Note: This was written over the weekend, but I haven’t had a chance to post it until now.
I finished up my second full week of work and it’s gone by both quickly and slowly. Some days, as I waited for a certain document to be tracked down or tackled the monotonous task of uploading borrower profiles, seemed to last forever. Others whizzed by with the landscape of ‘Upolu as I followed loan officers on their collection routes. I feel like I’m getting into the swing of things, work-wise, although I’m still a bit pathetically lacking in the social realm of things. Still, work–the main purpose of my time here, after all–is definitely turning out to be an exciting journey. After a rain-filled weekend of huddling indoors watching movies while the sky emptied itself, I’d like to highlight some of the best parts of the last week.
Zumba in the office after work. There’s not much more to say than that! In case anyone is wondering what Zumba is, see the video above. After the surprise staff meeting at the end of the day on Friday (surprise only to me), there was a surprise Zumba session (again surprise only to me). Apparently Zumba as a fitness movement has been embraced pretty thoroughly in Samoa, and many companies and/or government branches have installed is as their official ‘get fit’ program.
There I was, typing away at my laptop, when suddenly it occurred to me that everyone around me is changing into athletic clothes. A quick inquiry confirmed my suspicion that I was left out of the loop–my coworkers are apologetic–but there’s no question that I will still participate, work clothes or no work clothes. They are surprised that I am slightly incredulous to find out that the planned activity is Zumba, as if I have been leading some kind of deficient life under a Zumba-less rock somewhere. Samoans do love to sing and dance, so I guess it makes sense that Zumba is popular, although I was intensely relieved not to be the only person nervously giggling at some of the pelvic thrusts included in the instructive videos. Still, I think the most enjoyable (and slightly surreal) aspect was that the session was led entirely by Tui, a broad-shouldered, beefy man who looks like he could do some serious damage on the rugby pitch, but also, as it turns out, kicks ass at Zumba. What else could there possibly be??