Friday, April 29, 2011

Samoan Diabetes Association

April 27, 2011

During my past stay in Samoa, I worked closely with the Samoan Diabetes Association. They were very supportive of my screening efforts. Since that time, there was a big expose on the misuse of the association funds, probably owing more to poor controls than corruption, which resulted in a whole new team of personalities.

The Samoan custom for arranging a meeting is usually by writing a long letter of explanation accompanied by a humble request for the person you want to meet to write back their reply. This is not my style, but seemingly Samoans forgive my “ignorance” when I barge into a place unannounced. This is true if I have something for which they are interested and feel they can contribute their ideas to the discussion. So too with the Diabetes Association who appear to want to mesh their program with the Challenge.

Diet, exercise, and the role of obesity are common themes in diabetes circles, especially the evils of imported foods and the benefits of “God’s Natural Foods”. As each biblical reference emerges from my mouth, an “Amen” emerges from hers. We agree on “The body is the temple for the spirit”, she being Pentecostal.

She talks about how churches and ministers are who Samoan’s follow and who set the example for others. I agree unconditionally. She says her husband a pastor and am I interested in getting the Challenge into a hundred churches. She has my attention. He husband then walks in, she introduces me. He has to weigh at least 320 pounds.

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