1st Full Day in the Village

It’s lunchtime and I’m sitting here in Matautu in my fale surrounded by four kids, Lelefu, Sala, Fala and Timu.

Lelefu is my youngest brother. He has long hair and all last night I thought he was a girl. We walked down to the store (fale’oloa) after dinner and I was tickling him the whole way. Of course, the entire time I’m thinking he’s a she. Common mistake.

Sala is my cousin. He’s my little buddy. He likes to follow me everywhere.

Fala is his brother. He’s 3 years old. He is naked all the time.

Fofoa, my youngest sister, arrives wearing a blue dress with a white collar. I’m surprised that the kids’ clothing is so dirty.

Depart for LAX

Staging is over and the 12 of us from Group 69 boarded the bus for the short trip to LAX. At the airport, Neil and Laurie, the staging coordinators, gave us our “Peace Corps” passports and walking around money for the day we are going to spend in New Zealand.

When we arrive at the airport, there’s lots of confusion. The first 6 trainees have checked their bags all the ways through to Apia before the fuckheads at United realize that they made a mistake and it’s not possible. We’re all bummed because we thought we weren’t going to have to deal with our luggage in Auckland, but it turned out to be a false hope.

I don’t understand why the Peace Corps is routing us through New Zealand when there is a direct flight from Los Angeles. Typical government bureaucracy money wasting.

Good News

Hey Gang-

After pulling my hair out for the last six months dealing with the US government, I finally got some good news from the Peace Corps.

I’ve got an assignment. I’m leaving the second week of October and I’m going to Samoa. It’s a bit of shock after thinking I was headed for Africa all this time, but I’ll get over it. I’ll be on the front lines on the War on Mosquitoes.

Anyone wanting to visit is, of course, more than welcome (Michael – I don’t think there’s a Four Seasons in Apia, but there might be a Hilton).

I’m going to be down in LA this weekend to meet up my brother (he’s taking the bar this week in Pasadena) to celebrate our birthday. Hopefully we can hook up at some point. Too bad you’re so far away, Jeeves, but I’m going to try to make a trip out to NYC before I leave.

Well, well. Two years from now, I’ll probably have some good stories and a nice tan. Maybe I’ll even have figured out what to do with my life. I’m tempted to say, “god willing”, but that’s blasphemy for an atheist.

cheers,

Andrew