Friday, January 8, 2010

Grants...take 2

Grants Part 2
The nice person I am working with at the JICA office wrote an email back to me about what needed to get done to further our application. I had to get a building report about the conditions of our building from a reputable outsider such as our carpenter. I told my tinā what was needed and that she had to get in touch with the family that knows the carpenter to see when he would be back in town, or to see if his son was able to do the report.
A week passed by of me asking every so often if she has seen the family yet, then one day I was told that the family I attended to’ona’i with was the family that can get in touch with the carpenter. “Score!” I though. It will happen because this family loves me. (It might be because they really want me to be a uo of their son. But no matter the reason they are always very nice to me so I am happy.)
I decided to walk over there to talk to them. While I was walking I was stopped plenty of times. (It seems as though everyone is always very curious as to my whereabouts at all times. I think it would be impossible to hide anything as everyone in a few villages surrounding me know where I am at all times!)
When I got to the house I was offered a seat, offered tea and food. I declined (I think they are all on the operation “Get Lilly Short and Round”). We talked for a bit, them wanted to know why I needed this information, and me trying to figure out the best way to answer in as much Sāmoan as possible.
Finally they went for their cell phone to get me the phone number. I was given two phone numbers. I called one and found out the carpenter was still in New Zealand. “Don’t worry” I was told. “His son might be able to help you.” I was given another phone number.
I called. Again, I was directed to another phone number. (At this point I was thrilled that I had money on my phone. It would have been very embarrassing to have no way to make all of these phone calls.) Finally with the last phone number I was given I talked to the son. I told him quickly what I needed to get done. (I only had a few tāla credit on my phone.) There was some confusion with the language barrier and he told me he would meet me in Apia a few hours later. Finally, he understood that I was in Savai’i and not going to be in Apia at the office. He said he would talk to his dad and for me to call back tomorrow.
That afternoon while I was taking my Benadryl nap from the coral, he called back to find out more details to tell his dad about. (I was very impressed as this is very unFa’aSamoan. Usually if they say they will talk to you the next day, it means that it will be in a week or so, not sooner than they said.” I was then awoken again to him telling me that his father would return from New Zealand in a week and would visit my village to finish the last report that needed to get done for a new school building.
Hopefully, this week, is an actual week, and we can move along on our grant proposal.

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