Sunday, July 29, 2007

Meal Time

June 19, 2007

There is a definite hierarchy as to who eats first and who sits where at the dinner table. Since Mary and I are guests, we eat first with Lotoa, the 80 year old matriarch of the family. If she isn’t feeling well, we eat alone at the table. We feel honored by the service we get and are sometimes fanned during the meal. However, we sometimes hurry our meal so others can eat.

Mary has tried to invite the others to join us at the table. Her all inclusive ways just don’t work here. This is a society based on values we are slowly discovering and need to be careful about pressing our own customs.

You do not eat before you say grace. Since I am the oldest man, I say it in Samoan, so we can begin. This may be the only Samoan I remember about my Peace Corps years.

We are really fortunate because the man/woman, fafafine, in our house is a great cook and does the evening meal after coming home from his/her day job in Apia 45 minutes away. Breakfast and lunches are usually prepared by the wife of a brother.

Here are some of the foods we eat:

7:30 am Breakfast
White toast, jelly, peanut butter
Eggs. Hardboiled, fried, or scrambled.
Papaya, oranges
Keke Pua’a (deep fried pork filled cake)
Koko Samoa (Samoa;s own style of hot chocolate

10:00 Morning Tea
Cookies, biscuits

Sandwiches: tuna, egg, spaghettio’s
Fried chicken
An occasional dinner type meal

3:00 pm Afternoon Tea
Cookies, biscuits

6:30 pm Evening Dinner
Rice, and taro
Potato, sometimes.
Chicken: stir fries, fried.
Steak, pork, shrimp, fish
Palusomi (young taro leaves filled with coconut cream)
No desserts

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