Sunday, January 13, 2008

Proud Mary Returns


The gangway to her ferry lowered as it emerged from the mist. I anxiously awaited Mary’s arrival after being away for two weeks in the US. She came off the boat dragging a suitcase larger than the one she took in one hand and a large cardboard box in the other. She looked like a bucket of water had been dumped over her head. Her freshly applied make up was smeared, her new hair do looking like a mop, and her clothing soaked through as the rains poured down on her. How could you not love such a sight? Afio Mio. Welcome back to Samoa.

Fatigued though she was, she attempted to condense her two weeks into a few hours of conversation, interspersed with constant interruptions by people who wanted to welcome her back and me suddenly having to transcribe a letter in Samoa for our host father before he caught the next boat in 30 minutes. A meal of mutton flaps and green beans awaited her. Bedlam reined.

There were many high points to her trip. It started upon her arrival, as a night Christmas Day snowfall deposited large white flakes to create a picture postcard arrival in Minneapolis. Charges on our Visa card marked her days. It seemed no restaurant was left unvisited.

The booty she brought back consisted of several crossword puzzle books, novels, Good & Plenty candy, a CD player, and a new replacement laptop. In the large cardboard box, there were bicycle racks for some other Peace Corps Volunteers. For our host family members some gifts, which like Christmas gift's everywhere, are a hit or miss proposition.

She left behind the early anxieties about our children who have moved on to handle adult responsibilities without us, and friends whose questions about Samoa could not be adequately answered. It was good to know that Proud Mary’s wheels will keep on churning for the next 20 months of our stay.

Note: Please understand why pictures of her arrival do not appear on this entry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This blog made me cry. Even though you are probably back in Minnesota,by now, I still think it was so sweet, of Mary coming back, and that no matter what she looks like she was coming to you. Malo lava le onosai Malia & Niko.