Maybe starting from the beginning is a problematic strategy.
In short, for the last two months, our group of twenty amazing pisikoas was split into four groups based on language ability. All of our villages were on the south side of the island, so depending on which bus you take, we were about an hour to two hours away from
. My village was called Tafitoala and to sum it up, if I could stay there and do my two years of service, I would in little more than a heartbeat. The other pisikoas in my group were Karene, Sene, Mikaele, and Mika; our language teacher was Fale. Like all of the groups, we bonded a lot and had some great experiences together like all the Apia we learned and all the fiafias we attended, but we also had our lows like when my host brother proposed to me, which, it turns out, was the last straw on the camels back. No worries; I said no. Leai fa’fetai. So that’s just some quick background info for the last two months of my life and more details will come soon, but like I said earlier, it’s hard to start from the beginning, especially when yesterday simultaneously held one of my lowest points so far and one of the greatest times I’ve ever had in my life. sivas
Let’s start with the good. Rivka and Kilisi (Chris) are one of our married couples and while living in the training villages, both lost their wedding rings in the ocean, Chris while playing rugby and Rivka while swimming in a river. Jokingly one day, we all said we should throw them a new wedding and remarry them in
Samoa. The joke became reality. Monday night, we threw them bachelor and bachelorette parties, and yesterday we held a wedding out by the pool. Chris and Rivka even bought new rings to exchange. All twenty of us were there, except for one pisikoa who already had another obligation. We all got spiffed up, and it has been a long time since we’ve all looked so good. Katie was Rivka’s maid of honor and Olivia was Chris best “man.” Mika was the faife’au (pastor) and started the ceremony with the ever-timeless quote from “Princess Bride.” “Marwege is what bwings us togever today.” Rivka had a bouquet made out of plants outside the hotel and a garter made out of a leaf. We ordered pizzas for the reception and had the best chocolate cake any of us have had in a long time. And of course, in true Samoan style, Vailima was on hand. Chris, besides having stellar vows, gave a great impromptu speech in which he said that this wedding was not just a testament to him and Rivka, but more of a testament to Group 83. I won’t give all the details of the speech, but suffice it to say, it was good. And really, what’s a wedding next to a pool if not the best opportunity to jump in wearing our fancy clothes?! So we did just that. Every single one of us was in the pool in our nice dresses or ie faitagas. And after hotel staff said we were too loud, as they do quite often, we all changed and went to YNot, our bar of choice. We truly all danced like no one was watching.
And to update everyone on the low point yesterday…well, first of all, this Saturday we all split up and go to our new villages for the real deal. Yesterday I was told that I really had nowhere to stay in my new village, Falefa (northern side of the island, about 45 min bus ride from
), and it was even mentioned that I might be getting a new village. This was all brought on because of miscommunication between the Peace Corps and the housing options from Falefa. I think most of you reading this blog know that I don’t like to let people see when I’m upset about something, but I actually ended up walking out of class crying yesterday because, as we’ve all learned from our short two months here, importance multiplied by uncertainty equals high anxiety. On the bright side, it was really cool how a lot of the Samoan staff and pisikoas seemed worried and tried to comfort me. But long story short, I do have a place to stay in Falefa. For the first few weeks, I’ll be staying with the faife’au and then I’ll move right across the street into my own house, which they are renovating right now. Good thing about it all though, I am literally feet from the ocean. Apia
And to end on a much better note, here are a few pictures from the wedding.