Thursday, September 24, 2009
80: This One Goes Out to All My Homies Who Have Gone Before Me
When Group 79 arrived in country almost two years ago, Farmer Joe's had just opened. All the other volunteers were so excited for Apia's first "real" grocery store. Personally, I was a little frightened by it when we went there on White Sunday to buy uso for the people who would host us for to'ona'i. It looked like Indy's ghetto supermarket LoBill Foods (with the o in Lo, always lower on the sign) mixed with Sam's Club. It had that warehouse sort of feel. Over time, Farmer Joe's has come to grow on me. It is possible I have lowered my grocery store expectations, but I know it is also all the impressive improvements The Farmer has made. They introduced a whole produce and deli department and a special wine and liquor room.
Ming and Hanna's had also just opened when we arrived in country. I think it was like our second day at Apia Central (Group 82, you will not know the wonder that is Apia Central, as you will be staying at the Pasifika Inn) when Koli took us to the maketi and then on to Ming and Hanna's, where we were excited to see things like Cheerios and Starbucks coffee (as long as you were willing to drop fat cash).
Those who had been in country longer told us newbies that we were living the easy life. That we just didn't know what it was like to live in Apia when Chan Mow (scary, scary, scary) was really your only choice for shopping.
Well, it is my turn to be that crotchety old guy. The new Lucky Foodtown opened today and it is a real, honest-to-goodness grocery store. Cale and I wandered around in amazement. I took pictures! We ran into one of the teachers from my school and her daughter. They just moved back to Samoa from New Zealand last year. They too were just touring the grocery store as if it was a theme park, "We came to see if they had any new things from New Zealand."
These new kids are gonna be living the easy life. They just won't know what it was like to live in Apia when the old Lucky's and Farmer Joe were the only choices for shopping. These checkout lanes have numbered lights for crying out loud. This is not a developing nation Group 82 is coming to. Maybe rural Missouri or something. But a rural that is very close to the suburbs.
PS. The Way Back Machine
Posted by Cale