I was a 25-year-old Peace Corps volunteer, teaching human biology and general biology in Samoa, a coconut-tree-fringed, green dot-of-an-island in the middle of the gloriously blue South Pacific ocean.
I loved it there.
I loved the turquoise lagoons and lush vegetation and brilliantly colored flowers. I loved the papaya and mango and banana trees, laden with delicious fruit. I loved all the chickens and pigs wandering freely around, scratching and rooting through people’s yards. One resourceful hen took up happy residence in my bedroom, laid a clutch of eggs, and proudly hatched out ten fluffy chicks. I loved it.
I loved watching Samoan boys shimmy breathtakingly high into coconut trees to pluck its fruit. I loved watching Samoan girls skillfully and artfully weave baskets and placemats from coconut fronds. I loved the food. I loved the people. I loved the languid pace, the warm nights, the silvery-peachy color of the lagoon as the morning sun rose above the water.