Samoa - Part Two

A tropical island paradise, living on the beach with coconut palms swishing and murmuring in the warm breeze. Ha! What a pleasant life! I have hardly had time to think about the Moosey garden in the depths of winter!

 I love the bright coloured plants!
Tropical Garden Hedge

Friday 11th August

This morning another slim-line Samoan cat, model black, female, came to sit on our fale verandah. Already we've counted eight different cats which live at our resort - the village has no dogs allowed, by order of the Matai (chief). And there is rain - warm rain! And a pleasing breeze - breezing, please!

First we (note the pronoun) went for a much longer walk down to the next village. There is a beautiful fale garden there, with yellow climber growing over an arch, and all the tropical shrubs - fiery reds, deep yellows. Everything was neatly trimmed, with white-painted edging stones.

 Ha! My friend says this is a Poinsettia. Oops - how to spell?
Red Leaves

Then I, the Turquoise Blue Mother Fish, went for another lone swim. I saw lemon and black striped fishies, cream ones, finger-sized tiddlers with fluorescent blue back stripes, white ones with a yellow 'Nike' Swoosh, and schools of swirling gun-metal greys. I had a lovely time floating around, until one of the aforementioned nibbled at my toes. Humph!

Now the reef is bare with the outgoing tide, and we've just had our first power outage. I am reading outside in the breezy breeze. The coconut palms are whispering, the fale roof is gently rattling, and it's spitting more warm rain. Nice.

 Golden sands, peace and privacy - and fishes to swim with!
On the Beach

Saturday 12th August

It is time I bossed Stephen around regarding the wearing (and re-application, at least three times per day) of sun-screen. Yesterday he got quite sunburnt, tricked by the cloudy day. We have walked even further today, up the road to the next village. We passed lots of children, who all called out 'Hi!', 'Hello!', 'Palagi!', 'Bye bye'...

 In Manase, a London Missionary Service church.
Samoan Church

Zoom went the Toyota pickup trucks, back trays full of passengers enjoying the ride. Everyone toots. Is that 'Hello' or 'Move over'? I suspect the former - the locals are most welcoming, and several stopped to ask if we wanted a lift. A small girl asked us what we were doing. Going for a walk...

 Samoan bananas are beautifully yummy.
Banana Tree

The younger men were having a most serious game of Kirikiti (Samoan cricket) on the concrete pitch in the sand. Lots of the older men (with fat slug tummies) were lying on bed rolls in the shade of their fales. I talked to a woman weeding the garden outside the local Catholic Church. Elsewhere manly locals were operating lawn mowers and weed-eaters. Roosters were crowing, and island buses rattled past and tooted.

Green Bananas

On the return walk I tried very hard to notice the vegetation. There were huge leafed vines growing over and up the trees. I think I saw patches of taro, banana trees, coconut palms, bread-fruit trees, miscanthus-like grasses, convolvulus-like weedy ground covers... Amidst the clutches of coconut palms and taro patches I saw many enticing car tracks into the forest.

All this green beauty, yet unfortunately there are far too many random bits of plastic throw-away rubbish. But the villages themselves are kept neat and tidy, the sand raked clean, all fallen leaves raked up.

I saw green leaves of all shapes - hearts, spades, shields, fat sausage-fingers, thin needles, ovals, stars, chevrons... The geometry and design of Samoan leaves is absolutely amazing - who would have thought that a simple piece of green could have so many guises?