Rumors of Girlfriends

I had begun to pick up on signs last week that my family liked the thought of Sarah and I being an item when they continually asked about. When they would drop me off for church they would look for her and tell me to sit next to her. All the kids love messing with me and like to say things like, “Setu alofa mai Sarah (I love Sarah)”. Then in the last few days they bluntly started calling her my girlfriend (ou teine). Now, to put a bit of context to this they know we aren’t actually together, well at least my host mom and dad do. Whether the kids and my grandmother believe me or not is up in the air. They mean well and it is all in fun, so most the time its just entertaining. I am beginning to wonder if the rumor started in my own home.

Dating culture in Samoa is quite fascinating. If you walk with, share your food with, and are generally nice to a girl, you might just find yourself in a relationship. Yesterday I went to the beach with a group of other volunteers. When my family found out Sarah was going they packed a double lunch for me so I could share it with her. Along with the lunch was an extra soda and apple just for her. Now, food happens to be quite a big deal here. Samoan families spend 90% of their income on food. With public displays of affection being taboo Samoan’s can only speculate whom you like by the amount of time you spend with them, so I guess it makes a little sense since Sarah and I hang around the same people mosh of the time.

It is amazing how much can happen in a single week. I fear what another month in this village has in store. I have prevailed this week with a separated shoulder and a girlfriend… I suppose the idea of one of those isn’t so bad.