Friday night Hannah and I went with a few of our Florida friends Frank and Josh, who live up the hill, to Bingo night. It's a pretty popular thing in Ili'ili, our neighboring village. There are people inside, there are people outside, and there are cars everywhere. We've seem them all out there before and have been wanting to check it out. We enjoyed ourselves. Lasted for three hours. Yes, three hours. Didn't seem like that long since we were having fun.
This was the closest I came to winning any Bingo - two stamps away for the blackout round.
Saturday morning seemed to come early for some reason. Maybe the three hours of Bingo did that to me. I just laid around and fell back asleep for a while out on the porch. Then I got a phone call from Beth, my WorldTeach friend that lives in Utulei. She said I had a package. Yay! Part of my care package that I asked my mom to send. Got myself a bus and headed to town to meet at the Samoana house. (Samoana is the school Beth and two other volunteers work at.) I got there just in time, as Beth, Sarah, and Jill (who came down from Leone) were headed snorkeling. Luck be have it I had a change of clothes in my box, otherwise may have been riding the bus home a bit wet from Utulei. Beth lent me some goggles, as I did not have my snorkeling gear with me. After checking out the coral and fish for a while, I just sat in the water and took some photos.
These first two show some cool distortion the water caused. Notice my feet:
This looked like an old anchor or something:
Here's a shot of the little beach we were at:
I kept taking these photos at near eye level with the top of the water. This one was better than some of the others I tried because I felt the rocks really added some extra dimension to the shot.
So ended up being gone for about 3-3.5 hours. Good trip to town. Nothing I really planned on doing, but just went with it, and had a great time. Spur of the moment plans are some times the most fun. I come home to find that our Florida friends have some free tickets to this sort of concert. I decided, "why not? It's free, and this afternoon was all about just going with it." So we meet at the guys' place up the hill (Steep hill, mind you. haha). Here's a photo of the view from their house:
Pretty cool, huh? They live on Kenko Hill. We just hung out up there for a while before all 9 of us piled into their SUV. Good times :-) The concert was fun. Mostly just some local singers up their performing. Not many people were dancing, but we took care of that. Even though I was tired Saturday morning, my afternoon adventure rejuvenated me leading to a great afternoon and evening. Had lots of good conversations, too.
Sunday morning I woke up and worked on a few things before heading to Church. It was only two boys and myself in the van ride home today with Richard. He asked me what I was eating for lunch today. I replied, "Maybe some more of that corned beef. I'm not really sure yet." He asked if I liked ice cream. "Ice cream is one of my favorites." He proceeded to tell me that some times people just eat desert here first, and it's a popular Sunday after church activity before heading home for lunch. We also chatted about my experiences of ice cream with snow cones and jello. haha
So, all four of us got some ice cream at a little store on our way home. Mmm. I had some vanilla ice cream with pecans today. Then, he asked again about what I was eating for lunch. I told him I still wasn't sure yet and would find something when I get home. Then, Junior (one of the boys in the van) offered me some food that his family had made in an umu - some traditional Samoan food cooked the traditional way. To build an umu, they dig a hole, place a bunch of rocks over wood for a fire, and cover the rocks and food with leaves to let them cook. Here we have some breadfruit, which isn't really a fruit; they're the big brown round things. In the aluminum foil we have some beef briscuit that was wrapped in spinach.
This is what breadfuit looks like on the tree - those green balls. I'm not really sure what to compare it to.... it was different than anything I had eaten before. The briscuit in spinach was really good and had a lot of flavor. These people are too nice to me sometimes. I also shared with the girls at home.
Also came home with some fruit from my morning. On the left there are some Samoan mountain apples one girl was handing out after Church, a true small banana (just like Ecuador!), and some guava that Junior picked off a tree for me near his house when we picked up the Samoan food. The only fruit I ate today was the banana, and it was as good as I remember. I'll try the others another day. We had some guava in Ecuador, as well, which is why I was intrigued when they pointed out a guava tree. Then, Junior picked some for me. Oye.
After trying new food, I had a little video chat with mom and dad, worked on my lesson plans for the week (as I have to turn them into my department Monday morning), and went back to Sunday night service at church. We got to church early tonight, but then Richard and I had another fun conversation. We talked more about my week at school, some Spanish, and then he told me where the term "pulagi" came from. Pulagi is what Samoans call white people. He told me that when the first white people came to Samoa, they said pulagi (meaning the heavens explode so godlike presence). Interesting interesting. Always fun chatting with him. Time for bed now and week two of teaching.