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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Zakiu he did climb the tree his Lord to see

In church this sunday I was helping with the 4-5 year old samoan class. As soon as I walked into the class already in progress half jumped up and yelled "Jeshka" the other half jumped up and yelled "Matthew." Since Jeshka is hard to say in Samoan and Matthew and I are always together most of the kid asume "Matthew" is another word for polongi and call me Matthew. After using most of the samoan I know.....No fu i lalu (sit down) Filemu (be reverent) and Vaai (look) We got the class somewhat settled down and back to the lesson. The lesson was on Zaccheus (see Luke 19) The rich man who climbed the tree to see Jesus. The teacher pulled out a picture of a white guy in a tree with Jesus looking at him. Of coarse, since its a picture of a polongi and the only polongi they have seen is Matthew they all jumped up again pointed at me and yelled Matiu. The teacher laughed and tried to tell them it was Zakiu, which sounds an awful lot like Matiu. There was no convincing them, Matiu climbed the tree to see Jesus and went to his house for dinner!

knock knock....who's there?

So after the little uh-oh incident we decide we needed to set up some ground rules for the kids. We made the kids all knock before coming in the house. This seemed to be a bit of a foreign concept for some. I'm sure because most of them live with family around and so knocking seems unnessesary but most of the kids caught on quickly. For others all it took was a few fasies and they got the idea. One boy in particular had a hard time but he is the cuttest and chubbiest of them all (I love the chubby ones!) so I tended to be more forgiving with him. But I knew I was getting through to him when after he came in he went over to the fridge door, knocked, and in broken English said, "can I come in?"


At times I get so frustrated with the language. I want so badly to speak to these people in their own toung but the words just don’t come and I have no idea what they are saying and I hear them speak and think I’ll never understand. And then there are other time I am quite proud of myself. The other day the kids were out in the plantation searching for coconuts or popos. I stuck my head out the door and hollard, “lua, oi ai uhoh?” (or in really retarted samoan, lua, you eating the center part of the young sprouted coconut?)(if I hear one word about my spelling i'll let ya have it! I can't spell in english, what makes you think I can spell in Samoan!) They all shook their heads and said they were still looking. With that I closed the door, smiled at myself for putting together a whole sentence in samoan and went about my business.

Next, I boiled water and hopped in the shower. Just as I got soap in my eyes I heard a knock on the door. “jeshka you uh-oh”
“ya I’m uh-oh! Go away!”
“Jeshka, you uh-oh” - at this point I realize that on the other side of the bathroom door is a 4 foot tall chubby samoan that dosen’t speak english. I panic as I hear the doorknob twist. I scream and yell the only other samoan word I know, “Lay ie!” or NO! (
The doorknobed stopped and I heard another voice translating what was going on. I said,” tell him to go away, I’ll be out in a minute.” I hurridly finished my shower and went out to find 3 little boys waiting with a fresh uhoh, or the center part of the coconut.

Lord of the Flies

“Jessica, come quick, and watch your step!”….not exactly the call I was expecting this early in the morning. I was hoping more for “breakfast is ready” but this morning I wasn’t really in the mood for what was being served. I walked into the kitchen to see Matthew crouched down on the floor with a paper towel. He looked up at me, “look” he pointed to the floor which was covered with hundreds of maggots. I squealed, but this time it wasn’t so gleeful. I ran to grab the paper towels. “Where are they coming from?” “they hatched last night and now their coming out of the garbage” for the next hour we cleaned up these creepy crawly critters coming from who knows where. I would pick one up in the paper towel and then another and another and then they would crawl out so we learned you have to pop them or they are still alive. We would clean up a part of the kitchen and then go to another area and come back and it would be covered again. So we spent the morning clean, sweeping, moping, and cleaning again. As we ate we eyed our food very closely and watched our step. They seem to be subsiding now….I haven’t seen one in several minutes!

Fale Sweet Fale

As we drove up to our new home we were so excited! It’s 3 bedrooms and 2 baths with a huge family room and kitchen. We still don’t know what to do with all the room! But the family has been very sweet and told us we could paint and make it our own. Matthew went a little wild with the calking sealing every nook and cranny he could find, so far I think the calking count it 12 tubes and counting. The best was when we sealed off a geckos home and a few minutes later the gecko returned and just stared at the place where his home use to be. The next morning we realized what it really meant to not have a hot water heater. When they said their wasn’t one we thought, ya, but it’s Samoa, it’s hot and humid, it’ll be fine…..but we came in the winter and it can actually be below room temperature here and cold showers are just un friendly in the morning. So Matthew, being the genius that he is rigged up a warm shower for us. He found a foil pan and poked holes in it and then we boil water on the stove and pour our hot water in and the cold water from the shower and wamo….a warm shower! That lasted a few days till our tin broke. We went and got a camp shower,so now we take really short showers! Here is a frightening yet modest picture to show you what we mean.

Though we still don’t have furniture except for a bed , table, and a few chairs from the family we are still working on furniture but the home is coming together nicely. I’ve sewn drapes and Matthew has done an amazing job on the painting! I think after a month we’re really starting to settle in but, be it ever so humble, theirs still no place like home!