I do not Know where to begin. All I can think about is Beautiful Samoa! I was truly sad to leave.
The essence of these islands has touched my heart and will stay with me forever. It apparently has also really touched my belly which has doubled, maybe tripled in size.
I think I grew in size from the Palusami? Which is a delicious local Vegetarian food! Taro leaves and coconut milk steamed. Or maybe from too much lounging at the Taumeasina Resort?
Did I mention there are bats? Yes real live bats! They suddenly appeared as randomly as that sentence did.
Samoa’s beauty in my opinion, is how one would imagine Hawaii fifty years ago, Absolutely Gorgeous.
I realized some very important things on this trip. Kava actually tastes good. It’s a land of Dwayne Johnson’s. I will never pronounce GaluMaleMana correctly. Most importantly ones dress should cover ones knees. My dress was not culturally appropriate for the `Ava ceremony we were invited to. (Wikipedia explains) The ʻAva Ceremony is one of the most important customs of the Samoa Islands. It is a solemn ritual in which a ceremonial beverage is shared to mark important occasions in Samoan society.
We were provided with Lavalavas for the event.
I personally think that this was an aesthetic improvement.
We were also given lines to say. Great! I love dialogue! Especially in another language!
I was to deliver these Samoan phrases before drinking the kava. I immediately got to work memorizing like a good Actress. Wait no rehearsal? Just straight to performance? Oh boy! I got nervous when they called my name and asked me to raise my hand. The young man brought the Kava bowl bowl to me and a hush fell over the crowd. My heart was pounding through my chest. Miraculously I remembered to say my lines. No pressure, just a room full of important Chiefs, some cats from the US Embassy and some local paparazzi.
I drank it and the immediate result was relaxation from head to toe.
It was an experience I will never forget. We were treated to a delicious mostly Vegetarian feast at the Tiapapata art center.
I was blown at the beauty of the location the rich colors and flavors of the food. I am grateful for the insightful conversation about Samoan Culture.
I got to celebrate my birthday twice! Once in Apia then flew over the dateline to Pago Pago
I lost a day then I got to celebrate it again!
Yes it was all very confusing for me as well.
It was a huge honor to Sing in the Samoana Jazz festival
which was a tribute to Mavis Rivers. In exchange for the music we were given a glimpse of the captivating Samoan cultulre. I have see firsthand the vigorous effort and sacrifice that was made to make this cultural exchange possible. I would like to Thank the dynamic La`auli Matt Catingub and the intrepid Peta Siulepa for bringing the spirit of Mavis Rivers into our hearts and minds. The Samoana Jazz festival is an event not to be missed!