Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dealing with Please (Fa’amolemole)


The Samoan word for “Please” is beginning to get to me. Whenever a member of my host family comes up to me, the first word most often spoken is Fa’amolemole. They want something. This word can come at anytime day or night, no matter what I am doing. If Fa’amolemole is followed by Malie lau Loto (something like, “ I hate to ask you, but…), the request is usually for money.

The families I am living with are a hard working lot. They are simply poor, living in a poor place. Earning money amidst poverty is extremely difficult as my own efforts and labors are discovering. Available limited resources are shared. When you need something, you go to the person who has it.

This is not the world in which I grew up, but it is the world where I now live. I am the one with it and I just have to deal with it. One can’t cherry pick cultural attributes. You either take it as is, or leave. So when I hear, “Ita?” at end of the request, I reply that I am not angry, but it must show.


Anonymous said...

You have been out of the States to long. That is what the people, companys and banks want from the government. "I want $$$$$"...what is the differance. Richie rich.

Anonymous said...

They found out of your social security rate increase of 5.8%"Fa'amolemole"