How did this happen? There is no way I have been here for 2 years. I am currently sitting on the floor of my now semi-empty house. Of course I waited until the last minute to pack (5am the day I am getting picked up). The Peace Corps car will be here soon to move me out of Tafatafa…for good. It doesn’t seem real at all. This was such a wonderful and humbling experience…and incredibly frustrating and heart-breaking as well. Most of all I will miss the kids from my school and a certain 6 year old boy in particular. They taught me so much in the way of patience and love.
Yesterday I had my goodbye “party” with the school. I was doing ok until I had to say goodbye to the sea of big brown eyes. I remember when I first came to that same room 2 years ago and all those eyes bore into me with unabashed curiosity. In 2 years I fell in love with each and every one of them. Samoan children are so full of life and many of the adults try to beat that out of them at an early age. I tried to give them an opportunity to be who they wanted to be and to think for themselves, but in the end I think I was the one who learned from them. They showed me how to take joy in the little things in life and to laugh at my mistakes. To have to look into all those big brown eyes and say goodbye…well I’ve done easier things in my life.
It really has been a long and strange trip. How do you just leave a place like this? How do you just say goodbye to people you have lived with, worked with, bent over backwards for, cried with, yelled at, laughed with and just sat and talked to about everything and nothing in particular? I guess there probably is no right or wrong way to leave, so I won’t. I hope a part of me will live on in those big brown eyes. I hope they stand up for what they want, read books from their new library, learn to type on their new computers and ask questions without feeling shameful for not knowing the answer.
“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better, but because I knew you I’ve been changed for good.”
But before I get into the swampy area of complete corniness (hmm maybe too late), I’ll hop off my soap box and clean out my fridge which has a faint smell of rotten fish and moldy cheese. I won’t be able to post this until I get home as Mary and Dad don’t know I am coming home for Thanksgiving, Mom and I tried to surprise them, we’ll see how it goes…Thanks Samoa for the tears, laughter, patience, smiles, vailimas, friendships and 20 extra pounds.
Signing off from Tafatafa…I’m out!
Me with baby Dan who was Meg's (unbelievably cute) nephew at the airport
Dave, Samoa and I. My last dinner. They made me a pig and sashimi..mmm
My (actually Dave's) beach
Seb (Dave's son) and Dave, shaving the pig for dinner
Sina and Nerisa (my BFF in the vil). Mom gave Nerisa that shirt
The kids peaking into the office
Issac and Malaki