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Photos - Samoa, November 2005

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We spent an action-packed week in Samoa. This is certainly one of the islands we can imagine coming back to, to see more of.
Apia Western Samoa has two main islands, Upolu and Savai'i. Apia (on Upolu) is prettily nestled at the base of very green hills.
Canoe One morning an echoing thump-thump-thump drum tempo rang out over the harbour as 44 glistening bodies glided by. The rowers were colourfully dressed up and the person steering at the stern wore a flamboyant headdress.
Waterfall We toured the south side of Upolu and passed many waterfalls. The jungle appears so dense that hiking to the fall didn't seem possible.
Kava For those who wondered what Kava looks like, to recognize it in your garden, here it is. The dried and pounded root is mixed with water for the traditional S. Pacific drink.
Cinnamon Cinnamon trees also grow in Samoa. I crushed a leaf, and it had a wonderfully strong cinnamon scent.
Cocoa And here's a young cocoa tree. The Apia market sold small bricks of cocoa, which looked and tasted like unsweetened chocolate.
Baha'i Temple Our Upolu tour included this Baha'i House of Worship. Only seven temples in the world serve the widespread community of over 5 million Baha'is. Like the other temples, this peaceful building has nine entrances.
Baha'i Grounds The Baha'i temple in Samoa is the most recently opened one, and has magnificent landscaping.
Lalomanu Beach On the south-eastern tip of Upolu is a fine beach. The Lalomanu beachfront is lined with small fales that one can rent for the night, cheaply.
Bugs Not all the contents of one's groceries are listed on the outside of the bag.
Buses Colourful local buses and taxis ran everywhere, and were inexpensive. Often, loud music propelled the buses along in style. A flame-tree's orange blossoms are in the foreground.
Vailima Robert Louis Stevenson (author of Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, Tales of the South Seas, many others) lived with his family in Samoa. His home was used as the Governor's Residence and is now a museum. Barb stands on the porch.
Roller Organ RLS's two-story home is filled with period items, including this Roller Organ. A hand cranked bellows plays notes selected by a turning drum, much like a music box. The mansion built in 1889 includes two non-functional fireplaces, included for their ambiance.
Vailima RLS, called Tusitala (teller of tales) by Samoans, was very well-regarded. On his death in 1894, mourners lined the path up this hill overlooking Vailima and passed his coffin up by hand. His wife Fanny moved to California, but after her death in 1914 her ashes were brought here.
Pizza Just in case anyone thinks the cruising lifestyle has permanently changed Bj...
Dance We went to a floor show and dinner at Aggie Grey's Hotel in Apia, and had great fun watching traditional dancing while raiding the dessert table. Drinks were a tad pricey: $ST5 for a Coke, $ST25 for a Pina Colada.
Siva Afi Siva Afi or Fire-Knife dancing, is claimed to have developed in Samoa. We watched some young kids learning the moves with padded sticks. Originally used in battles, the fire-knives are now part of a skillful dance.
Siva Afi Here's one of the performers spinning the fire-knife to the fast tempo of the drummers. Fire-Knives have a hooked blade at one end, and flaming rags on both ends.
Siva Afi This performer amazed us by keeping two fire-knives twirling!
Siva Afi A great beat for these performances was pounded out on a drum set that included two empty biscuit tins. The sound was a bit reminiscent of steel-drums.
Farewell Barb wishes a farewell to Samoa as we prepare to sail north.


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This page last updated 5 Dec 2005