The Samoa Challenge II was supposed to start when I came back from Tonga. The project was put together by the amazing Joey, and it is to focus on health topics with women in the village. Since women always do so much for the family and the village, it is a great group to focus on. During the upcoming months we will talk about preventing diabetes and other diseases, healthy eating and exercise.
I had been talking up the project for awhile, but noone would sign up for it until there was a Woman’s Committee Meeting. I tried and tried. Everyone told me it was a good idea, and would be interesting, but would do nothing until they met. Have no fear, they will meet the first Monday of October I was told. So I waited. I ducked out of school during my lunch to go to the meeting, and found out it was cancelled. I headed back up to the hill upset.
I went and talked to the president of the committee, and heard that the meeting was cancelled because people were busy. Wait another month to do the project I was told. It took a long time to explain, I needed to do the project NOW. The meeting was then changed from waiting a month, to waiting two weeks, to the meeting will be the following week.
I prepared newsprints and studied my Samoan. I had 14 people come, which wasn’t too bad. We set up a time for a weekly meeting, and hopefully they stick to it.
Then I brought out the scale. It was hysterical watching these women on the scale. Unlike home, people are rarely on a scale in Samoa. They loved comparing each other. I showed them the chart to see if they were overweight or not. (All of them were.)
We talked about the diseases that can come from being overweight and having their lifestyle they were used to. We also talked about how this is a recent problem in Samoa since people used to live off of the land and walk more than they do now.
The conversation engaged them, and hopefully it will continue to.
We are having another meeting on Thursday where afterwards we will try to jazzercise. This means I need to polish some amazing dance moves!