Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Real World

“You are blessed; you are golden; you are favored.”

Almost a year ago, one of my friends read this quote to me in my horoscope (ahem, Aaron Albani). I knew I memorized it for a reason.

We have been in Samoa for one week. And yes, the cliché is true; it simultaneously feels like we’ve been here forever and like we just got off the Air New Zealand plane yesterday. However, we are already at the point of knowing the little quirks and mannerisms of others like how Mike calls me out on the extra syllable I add to words: No-ah, Do-in’t. I’m hoping little things like this are still endearing and haven’t become annoying yet. We all seem to be getting a good idea of everyone’s personalities through the serious conversations we have late at night on the balcony or next door at Scoops, or sometimes we just talk about TGIF and SNICK. We’ve come a long way already from intros in LA when Rachael introduced herself to me:
“Hi. I’m Rachael. You must be Megan.”
I pulled my hand back from the incoming handshake, threw my arms in the arm, and said, “Sam” and I probably gave her one of those looks that I give that I don’t know I’m giving.
She and I already reminisce with giggles about this moment.

It’s about 6:00 pm here, so 11:00 at home. We finished class just over an hour ago. We had our second language class today, so now we know some basics…the really really basics.
 Talofa. Talofa lava. Oa mai oe? Manuia fa’afetai. Ae a oe? Manuia fo’i fa’afetai
We’ve picked up some dirty words here and there and by making mistakes in class. Gotta be careful with vaivai which means “very tired.” But a little bit of a mispronounced vowel will provoke a slightly shocked look.

Going back a couple days, on Monday, we went snorkeling! That was a first. Blue starfish, schools of little reflective guys, even a squid. On the bus on the way back to the hotel, a few of us sang the best of middle school: Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney Spears. And yes, Journey even made an appearance. Slowly, well, not slowly at all, everyone’s learned that I love singing whenever I can remotely get away with it. Speaking of music, a few of us are meeting the Samoan orchestra conductor tomorrow night.

Nights, so far, usually consist of a movie of some type in one of the bigger rooms, beds pushed together to create that comfortable lounge feel. Every once in awhile we hang out with some other volunteers and spew questions at them. A run to the KK Mart next door is usually made so we can get ready for a little guitaring…Who knew how long that code word would apply?! And if you’re in on this code word, I hope you got a laugh just now.

…I should probably come up with a better blog schedule if I want this thing to get up to par with what I’d prefer it be. Writing every night, probably a good thing. One thing I’m quickly learning in Samoa is that I cannot be the perfectionist I’m so used to being. I have to let go of the control I’m used to. My blogs aren’t getting sent to a proofreader.

In short, we’re kind of a reality show. Apia 90210 (if only we had a zip code). Survivor Samoa. Temptation Island. Big Brother. The Real World. Our blog posts/journals are our confessionals. We’re kind of this little secluded group…who’s going to blow up at who first, who’s going to be the first hook-up, who’d be the first voted out. Tribal council jokes are not uncommon. It’s all kind of surreal; even though training life is nothing like home, or like what we’ll experience in our villages, this is the real world. I made the comment the other day that I don’t plan on ever entering the “real world,” something my friends at home have heard me say before. As we crossed the street, avoiding the stray dogs, Sarah turned to me and said, “Sam! This is the real world. This is your real world.”

We had a conversation about luck the other night. Conclusion: hard work (and maybe a little of that being golden, blessed, and favored thing) goes further than any abstract concept like “luck” can go.

Things work out. I used to say that I can’t wait to be able to look back one day and have everything make sense. I don’t think that point will ever come. It’s here now; it’s always been here. Life will happen, and meanwhile, I plan on living it.


  1. Guitaring. Love it! All the best in your new "real world." High Five.

  2. GUITARING! (this is Kristen btw)