Friday, May 6, 2011

A McDonalds Party

Mc Donalds Party

I was invited to help out at a Samoan Victim Support Children’s Party.  A local businessman who is completely involved with the Samoan Victim Support was having a birthday.  When questioned by his friends on what he should do for the celebration, he explained he didn’t really want to do anything for himself, and instead invited the entire school to a party for them.  It was going to be hosted at McDonalds and wanted helpers to make sure the kids were entertained and having fun.

At my school, they are having their test week.   All week I have been in the office  acting typing tests for teachers and making copies.  I had finished the last test, and in celebration, I decided to join the McDonalds Party.

I awoke at 1 in the morning.  Got ready, and was out on the road for the bus shortly after.  The bus comes twice for the first ferry.  The first time around 2 in the morning and then again at 3 in the morning.  I always choose to get on the bus the first time around in order to get a seat as my village is one of the first on route.

By 3 am in the bus was full and lap seating was in order.  I scooted up so the person next to me could slide under me and I could sit on her lap.  She was tired, and trying to get comfortable.  (This is how I know I am a much more comfortable person around strangers and not always on guard.  I would never let this happen in my America past.)  She then put her arms around me like hugging a pillow, and learned on my back to use me as a pillow.  I don’t know if the person behind us was also leaning forward, but all of a sudden I was being pushed further and further into the person in the seat in front of me.

Most Samoans do not have their hair down.  It is normally in a bun or in a braid.  (Which helps prevent the spread of lice.  But as I have learned does not prevent it at all!) The person in front of me had their hair in frizzy ponytail, in which I was trying to avoid having in my mouth by cocking my head in different directions. 

I was very happy when we arrived at the ferry close to five.  I got on the pasi o va’a, and was happy to have a seat to myself.  By 8:40 I was in Apia, my 7 hour commute was over.

I was told the party was at a certain time, but being Samoa, it was of course a different time.  I was there while McDonalds was setting up.  It had been a long time since I have been to a McDonalds’ birthday party, and I was amazed at how much work goes into it.  They really try to make the room look special. 

While I arrived the workers were blowing up balloons manually, with their mouths.  That is a shock to normally see at an establishment that is used to having parties,  but how many balloons they had already blown up, and had planned to do more.  There had to of been at least 200 balloons done, and they were still going.  The final product of balloons looked amazing as it was a beautiful border around the room. 

They then had toy placemats laid out-a Peter Pan activity.  And crowns were placed on each placemat.  The local business man brought a few extra toys such as dough and those were also placed on the table.

There were about 30 kids, and with the workers and helpers about 15 more.  It was great to see these children, as they are adorable and have such great manners.  They live in a shelter together and are not used to having such individualized attention, and it was nice to help give it to them. 

We had so much fun with them.  There was face painting, playing in the McDonalds play house and other fun.  I am really happy I got to be there for their fun party.  I hope I get to be involved in more activities with Victims Support.

(Picture is of the girls in my Peace Corps group at a gathering several months ago.)

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