The current volunteers fiafiaed (fiafia [fee-ah fee-ah] in this instance it means party or entertainment, but can also mean enjoy, like and happy) the new group last night. There were lovely ladies dancing in matching puletasi and gorgeous men stomping and slapping in coconut oil and banana leaves. Manu Samoa made an appearance (ok, not really. It was those same coconut oil covered men again doing the Manu Samoa haka [I don't know the Samoan word for this, that is the Maori word]). Jame performed a beautiful tāupou dance ([tah-poh] Title of village maiden. A position held according to Samoan custom by a virgin singled out for her charm, looks, and manners. Among her duties is the preparation of 'ava and performing the final dance at ceremonies and fiafia). Jame's dance was particularly poignant as the last dance because she is also leaving Samoa on Monday. Her host family was there. Her host father is a faifeau ([fie-fey-ow] minister) and he said the lotu ([low-too] prayer) before we ate.
And boy did we eat. There was a ton of food. Pasta salads and tuna salads and spicy salads and potato salads. Chili and spaghetti and pizza and casseroles. Cakes and cookies and brownies. Cale made hot wings (with the hot wing sauce his dad sent in the mail) and bbq wings (we found Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce at Ming and Hanna). I made pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread. There is a strict order to the feed at a fiafia. First guests, then PC staff, then the new group (80), then the oldest group (76) and then we move up through the groups until finally getting to...us (79). By the time Cale and I went through the line his wings were gone, as was my pie. I think that means that people liked them.
This year the fiafia was held at the hotel where the new group is staying. It was a lot of impromptu and informal fun. Hannah is the Volunteer Action Committee social chair and organized the entire event beautifully. Last year, when we were fiafiaed it was also the 40th anniversary of Peace Corps in Samoa, so things were considerably grander, more regimented and much more formal. Cale is a firm believer that this group's fiafia was more enjoyable.
Other highlights from the fiafia include:
Cale and Dylan wearing matching outfits and spending most of the night seeing if they could confuse me. I don't know why, but I was always able to pick out the right one.
Shane forcing me to delete all pictures of him from the camera (I think he is in the witness protection program).
Moving the party to Cocktail on the Rocks, so as not to keep the hotel guests up all night.
I suppose I should explain my headline for this blog entry. The annual siva afi ([see-vah ah-fee] fire dance) competition is being held this weekend. The new group went to see the semi-finals on Thursday night and one of the competitors was hired to perform at the fiafia. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, he was not able to make it to the fiafia. So there you have it, the reason for the title.
P.S. Oh, I forgot one detail. We also voted for new Volunteer Action Committee executive committee members. President, VP, social chair and secretary. I found out when I arrived at the fiafia that I was running for secretary (I am still not sure how that happened) AND somehow managed to win. So now I am the new VAC secretary. Another member of Group 79, Eric, is the new president. Very exciting.
Update P.S. I also forgot to mention that Cale received no less than three marriage proposals during the evening after word got out that not only does he cook, but he also sewed my puletasi.