Savaii and I have had a rough relationship. It all started with my second visit during which my iPod and camera were stolen from Phil’s house. They were recovered a month later, but the experience left a nasty taste in my mouth. Later I lost my camera during at our cinco de mayo celebration, and shortly after that, my parents and I had an unfortunate run-in with a taxi driver. Given all this, and the fact I dropped my camera in the ocean yesterday, it’s a little surprising how smooth and easy-going this weekend has been.
Okay, the trip over was a little stressful—mostly because of the cat. Things the cat likes: string, chasing the laser beam, expensive cat food. Things the cat doesn’t like: being cooped up in a sweltering cardboard box for six hours. Blakey and I thoroughly enjoyed the new boat in all of its pristine glory; the cat tolerated the trip, only because of the air conditioning. The second we stepped into Savai’i’s humid heat, the cat got really really cranky. She was pissy for the rest of Thursday.
Other than that, this trip’s been the relaxing holiday for which I’d hoped. Early in the week, word went around about staying at Aganoa Beach Fales on the south side of the big island. Financially and logistically, this didn’t appeal to me, and it turned out Blakey and Phil felt the same. Besides, a bunch of us got together at Lusia’s last night—a much more accessible venue, so it’s not like we’re being completely antisocial.
We needed to be at Lusia’s yesterday sometime between noon and 4:00 p.m. That kind of window allows for a lackadaisical outlook to the day. No rush. We’ll get there when we get there. Even though life in the Peace Corps is markedly slower than life in America, it’s still rare for a day to be so relaxed and unencumbered.
Today has been even slower. We all woke up mid-morning, and given the heat, we decided to play cards for a while outside in the faleo’o behind Phil’s house. Blakey was picked by one of her Apian friends, and Phil and I along with Trent 80 decided to head into town to get lunch.
We ate at a small restaurant in Salelologa right on the ocean, Le Waterfront, which has good, reasonably priced portions. It a beautiful spot. Too bad I threw my camera in the ocean.
In any case, the general success of this weekend seems to stem from the fact that we’ve been here long enough we’re much more in control of the way we spend our day. Or perhaps we’re better at discerning between what we can control and what we can’t, and maneuvering the system accordingly.
In that sense, the Peace Corps’s policy of having volunteers stay for 2 years makes sense. As much as I feel like I’ve been drowning in work lately, I feel like I’ve also learned to maneuver that system more capably.
We’ve hit our stride. Maybe between now and December is when the magic happens?
I hope you’re well. Pictures tomorrow.
4 weeks ago