Someone From Samoa

Scrambling around to get the last of the errands done on this second good weather day before Thanksgiving, and the onset of rain, I stepped into a drug store that I stop at once in about three months, preferably on my past it, to buy about three things my regular stores don’t carry. 

Having browsed around and gathered two of those items, I went to the cashier. It was a young man, perhaps twenty, whom I’ve see and been helped by on a previous visit. As I handed him my payment he asked if I knew what my name is in Spanish. Without hesitation I responded, “Rosita”, explaining that a friend I once worked with called me Rosita because her son was studying Spanish.  It stuck.   

“Rosa” said the smiling young man at the counter  and I asked if he was studying Spanish, or if he is Spanish. He said no, his father was from Samoa and I think he said his mother had some Hawaiian background..  By this time my mind was spinning, SAMOA!!!? I asked to be sure I heard that right.  His smile grew while I tried to digest that.  My eyes scanned his face  cell by cell trying to read the information there – in all my life I never met a person from Samoa. Not in all the years or places I have lived nor places I have travelled to.  I would NEVER have guessed that I admitted.  He said he never met his dad and his mom said he was probably dead or in jail.  I told him that the father of my children was from Japan and they knew him and he sent our daughter there when she was about twenty. 

The young man wished he could go to absorb his father’s culture, and I had to step aside for another customer, but I felt like we could have talked for hours.  For the remainder of the day  I was overwhelmed by that experience.  People, their cultures and their languages are infinitely interesting to me.  

On Thanksgiving morning a call came from my friend, Linda, who nicknamed me Rosita!


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