It’s the beginning of a new year at Paul VI College. The first official day of the school year started off with heavy rains and a cyclone scare. Ryuta and I both received calls from the JICA office and Peace Corps that we were on a standby for emergency should the weather get worse. We sat on our balcony and ate pasta while sifting through the language barrier between us. Ryuta is pretty cool. He just got back from Australia last week and he brought me a few housewarming gifts. I gratefully received a kangaroo pen that has boxing gloves like a rock’em sock’em robot, a few candy bars and a post card with the backs of three naked women with sand on their butts that read, “Australian Beach Bums.” Izumi Miyazaki, my other roommate will arrive in a few weeks and I think I should find something funny to give her as tradition follows. I’ve been keeping busy with my artwork and exploration of the village. Aside from the many curious looks I receive I have felt very warmly welcomed into the community. Lately I’ve been granted the roll of a fix-it man in the village because everyone seems to have something that needs to be fixed and often it involves simply plugging it in. I find that I can understand much more Samoan than I can speak and perhaps this is because my confidence isn’t strong enough to take many chances but these things improve everyday. I enjoy sitting on my roof and playing guitar or ukulele and I’m starting to be recognized as the guy on the rooftop who brings music. When it became real that I was going to join the Peace Corps I decided to pack light and to use my guitar as a form of integration. Now this simple tool is blossoming and I am beginning the task of forming a jam band. Sister Fatima, the pule at Paul VI, is very interested in continuing a music program at the school and the two of us play guitar together in our free time. She offered for me to come by for happy hour after school on Friday where she will trade drinks for guitar lessons thus making my Friday antics in town that much more fun. The students here are quite shy and I think it is kind of cute. Their energy is cool when they are feeling it but many of them are new and not interested in standing out. Sometimes at night I sneak out and swim in the ocean even though technically you are not supposed to swim at people’s property without permission. I enjoy the sneakiness of it though and it reminds me of back home when me and my friends would sneak into people’s pools at night. Tutia, the heavily tattooed man, and I are becoming good friends. He’s a bit loony and I enjoy the trouble he brings into the mix. Things have been mostly well although something is wrong with my arm. Near my left elbow it is swelling up and I’m told that I was probably stung by something; no worries. I’m fortunate to have chanced upon a growing collection of art supplies that ranges from pencils and highlighters to decent drawing pens and acrylic paint. I’ve felt a surge of motivation ever since that night a few blog entries back when I had my moment with the stars and all. Although you’d think this would have been a given, art has never really been a form of expression for me like it is now. I used to create art simply because I enjoyed the act of creating however now I feel like my emotions can be translated through a very powerful force. It’s getting close to night time. The sky is on fire and everything is orange, pink and red. Manuia le po ma fai se miti malie!
Take another sip of this here potion and watch the black clouds roll in. Night time is falling upon the islands and I sit under the shelter of my balcony to hide from the storm. With the wind comes many dreams, each more mysterious than the one before; I am alone but I am happy. She whispered pieces of music to me, the night, and just like any other dream I can never quite recall what she has spoken to me or why but I lie in bed being very thankful that she has spoken to me. Each night I wake up two or three times and stare with wide open eyes into the darkness as if I am still dreaming. With every waking moment my dreams fade into questions about their meaning but I am too tired to solve such riddles and my eyes do not stay open long enough to care; but they keep coming. All I can do is keep dreaming and travelling through the world of the otherworld and hope that others out there can feel one day what I feel now. The wind kisses me goodnight and I sit still in my cargo shorts and crossed legs waiting to see where she will take me next. This is where I stay and where I belong until the alarm on my cell phone awakens me from the subconscious world and reminds me that I have been blessed with another day to live. Until then I lie here and dream in colours that no paintbrush could recreate. Fai se miti malie, make a sweet dream, and don’t ever forget that somewhere out there others are dreaming just as you are right now.