One of my favorite things about the weekend is going to church. This may seem strange to many people who have known me growing up, but there is a reason for it. I love seeing the village come together for this day each week. It is so nice because it is the one day that everyone gets out of their house to meet. It is beautiful to see everyone you know and love together in one room.
The other reason I love going to church, is what happens afterwards. After everyone meets in church families get together to celebrate the week, and have a gigantic feast. Samoan families love sharing with one another, so you will often see children walking with baskets full of fish, soup or other delicious food they made for that week to share with their neighbors.
I love this feast because since I feel like I have been adopted by every family in my village, I know I always have a place to eat a delicious Samoan meal.
After the meal we usually lounge about the house, sometimes taking naps, and sometimes goofing off. Then most weeks, children begin to take out their backpacks to ask me questions about their homework. This happens especially at the college level, where the students are often given difficult tasks to perform, especially based on their English language ability. (I picture myself in high school, having all my classes taught in Spanish, based on the language I was taught up until that point. When you are learning a language there are usually a lot of gaps that are needed to be filled in before complete comprehension of high school work. I know I would have struggled more than most of these children are, which makes me extremely proud of them!) I love being able to help them. It is such a great feeling to know that you are not thought of as just the primary school teacher, but the teacher for the entire village.
Being a volunteer here, means you are working 7 days a week, which means we always have to be visible and available. It is how I have learned to love the Samoan cultures, and they have learned about my American ways, or sometimes unconventional American ways. I truly think that the weekends are my favorite day because of the exchange I share with my neighbors is amazing. As we lay on the floor reading stories, sharing new vocabulary back and forth, it is as relaxing as a day at the beach. (Which is good since it is sa (not allowed) to go to the beach on Sundays!)