Saturday, January 29, 2011

Just some green fuzz

Over the last week we have had over 12 inches of rainfall. That's not even the official amount which is somewhat higher I am sure - that is just my little son's rain meter measurement. His little measurer is only 4 inches high and he had to empty it three times. The rain is not so bad even when the street in front of my house becomes a river, and the backyard becomes a river/lake. In fact I like rain, even hard torrential rain but...

Here are my issues:

1) that my kids keep escaping from the house to swim in the storm surge (AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!) Visions of typhoid fever, and other horrible diseases and parasitic infestations play in my mind. What make this even more disgusting is the fact that most of the country uses the toiletry system designed in the dark ages: The Outhouse. Yummmy! Not only do we get the runoff from all the neighbors' dog poo, but we also get all of their poo too! Every night I check the kids for fever, make them take antibiotics as a precautionary measure and pray!

2) The river/lake in my back yard has now become a stagnant cesspool with a lovely green fuzz growing all in it and making a scummy surface on the top of the water. I am sure in a few days all the mosquito larvae will emerge in their adult form to feast on us and give us all Dengue and Malaria! The other challenge with the back yard being a stagnant lake of filth and algae is that I do not own a clothes drier so I have to make several trips daily through the muck to the clothes line to hang and bring in the many loads of laundry our family generates!

I am back to the thoughts of parasitic infestations and typhoid...needless to say every time I have to venture out I soak my feet in disinfectant the minute I am back in the house. My husband finds this amusing - I might too someday. For now I am just battling germs, parasites, and the green fuzz. I can't wait for a couple days of sun to bring out the stench!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Like a dog to his vomit

I just came from a youth basketball tournament. Here in Samoa they call it basketball even though it is more like rugby. It is the same every year they have this tournament: The refs are crooked and never call the game right; the other teams cheat and play overage players; the players play dirty and scratch, trip, and punch; and then everyone bellyaches and moans about it but then continue to turn up year after year for the same torture.

Would it be too much to ask that we as a team boycott the tourney on moral grounds?or maybe on physical abuse grounds?? Today I saw a dislocated shoulder, multiple elbows to the face and LOTS of frustration. Why do we return EVERY year to the same treatment? Why does everyone tolerate it in the name of "fun" or exercise or title defense or some other rubbish reason? Sometimes I think I am the only realist of the bunch. Why complain about the tournament and then continue to return to it year after year? JUST STOP PARTICIPATING!!! Why is it so hard? It is quite refreshing actually to walk away from the stinking pile of vomit.

Don't get me wrong I LOVE basketball but what this tournament is doesn't even come close to basketball. The game of basketball when played right is a beautiful thing of fluid motion. A quick layup, an impossible pass, a 20-foot swish, an unimaginable three-pointer. It has excitment, finesse, and can be pure poetry in motion. I think an entrance requirement to play (or ref) in this tournament should be to watch games from 25+ years ago. The names of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Kareem Abdul-Jabar are lost on these players and refs who try hard to immitate thugs rather than play out of love for the game. The name of this game is: who can win at any cost or how much damage can we inflict on the other team.

I remember my high school basketball coach. He was always more worried about us than our win-loss record. He would always tell us: you are ladies first, representatives of this school second, and lastly basketball players. Don't get me wrong, he trained us and coached us hard and we had our fair share of success, but we were taught our priorities and that helped the defeats taste a little better. Thanks coach for all the memories and life lessons! Too bad they don't teach the same thing to the youths and officials in this tournament.

I for one am boycotting the rest of the tourney - everyone else can enjoy their vomit - steaming fresh!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hey Baby

Recently I was driving down the road after having dropped off teenagers at a church youth activity and was extremely surprised to hear a "Hey Baby!" flung my direction. At first I looked around to see if it was really me they were talking to. Must have been, unless they were talking to the dog who was licking himself!

Here I am: whiter than paper, overweight, puffy eyes, and having the mother of bad hair days. Were they really serious or just teasing - what did they think they were gonna get out of saying that???? Either way, it annoyed me that I was the butt of their joke and they were being rude.

As soon as I realized they were talking to me, my hand did something obsene, but so quickly I just barely detected the choice taking place - it was almost so smooth and fluid that it denoted involuntary reaction. I admit I am very ashamed for having done it - can I obtain forgivness easier if they deserved it???

Now I get to feeling guilty for not just ignoring them. I made a split-second decision: a bad one. Sad, though that my only thought was: "I hope I was far enough away from the chapel that none of the youth or leaders saw that."

To quote one of my favorite country singers, Alan Jackson, "I'm a work in progress." Aren't we all. I decided from then on to be more forgiving and tolerant of others - now the real test: Will I remember the next time a "hey baby" is flung my way??? Or am I being too optimistic; have the days of my "hey baby" reached expiration? I'll keep you posted...

The Samoan National Bird

I live on a small dot in the Pacific where the national bird is supposed to be the Manumea (some sort of wild pigeon or dove or something) that is found only here. I think the government should choose a new national bird, though. I was in town shopping today fighting the crowds, rain, mud, and my nominee for the new national bird: ...drumroll please... THE MOSQUITO. Anything that stood still for more than two second had the priviledge to receive a visit from one of these blood sucking parasites. Not so unusual, I suppose, but at one point I looked down at my legs and noticed sixteen at once which didn't even flinch when I tried to shoo them away. If I kept standing there I wonder how many would have feasted on me and how many of them it would have taken before I was lifted off the ground and taken home as their prize kill.

If the government made them the national bird maybe I could get some perks for voluntarily (unknowingly voluntarily) feeding them: A nice car with the a big bumper sticker that says "Long live the mosquito" or something similarly stupid. Or maybe a year-long pass to the spa for mud bath treatments to counteract the effects of all the mosquito bites. I would even agree to be bitten if it would qualify me for decent health care - the state health care system (if it can be called a system at all) is beyond a joke to the point of being nightmarish. Come on prime minister Tuilaepa - let's be realistic and change the national bird and start receiving the perks!

Love the live the mosquito - NOT!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The miracle of sound

I was just sitting listening to my kids talk and play and was struck by the wonder of speech and sound and how our ears work. Sounds dorky, I know. Think about it though: somehow sound can travel from someone or something and reach your ears almost simultaneously and then your brain processes those sounds into recognized words, voices, music,etc. I marvel at it. I know there is a God because I cannot imagine that something so wonderful as sound and hearing could have come about by chance or evolution no matter how many billions of years it supposedly took.