luisa’s parents sent is extremely effective, and I can’t help but find maniacal satisfaction when I hear the crackling and popping as little bugs of flight meet their end. It only takes about a half hour for most of the bugs in my house to get zapped. So nice.
  • The guys on Savai’i speak Samoan really well now, or at least much better than the rest of us. Last night Supy, Dan, and Phil started an impromptu session of Samoan conversation that probably lasted an hour and a half. Paul came and joined them about halfway though. I had to sit by quietly, barely able to keep up, barely able to contribute to conversation.
  • One of the language sessions was on Samoan superstitions. While the session was definitely amusing, it was also educational. I learned:

    • If a cats pupils are large, it means the tide is in;
    • If you whistle at night, a ghost might slap you in the mouth;
    • Chickens are afraid of owls, not only because owls eat chickens, but also because owls are ghosts.

  • I kicked a piece of coral. It cut my second to last toe on my left foot. Might have to cut it off.
  • Dan and I raced from one end of the beach to the other doing freestyle. Phil was there too, but Phil is half fish, so we don’t really include him in race results. Dan beat me. I suggested that we race back the other way doing butterfly. Dan suggested breaststroke. Breaststroke was my stroke back in the day, so I accepted the challenge. Shortly after this second race began, Dan stopped. He claimed it was because there was coral in the way. Yeah right, Dan. Yeah right.
That’s all I got for this week. Off to New Zealand tomorrow. I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

Blakey and Supy.






Blakey and Kate.

2 comments: said...

Good blog.

Arseneault Family said...

i LOOOOVE Samoan superstitions!! i'm fascinated by 1st trip back to NZ (age 12), my cuzzies covered up the mirrors at night - just in case the moon shone into the mirror and then on you...which would elicit bad dreams while you slept. Lavalavas dressed each mirror every night and whenever the moon shines in my room to this day, i still think about bad dreams...but don't necessarily have them!! ;)