I awoke late this Sunday morning. It was 7:50 and church was to begin at 8:30. Knowing that the regular pastor was not here, I quickly decided that I was not going to church. I put on my pot of water to boil, and as I was pouring my stemming hot liquid of life, I changed my mind, raced to get ready, and was on time to church. I guess all I needed was come caffeine to get me going! It was a short service and at the end as I was leaving, a few of my year 8 students approached me and asked what I was doing for toonai. As I had not planned to be in the village today, I had made no plans for the after-church meal and jokingly invited myself to all of their houses. The four girls laughed and said, “don’t worry, we will come eat with you!” Not knowing what to expect, I raced home to prepare a little food myself, but I should not have worried, they had it all covered.
About ten minutes after I had arrived home, the first of my guests arrived. Pisi had a bowl of curried chicken soup, three large taro, and two palusami. Then Luti arrived with Saimini and taro. Alofagia joined the party with chicken and tomato soup, and last to arrive was Sasa, empty handed but ready to eat! Pisi, my “caretaker,” sent her home to bring food to contribute, and I opened a can of pisupo (corned beef), which I then friend with some golden onions. We lay down a mat, dished out the food, and the feast began. Sasa reappeared with some chicken soup and a plate of saka (bananas) and there was so much food that everyone ate until they could no longer move. It was really fun to have them over and quite possibly the most fun toonai I have ever been to because it was so relaxed, unlike the others where I feel like I am constantly being stared at and my every move analyzed.
After toonai, the girls went home to rest, but they have good memories and last night I had promised a movie. At 1pm, a group of seven kids of all ages appeared at my door, ready to watch a movie. I chose “Elf” for the occasion, because although it is totally out of season, it is a really entertaining movie that I thought they would probably understand. Visually, it is so well done that even if they did not understand what was happening, I knew they would at least enjoy the cinematography.
The movie ended in perfect time as the second church service was about to begin. I have started running a library out of my house, so the students signed out books and then went on their way to get ready for church without me having to rudely kick them out (as is sometimes the uncomfortable case). I have spent the rest of the day cleaning, and organizing my ideas for next term so that I do not have to worry about that later in the break. I can only hope that the week to come is as carefree and beautiful as today was. Then, Tonto is coming to visit, and then I am off to Fiji, so I anticipate no blogs for a while, but be patient, they will return. Till next time, Fa Soifua!