“Where are you from Lili? Why don’t you dress like the other Peace Corps nearby. The other Peace Corps has style and you don’t.”
I had this lecture for several days. While I am here, I try to dress simple, and dress Samoan. Most other volunteers do the same as we want to blend in as much as we can, since we already stick out pretty bad.
I am not into being fia au’lelei, and think putting a tub of gel into my hair every day and wearing gaudy jewelry, but I think this is what the people were looking for.
Today I finally got some redemption. And I did not even have to iron my clothes to get it. I washed my hair in the morning (which I normally don’t do…as you know wet hair will get you sick, along with being in the sun, being in the rain, being in the sea and many other places…) and put it in my normal braid. I then put earrings in. I still had my simple Samoan clothes, a white tee-shirt and red lavalava.
“Lili you look good, you need to dress like this for school every day.” It made me laugh because it was just the wet hair that looked like gel and earrings to make the difference from ugly to style.
I will probably still go back to being the “ugly Peace Corps” since I have a bad habit of losing earrings, and taking long cold showers is better at night. Being without style is okay with me, I like how I am!
(Pictures are of “unstylish me” with my students)