Friday, October 9, 2015

Talofa Lava Family and Friends,

Again we are having internet woes so have come to the office to write this.  I know I sound like a broken record (Grandkids - ask your folks what a broken record is) but life here is just busy with mission work.  Saturday we took a down day, sleeping in, cleaning the house, grocery shopping and then home to nap and read.  That probably sounds boring but it was wonderful!

This weekend is a holiday here in Samoa called "White Sunday," that happens to also stretch into Monday.  It is a day to celebrate children, similar to our Father's and Mother's Day.  Children are given gifts at church, and families prepare the children's favorite foods.  They also get to eat first, which is a treat as usually children are fed after the adults have eaten.

We got some welcome rain this week with some spectacular rainbows.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to capture nature's splendors with a camera from Target. The colors at the end of these rainbows were so vivid, nothing like I have ever seen before.  Many families here depend on rain for food and so prolonged drought  is literally a matter of life and death.

The normal routine for Samoans who live outside of the city is rising early.  Then men and boys go to their "plantations" which may be quite a distance from home.  They work planting, harvesting and clearing land.  It is not uncommon to see several men walking down the road carrying machetes.  The women and girls stay at home.  Girls learn how to weave mats, make clothes, care for young children.  School age kids go to school.  The men come home and often do the cooking in the outdoor kitchens for the large meals. These people are very self-reliant and produce most of what they need.  Usually someone in the extended family works at a regular job for a paycheck so the family can buy items they can't produce.  The day also includes family prayers and Bible reading.  Some villages have rules that govern when families will gather.  Samoan is 99% Christian and every Sunday you see people walking to their different churches, mostly wearing white.  Quite often I see older women wearing hats, it's like being in a time warp back to the 1950's.  One thing I really enjoy is driving through the villages in the late afternoon.  Everyone is out.  Young people are playing rugby or Volleyball, people are strolling down the road, kids are out playing.  Older people gather at the fales and visit.  It's like everyone is on vacation every night.

These young men work at the mission complex keeping up the grounds and cleaning.  Last week they scrubbed the walks around the office on their hands and knees with little scrub brushes for 4 days!  The week before they were up on the roof scrubbing the roof!  When I questioned what I thought was strange, I was told they need to keep busy so they can get the hours they need for pay.  When people have a job here they want to hold on to it. I am just grateful that I have never had to scrub a roof under the very hot Samoan Sun.

I have become quite a rugby fan with the World Cup running this week.  It is a great game to watch, very fast paced and exciting.  I was sad that Samoa lost, but happy that the All Blacks from New Zealand have been winning.  In the morning when I walk the Samoan National Rugby Federation has boys out on the field I walk around running their drills.  That is at 5:45 am in the dark!

I send my love to all of you.  I love looking at FB when I have the chance and the internet is working. It is a great way to keep in touch with friends.  Even though I don't often respond it is nice to see you. Sent with Love, Patty


1 comment:

  1. Wonder why we don't have a special day to celebrate children. I'd love to have been on the receiving end of that and I'd love also to be on the giving end!

    We are moving into midterms this week and next. Hard to believe half the semester is over. Soon we'll be moving the clocks forward an hour. Do you change the clocks in Samoa?