Happy Halloween! Another month has come and gone! It is truly unbelievable I only have 44 days left in Samoa. I am so grateful for my service and all the things I am thankful for will be the topic of a soon to be post, so get ready!
This month marked the beginning of the end for group 87‘s time in Samoa. This was put into perspective as we welcomed our replacements, group 89, and began our final term of the school year. Every year we host an Ava Ceremony in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Sports, and Culture (MESC). This is a customary welcoming in Samoan culture. For an in depth overview of the ceremony please click here.
Before the shindig my group decided to officially celebrate our 2 year mark. We shared memories, talked of the future, and joked about the first food we will eat upon arriving home. It has been a wild and turbulent ride with these folks, and its been a pleasure to serve with them. I know each of us has a bright future ahead, but for now as we make the most of our last days we remember: “It not about destination, its about the journey.” And what a journey it has been!
After our celebratory lunch the new group of hopeful volunteers arrived to begin their training. In true Samoan fashion they were escorted by bus to the ministry’s fale fono (meeting building) where everyone awaited. Staff, current volunteers, and dignitaries sat in excitement while they tried on their lava lavas for the first time. The cameras rolled as the ceremony began. The matai (chiefs) gave boisterous speeches, ava was served, and everyone was properly introduced. It was a wonderful event. As a departing volunteer it was a time of reflection. It seems like yesterday that I once sat in their place, a nervous wreck trying to remember what my lines were to accept the ava.
Volunteers and staff members oversaw the roles for the ceremony. In this picture you can see the taupou mixing the ava, which will soon be offered to the special guests. David serving the ava to the new members of our Peace Corps family.
Group 89!Groups 87 and 88!
After the event the new group was whisked away to immediately begin training. No joke! They had a training session directly after the ceremony. The rest of us took many a picture to commemorate the event. Victoria and I even had a mini photo shoot because why not? (We let Jeffery tag along because we all matched)
After the arrival of the new group school was back in session. It has been review after review after test after test. The final term is a conglomerate of testing for all grades. I am also beginning to honker down in preparations for the return home. I am crazy excited for what is in store! Food, job hunt, and a chance to spend time with family and friends. Okay, maybe I am not excited about one of those. As school as begun its down swing I took at the camera and snapped some shots of the daily going ons.
October was what I would call a laid back month. Outside of welcoming group 89 not much occurred. Be excited for the next edition of my photo recap because November is stacked with events. I will have much to report about my last full month in Samoa!