We have been in Samoa for four days now. The first couple of days were really hard on everyone. We had to get use to the humidity and everyone (at one point) suffered from a headache.
The first part of the trip began in Apia. We stayed at Lynne’s Guesthouse. This was A FRIENDLY Samoan family home turned into a bed and breakfast-style accommodation. It was modest, safe and close to the city and shops.
On our first day we purchased SIM cards and checked out the Culture Show. This show was excellent. We weaved our own plates and head bands, viewed tribal tattooing, and arts and craft making.
The Culture Show was professional and a great way to begin immersing ourselves into Samoa culture. We ended the day at the Apia market. At the Apia market I found a local treat. It looked like a donut but once you bit into the hot snack it was filled with delicious lamp. It was a great afternoon treat to have before dinner.
Most of our meals were provided by Lynne’s Guesthouse. The food was just amazing. So much variety and goodness. Everything was very tasty. The Vegans were also looked after.
Lynne’s Guesthouse also had a pool, which was used regularly as the weather was hot and humid throughout.
During our first debrief/reflection session everyone was owning a headache, or they felt exhausted but also excited about everything that they had learnt, viewed and experienced.
The next day we headed off in Taxis to Poutasi Village, which was about a 45 minute drive away from Apia. The drive was great as we got to see how the local village people lived. Once in Poutasi we were met by Sina and made very welcomed. Sina provided us with a huge and delicious lunch (crayfish, salads, chicken, and much more).
We are staying at the Poutasi Village as the Chief’s (Joe’s) guest at the moment. We are staying in Sina’s family building in an open space area with mattresses and mosquito nets. It is basic but comfy. It suits the Samoan style, which is about enjoying life and those around you, rather than material items.
We are slowly getting use to village life. Our main challenges at the moment is purposely slowing down and being flexible. This is the Samoan way and this style of daily life is difficult for the majority of us who are use to Western ways; clocks, diaries, and schedules. It will take me some time getting use to.
Written by Dr Rachael Hains-Wesson