Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Playing baseball during the Christmas festival in my village.

The first time I've seen tetherball played in Samoa was on Christmas.

Dancing in the Christmas show at church.

Christmas Program in my village.

Last year was my favorite Christmas ever. (No offense mom and dad.) It was so beautiful as it was a Christmas that wasn’t full of commercialism. (The only sign of it I had was from watching the New Zealand news.) Instead, the day was full of singing, dancing, eating, playing games and just enjoying your time with your neighbors, the people who seemed to love you unconditionally.
So this year when I was invited numerous time to go to New Zealand, or other destinations for the vacation, I asked my fellow volunteers, “Are you crazy?” and reminded them of how amazing a time it was for me in my village.
This year I was hoping for just as good an experience, but was surprised when I found out there was no church having a performance on Christmas Day. Instead, the Morman church was doing their celebration a few days following, so I joined one of their dance groups.
Christmas Day was started with church, and then right after church, we heard the bells ring. The church bells marked the death of my neighbor. So instead of a day full of games and activities, the day was spent mourning in the village.
A few days later I had my real “Christmas” celebration when we finally got to do our dance performances at the church. Throughout the day everyone feasted on delicious foods, played games, sang songs, and in the evening there was a village dance on their basketball courts. (My mom came to make sure I wasn’t getting into any trouble, and it was nice to see how much she cares for my safety.)
Even though Christmas wasn’t as “spectacular” as last year, I still enjoyed spending the time with the people who have welcomed me into their lives for the past year.

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