Friday, December 11, 2015

Mesepa International Ward 2015 Christmas Party

Saturday, December 5, was our ward Christmas party, now this isn't your typical ward Christmas party because  it's held at the beach and the temperature outside is a balmy 85 degrees with sunshine.  The Relief Society sisters were asked to bring salads and desserts - when I arrived with a small bowl of crab pasta salad, I sat it next to a large plastic tub (2'x1'x6") full of potato salad (You can't think small in Samoa.)  On the table was a LARGE white cooler full of barbecued chicken and as we settled in eating our salads and chicken, the pick-up with the umu cooked pig arrived.   Three men with woven baskets carried it to the table and began pulling it apart - there was a rush for the skin!

 You don't use knives and but hands to pull a pig apart.

 Not sure why they cook the head separate, at least they closed the eyes.

 The guy in the middle is our new bishop, Bishop Goodwin.

 I was sitting by Sister Leota, a 70ish sister, who flagged down almost everyone asking them to go to the food table to get her some food.  Sister Leota has two plates full of food sitting in front of her, when the pig arrives, she starts out saying, 'I'd really like a little piece of skin.'  No one is around except me so I walk to the table and ask for some pig skin - they look at me like, are you for real; I quickly say, it's for Sister Leota.  They pull off a piece of skin and some meat and put it into the styrofoam container.  (I should interject here that foam containers are the staple food dish for Samoans, the business is alive and well here.)  Well, I take my pig offering to Sister Leota and all she says is, 'they don't know how to cook pigs very well, this skin is burnt.'  So much for a kind deed.  However, she goes on to collect about three more containers of food before I leave the table.  I relate this, because it's so typical of everyone.  The more containers you can take home the better the party.

Theron enjoys swimming with all the primary children who are frolicking in the water.  The mothers are sitting on the rocks talking and the men are sitting making the big decisions and serving others.  I really enjoy watching these large men take care of the food, pick up the garbage and do all the cooking.  This is so great!  The more they can do the better the party.

After the talk and food and swimming, someone notices the kayak approaching the shore - it's Santa.  Yep, in Samoa Santa arrives in a kayak. Somehow it's really no more strange than when he arrives on a fire truck. Please note the boots he is wearing.  They're quite appropriate for a Samoan, kayaking, Santa.  Because the kids are all wet from swimming, no one sits on Santa's lap - Santa's worst fear - a wet lap from a three year old.  All the kids get a sack of some treats and a small toy.  How great to see the children so happy; the more the kids enjoy themselves the better the party.

 When was the last time you saw Santa wearing sunglasses.

Some of the big kids liked Santa too. 

Note Santa's boots?  Got to love it.
We love these people and can't believe how much the whole island is getting decorated for Christmas.  It's so fun to drive around and see all the lights.

A Merry Christmas to all!!

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