Posted by: monsonmadness | January 12, 2013

Farewell parties

On Wednesday night we went to the Tradewinds hotel (the fanciest hotel on the island) for a farewell dinner with Michael’s work. I had my first wheelchair experience. I felt silly, but I guess I need to get used to it if I want to do anything over the next couple of weeks.

Of course the dinner started at Samoan time (at least one hour late for EVERYTHING), so we were really hungry. We had pre-ordered our food, but instead of bringing everyone what they ordered, they just cooked what had been ordered and then gave out random things to everyone. I ended up with soup of the day instead of chicken wings. I got to try some delicious taro chips, but I was not going to try the raw fish appetizer!

After the appetizers, the Chairman of the Board and the CEO thanked Michael for his work here, and presented him with a plaque, a kava bowl, a Samoan warrior tool, and some cans of Wahoo! (Fish that is only processed here) Michael gave a short speech and was pretty emotional.

The CEO had been sitting at our table, so we had been chatting about getting Michael to do something embarrassing. (Luckily I had the wheelchair excuse so I knew I would be exempt) Sure enough, they dressed him up with leis and a lava lava and made him dance with the CEO in front of everyone. I was laughing so hard. He was a good sport.

Dinner was great. We got what we ordered thank goodness, because the CEO had a ginormous whole fish on her plate, eyeballs and all with a big grin on it’s face! Michael accidentally ordered sushi so tried a little, wasn’t impressed, and then ate half of my food.

I was totally exhausted by the end of the evening, but it was a really nice tribute to Michael. They really want him to stay and are appreciative of his hard work and commitment. It’s always nice to feel appreciated.

Last night it was my turn! My friends took me out to Koko Bean for a farewell dinner. There were 23 of us altogether, poor waitress! My amazing friend Alamoana made me this gorgeous lei, by far the most beautiful one I had ever seen.

My other amazing friend Melinda handed out notes to everyone for them to write a special note to me. Some were serious, some were funny. I made sure not to read them until I got home because I knew I would lose it. It’s so nice to have a little memory from everyone to take back with me.

We had a delicious dinner, lots of laughs, and took lots of photos. Then, one of my friends pulled out her ukulele and the songs started. Some of the songs were farewell songs and a couple of my friends started to tear up. I have been purposely avoiding thinking about leaving. I’ve had so much to do, that I’ve just been focusing on tasks, and not too much on the fact that I am flying away from here in a couple of days. I had to turn away and pretend to be tough, because I know that when my tears start to fall, they are not going to stop. I’m trying to save all that for Sunday which will be the last time I see most of my friends.

Melinda asked me if I wanted to make a speech, but I said no. I’m speaking in church on Sunday and thought that would be enough. I also knew I would bawl the whole way through and change the tone from a happy party to a sad one. I am a little sad I didn’t do it because I missed an opportunity to let my friends know how much I love and appreciate them. I have always been very dependent on the amazing friends in my life, and have been blessed to have so many. I have never had to struggle on my own, and I am so grateful for that. Oh no, my tears are starting because I’m thinking about it as I write. Enjoy the photos, it’s time to talk about something else…

We can’t forget the kids! Their amazing teachers at Ta’iala Academy invited them in for a farewell party yesterday. The kids were thrilled. Their old classmates had made them leaving cards with sweet and funny messages, and they enjoyed playing games and doing activities with their friends. The treats were an added bonus of course. The kids have lots of friends here who they are very sad to leave.

Thank you one and all for making us feel so loved. We are going to miss you so very much. (Sob, Sob)



  1. Aww…great memories and friends. So hard to leave behind!

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