Hey. How are you? Long time, no see. How are things? I hear you've been having some financial troubles. I hope you get that all worked out. Stuff's about the same here. Teaching kids computers, trying to have a fun.
I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you on your birthday. In fact, a whole bunch of us in Samoa were thinking about you. We even threw you a party. We knew you couldn't make it, but you were here in spirit.
We started out with a softer version of your national pastime, slow-pitch softball. It was Peace Corps vs. Navy and despite some earlier Peace Corps concerns that led to the great gender-equality debacle*, the PCVs spanked the Navy a resounding 14-4. There was some question on whether or not we had an unfair advantage by living on land most of the time and being able to have a practice before hand.
Next we mingled with dignitaries that included the Head of State, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa (talk about a star-studded event). Miss Samoa even made an appearance and sang the US National Anthem (with a great deal of assistance from her sister).
After that we feasted on true American delicacies: baked beans, hot dogs (with real Heinz ketchup and French's mustard), coleslaw, potato salad (every palagi's favorite food) and beer (well, this wasn't an American delicacy, it was Vaillima). For dessert we finished off with ice cream cones.
We finished up your birthday celebration with sparklers and the Navy band.
Just a thought America, you might want to send Robin (the Charge) a little thank you note. She put on an excellent party in your honor, even if you couldn't make it.
Anyway, talk to you later.
* So at some point in the softball preparations word got out that the Peace Corps guys didn't want Peace Corps girls on the team. They assumed the Navy team would have few to no girls and that they would have an advantage with their big, burly all-male team. Rumor has it the PC boys were determined to win and thought that girls would, well, throw like a girl. Great troubles were gone to to have an equal-opportunity game, with the suggestion even made that PC girls put their name in a hat and be assigned to either the PC or Navy team until there was gender-equality. However, as it turned out, it was a a misunderstanding. In the end, the Navy had more girls than the PC (one).