A week in advance I was invited for to’ogani with one of my favorite families. I began looking forward to church all week because of this. The company at the meal is always amazing, and it makes me feel as if I am at home.
This morning I headed to church. During the three hours I was there, I was invited by several families to come over, and I was excited with all the invitations, but had to remember what lay in store for me.
The family I was with had visitors from New Zealand, and because of this, many relatives came over to attend the delicious meal. Like the norm for every meal I attend with a family from church, I was offered suggestions on who I should be dating. This time however, they decided that I should start marriage plans. I just kept refusing politely, “Leai fa’afeta’i.”
After the meal, the palagi visitors went swimming. I was asking why I was not going with them. I laughed, reminding them it was Sunday. The village rules say no swimming on Sundays, and since I am a part of the village I need to follow the rules. I really do not want to pay a fine for doing something little like that when I know better. (Besides I was looking too good in my awesome Rosie pulatasi to want to get wet.) They people I was with looked impressed with my wanting to be a part of the village in all aspects.
When the palagis came back, I became embarrassed at what they were wearing. The family is half Samoan, and I figured with a Samoan parent, they would have to follow the rules of the village, but I was wrong. I really wonder how I am going to end up dressing when I am allowed to wear whatever I want again. Am I going to have the same views I have now, or go back to my previous views?
After their swim, some of the Samoan kids, the palagi kids and I decided to play schoolyard hand games. I learned some of the songs that I heard them sing at school, and some new ones from New Zealand. I also taught a few songs from my days in elementary school.
After spending the whole day with the family, and not taking my afternoon nap, I was tired and I headed home.
It was nice meeting more people from another country to observe the differences between Samoans, and Samoans who move abroad. It is interesting to compare the many differences with some individuals.