Tropical Sun

So the last post I wrote was from a different perspective.  Now it’s my turn to be nervous – so here goes…

I’m in Samoa again – tropical paradise that it is.  It’s an enveloping warmth that embraces you when you get off the plane.  Straight away, I know the feeling – the feeling of home. It’s been a busy week – exhibition opening last night, catching up with many people from the previous exhibition and an interview with a journalist from the paper… so much to being an artist, I’m only just finding out now and it’s awesome too.

The next day…

I’ve got 2 workshops on today – one in town at the Ministry of Education and one back at the gallery – 2 different workshops – loads of people to meet, to teach and emotions flying all over the place.  The anticipation – what do I expect?

I’m thinking, (cool, all these teachers are gonna be sitting around a huge table, laughing and catching up while I’ll just breeze in…)

Not quite – and not in a bad way either…  just different…

So we arrive at Leififi College in Apia, drive up to a classroom and it’s full. Walking inside, it’s quiet, so quiet – not the barrels of laughter I was expecting on arrival.  The introduction is formal too – not the friendly chit chat I’d had in mind either and there I am, standing in front of a classroom of teachers and Ministry of Education staff from all around Samoa – sitting at desks – so quiet and well behaved, and looking straight at me – waiting…

And I’m thinking – (shit, oh well here goes… ) and then, clicking into gear, I remember why I’m here, what they’re expecting and what I’m prepared for… and we start.  You see, culturally speaking, Samoan people are very shy at first, don’t really look you in the eye and they’re very respectful especially in this situation and it was an eye opening experience to say the least.

Anyways, long story short – it was really fun and totally different to my perception of how it would be – and of course it would be.  Absolutely.  It had to be right?  They’d put on a lunch for the teachers, some that had traveled a couple of days to be there and some who work in small villages with little or no art supplies on hand and they hosted me and were so generous, even giving me a lovely present at the end of the workshop.  I have to say it was quite emotional.

And the second workshop – well that was so enriching, it still gets me now.  Showing a group of adults around the exhibition followed by a workshop where no words are actually spoken – (only through their interpreter) – was just incredible.  It really does give you an appreciation of the use of language in every sense of the word.

Perception – Reality…

Incredible!

Karina x

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