Friday, November 8, 2013

                       HAWAII, SAMOA, HAWAII,                             HOME AGAIN!!!

I CALL IT HOME AGAIN, BECAUSE THIS IS THE REASON I WENT!  TO VISIT WHERE I WAS MOST HAPPY IN MY LIFE!

Our first stop, at Tavita's grave beside his sister Toesse.

Gaugau, me, and Fafatai.

Mele, Gaugau, Mele's son, me, Fafatai, and I don't know who the others are.

The Waterfalls, not as big and pretty as it used to be, but still beautiful memories.

The bottom of the falls that used to be a 10 foot pool.  Penny used to climb up the the ledge where it first hits and jump into the pool from there.

The Headstone that the children have had made for his grave.  I don't know when they will put it onto his grave, but I wish that I could be there then.

Before we made it to Samoa there was one short simple flight and one very very long flight to just reach Hawaii.

Getting ready for the lllloooonnnnggg trip.

This was the view of Honolulu, from our room, just as it was beginning to get dark.

Another view of the lights, a little blurry, I was still shaky from the long flight.

Julie and I went to the Polynesian Culture Center while Jeri rested from that arduous journey.  This young man, in the Samoan Village, was preparing to make the umu that would cook the palisami and taro.

 Still at PCC, shows the way that Samoan's store their coconuts for quick access.

The Longboat Parade showing dancers from each Island Nation.  This was Tahiti. 

More preparing the UMU where they will roast fish, pig, taro, breadfruit, and other tasty morsels.  The picture is a little hazy because of the smoke from the umu.

Back to the hotel and after dark from our room.

A little panorama for the same thing.

 Now the other way, Sunrise over Honolulu.

 My HAPPY FACE with my first glass of real Guava Juice in a little over a decade!

The next day we decided to take Jeri around part of the island to see some of the beauty that we had seen the day before, but didn't have time to stop and take pictures.  Unfortunately the ocean colors weren't quite as beautiful as they were the day before.

Every time you see these waters they are different.  It all depends on so many things, time of day, sunlight, clouds, time of year, and of course the weather.

It looks like some lucky people have found this secluded beach.  What a place to enjoy your sunbathing.

One of the beautiful, not so busy, streets of Honolulu.

At last, after another 5+ hours flight we arrived in SAMOA to this absolutely gorgeous home for 4 great nights!!!!

This beautiful lane went right past our FALE (house) for those 4 nights.  Our driver, Paulo, who picked us up at the airport, took us directly to our fale and helped Jeri in and carried all of our luggage inside.  Then Susan, the manager came and signed us in and told us that breakfast awaited us.  What a grand welcome!

Where we generally ate breakfast and lunch, delicious at all meals.
 


Just one of the many beautiful natural floral arrangements that were on display every where.

 Part of the main lobby and one of the many gorgeous paintings that adorned the surroundings.


Another view of the lobby and more of the beautiful artifacts that graced the area.


Native fishermen in their pau paus (outrigger canoes) just out from our fale.

MALIETOA MONUMENT!

The point of the island where the Samoans were able to drive the Tongas from their land for good, after 200 years. 


A great view from a small fale out on the point.  I could have sat there all day.  The view was gorgeous, the breeze was wonderful, and the peace was OUT OF THIS WORLD!

 

  From the other side.  How could you ever grow tired of this view?

 

  Need I say more?


  Okay, Okay, I'm big as a horse, but at least I knew a little of what I was doing and it was fun!

 

 

 

 

 

The MALITOA MONUMENT again, in the moonlight.  This has a very special meaning to me because of the Samoan Fire Knife dance that David found the history of and brought back to his people who had never heard of it before.

This was our little fale, in the moonlight, with Jeri's lights on, she sleeps with her lights on all the time.

How could anyone ask for a more beautiful, perfect, moonlit night except to be with the one that you loved so much?

 Paulo who took us around the island.  We stopped a Fuipasisa Falls, I couldn't make it down to the falls because I would have had to cross the river that you can barely see in the background.  I'm just a little too old to take a chance on winding up at the bottom of the falls as the river travels on down to it.  But he, Julie, and the girl from the family who own it went to see it and the pictures were beautiful.

This crab was in the sink at THE COCONUTS RESORT.  It's a beautiful place and was quite a surprise to find this in the ladies' restroom.  Julie coaxed it out with a flower for it to latch onto and the put it on the floor where it scrambled into a cozy corner.

 This is one of the great young staff who waited on us every day.  She is a true sw

sweetheart.

Another panorama of the beautiful beach area.

How would you like to take a nap there?

Paulo, who came to serenade us on our last night at the resort.  He did this on his own, no one told him to.

Natasha and I.  She is the mother of the lady, Saria, who owns the Resort.  We found out that we are only 5 days apart in age.  She is a real hoot.  I just love her!

This is Natasha and Susan, the lady who manages the Resort.  She is Maori and is quite the Hoot, herself. She runs the place with an iron fist and a huge heart.  She is Awesome!

Sadly we had to move to another place.  I wish that I had know that this is the true place to visit Samoa and I wouldn't have made arrangements to stay at another place, but the reservations had been made so we left and went to 

THE ORATORS

Our new home, VILLA 1.

It was nice and the grounds were beautiful but the ocean wasn't there, next time, I'll know.

See it's beautiful too, just not near the water.

 

 

The top part of Tiavi Falls.

The bottom part of Tiavi Falls.

Me at Tiavi!

The living room of Robert Louis Stevenson's home complete with fake fireplace to make him feel more like home in Scotland.

You'll notice that the walls are covered with Tapa and Fine Mats, both represent money in Samoa.

 

 

Jeri in one of the bedrooms.  I love the color.

One of the pictures of him throughout the house.  The Samoan's loved him and called him "TUSITALA" the teller of tales.  At his death they carried him to the top of MT VIA where he had requested to be buried.

                 

                     This is, of course, carved on his headstone.

Under the wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me lie.  Glad did I live and gladly die, And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me, Here he lies, where he long'd to be.  Home is the sailor, home from the sea,, and the hunter home from the hill.

This is Julie going to what is normally the swimming hole where Stevenson used to swim, but it was the dry time of year so there was very little water in the pool.  She had also wanted to go up to the grave but the December storms had destroyed the paths, at least for tourist.

 

No water for the pool but the foliage was still beautiful.

Just a great arrangement of plants on the Vialima grounds.

We were able to buy a couple of cocoa pods from some little boys so that Jeri and Julie could see where cocoa comes from and what the fruit taste like, which isn't anything like chocolate.  But it is scrumptious.

Papaya, I love it but it doesn't love me.  I found this out after eating "tons" of it when I first moved there.  Somehow my body just had enough and rejected it after a few months.

Olinda and I.  She is Samoa, but was born and raised in New Zealand.  She came for a visit and decided to move back to her true home.  She and her Samoan husband are very happy to be there now.  She is a true sweetheart and I'm keeping in touch with her.

This is Snow White.  We fed her, her mother, sister, and brother.  They would follow us back to our Villa and wait outside our door.  They were no fools!

 

Sometimes the dogs would chase the kitties, who knew where all the best hiding places were.  Under the porches and in among the plants.

 

We had our own GECKO and didn't need the GEICO  one.  However they weren't as friendly as he is and didn't have his accent.  They simply slithered out of sight as quickly as possible.

 

 On my second trip to Luatuanu'u the sun was shining and the drive was a beautiful as I remembered.

The falls wasn't much bigger even though there had been rain, but it was more the way I remembered.  Of course it will never be the same.

It was hard, in more than one way, for me to realize that I had actually lived, flourished, loved, and been a vital part of this place for 12 years.  My heart will always be here and hopefully someday the rest of me will be too.

Gaugau & his wife in front of their little store.  He is David's nephew and was our right hand man.  He is doing his best to keep the place somewhat presentable.  But I noticed that tourist don't come there anymore and it's just not kept up for that.

Surely this is not the same little lady who always dressed this way and roamed around town accepting handouts.  But she looks the same so maybe she's a daughter or some relative who has found that people like her style and will give her money and food.  Whatever I was glad to see her.  I saw several other "characters" not the same as back then but like them.  As David did, I gave them money even though the taxi drivers and Jeri would scold me for it, I just knew that David would have and that he would have wanted to to do the same.  Of course David knew the stories behind why they were on the streets, and they were all very sad, and they knew that they could always count on him.

Yes, we had a little drinkey poo.  There were times when I certainly needed one, or two, or three.  But no, it was just one now and then.

A little more of the grounds around THE ORATOR.

Practicing for a contest.  Look at those abs on the two in the middle!!!!  Hey, I may be old but I can still look and enjoy.

 I got a kick out of this girls shirt, "Dead people's things for sale,"  I guess you could wear this at an estate sale?

If you look closely at the legs of the girl in the blue blouse, you can see that she has a tattoo on her legs.  It used to be that only women of Royalty could have tattoos, but I don't know if that still applies 

This family was from New Zealand.  The young man with the guitar was singing and before I knew that they were from NZ I ask if he knew WE ARE SAMOA?  That's when he told me and ask me to sing it.  I did, to the best of my ability and they clapped for me.  Hopefully I didn't mess it up to badly.

This lady was also Moria and she just caught my eye so I sat and talked with her and tried to avoid the cigarette smoke.  She was asking me questions about Samoa and I was very pleased to be able to answer her most of the time.  We must have talked for almost an hour.  It was definitely my pleasure visiting with her.

Jeri and Julie reading while waiting for time for us to go to the airport.  There was still too much for me to see and do to sit still reading.

  This was a form of a apple that I had not seen there.  It didn't have much taste but it was very pretty.

Gardenias were in bloom around every corner.

Can't you just smell this beautiful creation?

How could you read when all this beauty is there to absorb before you HAVE to leave?

I could swear that I smell the Plumeria and Gardenia right now!

But, alas, time did come and it was time to leave, much to my dismay.  On the way out of town I got a few pictures of Apia itself which even I am not fond of the way it has changed.  But to be able to live on part of the rest of the islands I would put up with Apia also.

 The Town "Watchie" was one of the first things that I saw when I first came to Samoa after a long 12 hour ride over only 80 miles on a "tub" a boat called the ANTONIO, not knowing if I was ever going to see my family again and fearing that they would never know what happened to me.  So the Town Watchie and I are good friends and I was glad to see that it has been well taken care of.

A second shot just to show how important it is.

Unfortunately, "progress" has fallen upon Samoa.  I hope that it is a good thing but I don't really think so.  Their ways and their culture will surely die as so many other countries have, including our Native Americans.  I know that people have been saying, since the beginning of time, "oh for the good old days."  Yes, I guess that I, here typing away on my computer, listening to my TV, waiting for my automatic heating unit to kick on, and using way too much electricity for all of these things, yes, I do think that many things were much better in "the good old days," especially in Samoa where I lived before all of this "progress" came to be.

But some things haven't changed, Thank Goodness!

The BUSSEYS!!!  You still wait for your bussey, brightly painted in the village's colors.  You still hear the music blaring as it bumps down the road.  You are still jammed in with some stranger's baby on your lap and "Big Mama" taking more than her share of the wooden seat as  you are shoved into the wall every time you go around a curve in the road.  There are still chickens, pigs, baskets of "who knows what" under your feet and you still stop every 10 feet for someone else to get off or on, who didn't want to walk those extra 5 or 10 feet to get on or off the bussey.

 

You still wait at the "bussey stop" while you sample some of the goodies that you bought at the market.  You might make it home with some and you might not.

 

A special place, for me, the tomb of 

 KING MAILETOA TANUMAFILIL II

He was the HEAD OF STATE, he didn't want to be "king," he said, "there is only one KING, I will be the Head Of State and most  of the people just called him Tanu.  He was one of the sweetest gentlemen that I have ever had the privilege to know.  He loved David and treated him like a son.  David's title A'E came directly from Tanu. 

A very very special man!

I spent a lot of time here with my friend Mailagi'i who practiced for the South Pacific Games on a one man catamaran.

 

The market is in transition.  They are building a new one, in the meantime they are just on an area of the street.  The old market is now just for crafts. 

Yes, the police still wear "skirts", lava lavas, thank goodness, although there aren't as many now that they have so many signal lights.

 THE TEMPLE.

I don't know what happened that they would take so much of the Temple grounds to make a 4 lane highway going into town. The grounds used to be so beautiful but now it just looks like any other church yard.

A little blurry as we drove past the bus stop for the school kids from Pesiga Morman School.

 

 One of Penny's favorite areas.  It actually belongs to the Prime Minister as his home and the little fales for visitors.

Just down part of the beautiful road that goes all the way around the island.




They even have an Aggie Grey snack bar at the airport.

Boy!  Have things changed!





I have so much on this blog that I'm going to close it and go to a smaller one for the last days in Hawaii.  I don't want to lose anything from this one and it's getting harder and harder to save.