Oti, Death. It seems to happen so quickly. It feels like it happens here all the time with people who you didn’t know were even sick. It might be because of lack of going to the doctor, or it might be just because your life is so intertwined that you seem to know everyone, and how can you know everyone’s health status. And death is a part of life.
This past week, two people I care about have passed away here.
One, I didn’t know. But it was a parent of someone who works in the PC staff, who is also a relative to my family here, which made it rough for people all around. He is from my village so many people headed to Upolu for the funeral.
The other was probably the best dancer in Samoa. Whenever I think of him, I will remember his amazing moves on the dance floor. It reminded me of what Samoa must have been like in the 70’s. Think Samoan disco dancing. (Doesn’t that bring a smile to your face?) He was a beloved father, and an amazing cook.
During the training village, he hosted one of my best friends, and just as she became family to him, I felt like I was also family, as I spent time there daily. Several times a week, I would have my brother walk me at night to their house to watch a movie or play a game of Uno. (I only knew 3 families in that village who had a television, so they were quite popular.)
Each Friday, the village hosted a dance, and he was by far the best dancer out there. Then we would look across the dance floor, and see one of his three sons doing similar dance moves to bring such laughter and smiles across our faces.
I had a large family I lived with in the training village, 14 people to be exact. And coming from living on my own, it was sometimes hard to handle. That house was always my escape route.
Since leaving the training village, I have stayed in contact with one of his daughters, another teacher. It has been nice to keep our connection going. I have visited a few times, and seen some of the boys in town, but our relationship could never match what it was during training, since they were my other family.
Asa was a great man, and will be missed by all.