Tusitala Short Story: CHANGE - Adapt to it and Adopt it

By Melagitone Enari 24 November 2022, 10:00AM

CHANGE - Adapt to it and Adopt it

Melagitone Enari  Year13, Chanel College 

Growing up in an isolated island called Manono which is located between Upolu and Savaii made me feel like I knew everything, and I felt like I was far better than anyone else. Always received first in class during prize giving ceremonies from Year One to Year Eight was just a blessing and I thought I was so smart. 

My grandfather would never allow me to come to Apia because he always said it was always safe to be educated and stay on the island for it has no vehicles of any kind, nor dogs apart from the biggest swimming pool (sea) surrounding it. I would freely walk to school with my blue and white school uniform. My homemade lunch of some leftover food from the previous night consisting of taro and fish would be wrapped by my mother and stuffed in my school bag which is made of an empty sack of rice.

It was my graduation year at Faleu Primary School on Manono Island in 2018, when Mum talked to me about going to high school in town as there is no high school on the island. I was so happy with the plan as I was dying to see a car in real life. I’ve seen a lot of photos of cars on television and on the internet, but never seen one in real life I even never stepped foot on Upolu Island. I felt like I was kidnapped by a band of old-fashioned philosophers. 

It was graduation day when it was announced that I had passed the entrance exam to Chanel College in 2019. I rushed up to receive my prize and certificate to certify my release from the primary school. My family had gathered at the beginning of the year 2019, and Mum was to come with me as I was supposed to live with her mother, (my aunty) at Moamoa which is closer to my new school.

I was afraid, worried and uncertain, not only that it was my first time to leave my beautiful island that I was used to for many years. We took the 10am boat on a Saturday for Manono Uta, Upolu with my mother who was going to take me to Apia. I was in silence when I saw all these vehicles passing by. Mum thought I ws already homesick, but I was just surprised to see the cars. We caught the bus to town, and I was like a tourist sightseeing all the way from Manono to the busy market in town.

My mind was busy already wondering whether I would make friends at Chanel College. In addition, I thought, I would never be able to communicate well with others, as learning English language was quite limited on island, compared to those studying at school in Apia. My first day was quite boring, and I felt like a small mouse in a big box, shaky and quiet. I was worried that I would be asked by anyone in English, and I may not be able to respond.

Mum waited patiently the whole day at the Samoan Fale which is the college’s hall. She had accompanied me to make sure I would get used to my new environment and she had planned to return to the island after one week.

We got into our assigned classroom, a tall white man (palagi) walked in, and I tried to look away just to avoid catching him in the eye and avoid him asking me in English. I heard all those students speaking English which sounded like they were running races with their tongues. I sat quietly and ignored all that I had heard and seen.

A week had passed, I was slowly catching up, making two friends in my class already. I started to get around easily and getting to know my new environment. Mum was ready to go back to the island and I started crying as if I was a baby. Remember, this was my first time away from home, never been left alone in a strange place, although it was my aunt’s place, but they had spent most of their lives in Apia, and me and my parents on the island.

After school every day for about a month or two, I would cry at the back faleo’o where I was to stay with three other boys from other villages, but I did not want to show it, or I would get told off by my aunty. 

A year had passed, and I made a lot of friends, and I cried no more. I was not in need for mum to be around anymore to accompany me. I felt like I’ve grown up already knowing my way around. 

From being an island boy, to where I am today. To GOD BE THE GLORY.

 CHANGE may seem hard and bad, but most importantly, it is how we anticipate it and react to it. It may force us out of tired habits and impose better ones upon us, but it can also be stressful, costly and even destructive, depending on how we handle it.

The personally feel that the Change I went through is a good one. I’m doing very well in school and I’m ready to sit my Samoa School Leaving Certificate this year as I did so well in SSC last year. It is my dream that through CHANGE, I will become an Accountant in the future to help my poor family.

By Melagitone Enari 24 November 2022, 10:00AM
Samoa Observer

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