Here is a list of things that I am learning to accept…especially now that I have been living here for over 5 months.
1. Ants- Ants are everywhere. You may think that there is actually an anthill in one of your orifices in your body because of the amount of ants you may see crawling on your body. They will crawl on your pillow next to you, or just hang out next to you as you are eating your lunch or infest your computer…I am still not sure if they are eating my computer apart.
2. Giant centipedes do exist and are ugly looking. I guess I have been in denial since I’ve been here…but today I finally saw my first one.
3. Mosquitoes will bite you whether you wear bug spray or not. If you have bug spray on they go for areas not covered by the spray…like your bum.
4. food-If you buy some kind of special food it will be gone by morning…no matter what the size is. It can be a giant Costco sized tub of cheese doodles, or a jar of peanut butter, they are all luxuries.
5. tanning-If you are biking during the afternoon, you will get a ridiculous looking tee shirt tan. That stays…
6. Phone numbers-if you put your phone down there is a 90% chance that someone will pick it up and call themselves to get your phone number. Then delete the record of their call. So my advice is to hold onto your phone.
7. English – If there is ever anything to do with the English language in my village I will be the first called. They will try to get me to do their homework, since they do not understand the words “I will only help”, type different documents for them, write letters as well as many more.
8. Breadfruit- When breadfruit falls off the trees and you step on it, it feels like poop. Too many mornings I have thought that I have stepped in poop. It is too squishy and stays inside my bicycle tires.
9. Money- Being from America I must be loaded and can buy people phone cards, pay extra for things, or just give them money. Also, since I am here from the United States, the US is willing to help out whoever I pick by giving laptops, bicycles and other random items. Saying “no” is going to be something I will have to get used to saying over and over again.
10. Personal effects-If you leave anything out, expect it to be read, moved, eaten, or go missing. Journals will be read, food will be eaten, shoes will be used, phones will be gone through to check who you have been texting, I could go on and on!
11. Personal Space- it does not exist. Things that I used to think of as being strange, such as guys sitting on each other’s laps, holding hands (except when you are dating), it will continue to happen and I am the odd one here if I do not partake. Besides it is always an adventure when there is 4 to a seat on a bus, and other standing on 50 kg bags of flour.
12. Peeling like an orange-After being out in the sun, my arms peel….and they peel where I sweat the most, which happens to be at my elbows, and it looks ridiculous.
13. Saying no-Family is always an excuse on why you cannot be someone’s “uo”. Since it seems like everyone is connected in some way, and I have 2 Samoan families, there is a good chance I am related to each creepy guy that hits on me.
14. H2O-Water is important and you should respect it, as you never know when it will be there and when it won’t. Showering without piped water isn’t impossible, but it is harder, just like doing many other daily activities.
15. Mail-Mailmen have such an important job and you have to love them. They always bring such fun filled things. Mail will take awhile to come, it may get stuck in Apia for awhile, or California, or even get sent to the wrong country first. But it will come. You just need to be patient. Besides a Halloween present, may work for Valentines’ Day.