Statistics came out not too long ago stating that in the Pacific nations 75% of deaths are due to obesity factors. This is astounding! I knew health was a big issue here, but I did not realize that it was that bad.
Because of this fact, Peace Corps is trying to focus on health issues, which is why last year we did the Samoa Health Challenge II (The first challenge was a televised program similar to the Biggest Loser), and this year with the Samoan Health Challenge III.
After last year’s debacle with trying to get my village involved, I decided to go to my neighboring village to see if they wanted to start the program. My neighboring village has a very active Women’s Committee, and I mean active in the physical sense. Twice a week they get together to play a few hours of volleyball, twice a week they plan group walks, and I think once a week they have jazzercise. They are a group that is motivated and I am eager to work with them.
Last week I talked with the president and a few other members, and I am still waiting to hear back from them on their decision. (Chores and prayer time make it hard for long meetings.) They seemed to like the program, which is very exciting. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this year’s challenge I can run successfully!
(Picture is of women in my village playing volleyball)