It's a Samoan pub.

October 9, 2006: The beginning of my adventure in the Peace Corps. I've been invited to serve as an Information and Communication Techonology volunteer to teach computer skills in Samoa. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are mine and do not in any way reflect the views of the Peace Corps, the US government, or the country of Samoa.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Service was supposed to start at nine so it was a good thing that Molly and I showed up at 7:30 because the service actually started at 8. Unsurprisingly Easter is a pretty big deal in Samoa (if you weren’t aware, it is a very Christian nation). I go to the Pentecostal church with my host brother every Sunday. For Easter, parishioners from each of the Pentecostal churches in Samoa all come together for five days of worship. I decided to go for Easter Sunday and Molly decided to come with me.

We showed up in Vaitele and were directed behind the church where about three hundred people (not everyone from every church could make it) were having breakfast. We got fed and then we all headed in and sat down for what proved to be a four hour service (completely in Samoan). It was great though, singing, dancing, and a communion of blessed sugar cookies and shots of kool-aid. The people from my village were ecstatic that I had showed up.

After the morning services was lunch. It is traditional on Sundays to have a large lunch and oh my, the amount of food: fried chicken, egg salad, seafood salad, beef salad, taro, yams, cake, cookies, and countless liters of ice cream. It must be awesome to be a kid on Easter, they got to run around with all their friends eating more ice cream and cookies than one would think physically possible. Afterwards there was a three hour break before evening mass.

It seemed that each congregation was being hosted by a family in the area. My congregation was all staying with a family in Vailoa so we made our way back via a few round trips of the Pastor’s van. When Molly and I arrived, there was my church, changed out of their morning church things into more comfortable clothes all sitting in and around a traditional fale [fa-lay] (open Samoan house) singing songs, taking naps, eating lunch leftovers. Their bags and things they had brought for the weekend were neatly piled against the inner sides and clothes were drying from lines in and out of the house. They all greeted us and drew us into the fale giving us pillows to sleep on. I have belonged to one church or another for eighteen years of my life but I have never felt the sense of community that I did in that moment.

At three thirty we headed back to Vaitele. Evening mass was another three hours with more singing, more dancing, presentations from different churches (they sang songs or danced traditional Samoan dances to represent their church), and emotional confessions/blessings. Afterwards was more food: fried chicken, pork, boiled bananas, sausage, beef salad, and niu. By this time Molly and I were exhausted, so my church brought us back to Vailoa and put us in a cab so we could go back to Molly’s place. They all waved and said goodnight, making sure that we had enjoyed ourselves and giving us a heap of left-over food to take with us in case we got hungry.


Blogger Salome said...

Thank you for the wonderful work you provide for Palalaua and its students. I am a proud former student of the college. I heard Palalaua is not the same since its former principle Mr Fata Faafiu retired in the past years. My older brother and I use to attend Palalaua College. I wonder if Miss Pautele is still there? She was my accounting teacher. I was a smart student and I am sure some of my former teachers remember my name Salome Ualesi. Thank you for Sharing your skills and knowledge with all those students and teachers.

You can view me on bebo

Serah is my nickname but Salome is my christian name.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Salome Serah Leauanae

1:08 AM GMT-11  

Post a Comment

<< Home