Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Last Hurrah

Just after midnight tomorrow, Chris and Erin will board an airplane headed back to America, and that will mark the official beginning of the end. Group 81, who arrived in Samoa 8 October 2008, will begin leaving Samoa 15 November 2010. In order to celebrate (drink away?) this transition, the group—sans Joey on account of him being sick—headed to the Sa’Moana Resort on the south side of Upolu to spend one last night together.

Though we all ended up eating dinner together, there was no toast. No one made speeches. No tears were shed. Had there not been a myriad of conversations about what’s next in life and the schedule of layovers and the headaches of moving out, it would have been difficult to tell that this night was different from all other nights.

There was some tension due to interpersonal politics, and at times the night felt like a group divided. But like any big, dysfunctional family, differences were swept under the rug, and our final night together passed without incident.

This morning was a haze of continental breakfast and coffee. There was a little bit of snorkeling and bocci ball, and then it was time for the first wave to return to Apia.

Before boarding the van, we all got together for a group photo with members perched in the branches of one of the trees along the beach. And with the flash of a camera, it was over.

Chris and Erin said their final goodbyes to Supy and Phil, who had to head back to Savai’i. Everyone else is expected to be in town tomorrow for the lead-up to the airport.

Until then, we’ll all be in denial a little longer.

I hope you’re well. More pictures from the weekend below.

Supy and Phil.

Erin, Dan, Rob, Paul, Rebecca.

Dan and AJ.

Dan and me.

A bunch of 81 surveys the pool upon arrival at Sa'Moana Resort.

The view eastward from Sa'Moana's pool.

Australian Volunteer Rebecca and Group 81's Paul.

Me and Blakey.


Amanda said...

I love the picture of all of you. I'm glad you guys were able to get together. That picture of you & Blakey is adorable!

Marija said...

Congratulations group 81, job well done! Great pictures!

Xavier Dimante said...

Love the tatts, Samoana looks awesome, my favourite spot On the islands.

Barb Carusillo said...

I agree with your sister, those are exceptional pictures. That one with Blakey is the best one of you yet! Your hair growth is phenomenal by the could probably grow foot long dread locks in a month if you wanted to.

Unknown said...

wow for me, just a mere reader of the blog, it seems like it all went by so fast. i can't even imagine how all of you feel. i enjoyed reading about it. and i sure hope you continue to blog after your Peace corps experience. you'll have a reader in me.

ulmasao said...

Hey Matt Have a safe trip home.
I hope home does not feel too unsettled after an amazing experience.

I will continue to pop in and read what you have been up to.

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Lani said...

No is it really time already? Beautiful pics and I hope that some Peace Corps are 'crazy' ( and fit) enough to take on the Perimeter Relay next year to hang on to your title. We will be living in NZ by then but my boys are planning to come back to ( try very hard) to win it.