Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fa'a Samoa

2 week down. I have one more week left in Apia before heading out to my training village. I will be moving in with a host family whom I’ve never met before, and essentially our group will be split up and I will not have the comfort of familiar American faces around. Let the true test begin. I must say even though I’ve been here for two weeks I feel like I’ve been here a lot longer. For example, all my clothes are officially and forever stretched out, I’ve developed some sort of rash on both of my legs, and at this very moment there is a dead cockroach in my bathroom (that I’m refusing to pickup). Back home those things would have bothered me, but not so much here. However, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been things that have upset me. Which brings me into my next topic…the Samoan language, it’s a beautiful language that when spoken correctly and fluently is great. I, however, do not speak the language with either of those things-not even close.  The other day my group and I were sitting in the common room of the hotel have our language course. The topic for the day, the alphabet and its sounds, so here I am sitting there saying “ah, eh, ee, oh, uh” and all these Samoan people who are staying at the hotel come in and just sat there staring at us and laughing at us. This went on for about 30 minutes. People would come in and just watch us trying to sound out the Samoan alphabet and cracking jokes. Let me tell you, it was not fun. I already felt awkward and stupid as it was and these people were just not making it any better. I guess I have to get used to sounding silly and realize people will make fun of me. On a lighter language side I have probably said about 5 Samoan cusswords to my teacher without even knowing it. The thing about the Samoan language it has tons of glottal stops and stresses, and if you stress the wrong letter, or stop on the wrong vowel then whoops you end up asking the bar tender for a banana when what you really meant to say was napkin. Here are a few things mistakes I have innocently made: trying to say 27 and saying –pubic hair, trying to say apostrophe and saying-fu**, and trying to say tired and saying-in between my legs. No matter what, it always comes out as a bad word, or sexual. My teachers and people in town just think its hysterical so I just smile, nod my shoulders, and play the silly pulangi card. J

1 comment:

  1. lindsey, all my clothes are forever stretched out and too big for me. no dryers in china either... bummer! i also had a cockroach in my kitchen, and then in my closet.
    and i am TOTALLY with you with the language! chinese is ridiculously hard as well. i have been kicked out of so many cabs because they do not understand where i am trying to get to. i havent done any cuss words but i am sure that will happen eventually :) believe me, i get a ton of laughs and crazy stares when i talk!