During a stay at the village of Uafatu, I found myself at the center of the village children’s fascination, being a Palagi – the odd one out!
Uafatu is so isolated; many travelers would miss it altogether. Of the small population, many don’t speak English. The sight of a Palagi visitor is rare and generates great curiosity.
The village children were cautious of me. One young toddler became wide eyed by the sight of me. She waved inquisitively while clutching at her mother. Elder children became brave enough to approach me, touching my freckled skin and putting their fingers in to my fair hair.
A young boy, about 12 years old was appointed to look after me. He fanned me while I ate dinner, he topped up my drink and bought water to the table after my meal to wash my hands. He was proud to be hosting me. It gave him reverence amongst his cousins to be in charge of my care.
I gave him my Ipod to listen to, his face lit up when he could sing along to Pop goes the weasel. This was a comical example of cross cultural exchange, my grand children like the same song.
It was amusing to watch young children peer at me from the corner of the house, or behind a mother’s lavalava. When natural curiosity got the better of them, they joined my games, waving and pulling funny faces.