When John said he was joining the Peace Corp we weren't that surprised. He's always been somewhat of a free spirit. We've known him since Jerry was hired at Reserve Mining back in the 60's and he's one of those guys who will stop in unexpectedly or call out of the blue and ask how things are going...he even called from Samoa! I'm posting one of his emails (he sends them almost every day to a host of people) so I can look back on it...it is so him. ( Lisa is the baby girl born shortly after he got to Samoa, the Mom named her after John's daughter, (he has 5 grown children) who had died a year before he joined the PC. I wish I would have saved the letter that explained that...very touching).
Today is Fathers Day in Samoa so naturally Monday is a holiday. There are never too many of those holidays. Long weekends are good for teachers (especially welding instructors). Talking about long weekends, Thursday morning at the staff meeting I found out that there would be no school on Friday because it’s a sports day for all the Catholic schools on Upolu (the island I live one). That’s also when I found out about Monday being a holiday. Neither of these days made it onto the school calendar. Better late than never I guess.
Saturday morning I had a chat with the longboat trainer (a Samoan woman). At the time there were 70 guys doing deep-knee bends and then running around the field with a sack of sand on their back. I mentioned that I’d never seen such a motivated bunch. She smiled and said “that’s because the cut for the crew will be coming up soon and there will only be 43 guys left when it’s over”. There’s no doubt it will be disappointing for the ones voted off. They have all put so much effort into training.
Saturday morning I stopped over to see what a longboat crew eats for a training breakfast. They each got a half a large loaf of white bread split down the middle, with loads of butter spread on it and then cold canned spaghetti poured on it. They’d compress it, roll it up, and wash the whole thing down with very sweet hot tea. Looked like a very average breakfast for Samoans to me.
Friday evening I went up to visit my host mother on the other side of Apia . Baby Lisa was there also (she had her eight month birthday last Tuesday). Naturally the kid is really growing. She still has only two teeth though. I’m never around enough for the kid to get used to me but she still climbs up in lap after I’ve been there about 10 minutes. In another year I’ll start bringing her some lolies (candy) and then I’ll bet she’ll climb up on me in a minute. She is a cute kid. I’ll send a couple pictures.
Saturday was spent sailing with the kids again. They had races in the afternoon and then a BBQ in the evening. I was out on the water from 11:00A until about 5:00P. I was beat by the time we came ashore. Fortunately, the day was mostly cloudy and that helped keep it cool. We also had a fresh breeze running 15-18 knots which really had the kids flying around the course in the Lasers and Opties. It was a good day.
That’s about it for today. Y’all have a great week. Fa, soifua………….john