One of the first things a visitor to Western Samoa notices is that people live in houses without any walls, called ‘fale’, (pronounced ‘falay’)!
driving from the airport at night is amazing: as there are no walls, you see Samoan families getting on with their lives like in a reality TV show!
At the seaside there are daytime fales for local families visiting the beach; tourists can also use them for a small fee
As you can see, we’re leaving the villages behind & approaching the capital, Apia—less traditional houses & less politeness!
Here’s the main bus stand with very colourful buses leaving for all parts of the island. Right now things are quiet, but around rush hour it can get very busy
Isn’t this a beautiful bus? Each bus on the island is unique, with its own colour scheme & it’s own name
Inside, all the seats are made of wood—for a short journey this is fine, but if it’s a 2 hour journey to the other side of the main island, things can get pretty uncomfortable….
We couldn’t resist taking this one… Susan next to her namesake bus!
We did a lot of programs in the schools & colleges, but will just show you a brief sample here, starting with St Mary’s College.
This college was very well-organised: they set up the TV & DVD player as requested & all the girls were waiting silently when we arrived at 8.25 am
We start all programs with an introduction, explaining that we are mobile missionaries who live by faith & that we like to visit schools, colleges & other institutions to challenge, encourage & inspire people. This particular program is about how Bible prophecy is being fulfilled & is called ‘Countdown to Armageddon’
We don’t usually request students to take notes, but it’s pleasantly surprising that they often do! At the end of each program we then have questions & answers
This is a government school on the nearby island of Sawaii. Unlike the previous school, this one is not well supplied & didn’t have a TV or DVD player to show our program
Fortunately the person we were staying with was willing to bring along his TV & DVD player for the program as the school didn't have any equipment!
This program that we’re showing here is about motivation & having goals, as well as spending money wisely. Notice that nearly all the students are sitting on the floor because the school doesn’t have enough chairs.
Susan introducing the Activated magazine to students at USP Alofa Campus (University of the South Pacific)
Normally Activated is a subscription magazine but here it is being offered free of charge on a one-year trial basis for those students who are really interested
Students from the Solomon islands hold up Activated magazines after signing up for a one-year trial subscription.
Adama, a teacher at USP, has been subscribing to Activated for 5 years now & continues to keep in touch regularly
A TV crew from the main TV station came along to film one of our programs & to interview us about our missionary work in the Pacific. Excerpts were then broadcast on the evening news
Swimming in a natural rock pool; Samoa is blessed with quite a few of these, as well as some lovely beaches.
You’ve got to see this if you visit Western Samoa: they have their own type of cricket that doesn’t exist anywhere else!
Not only are the costumes unique but take a look at these colourful cricket bats…
In fact all the bats are numbered & have to be used in a certain order.
Space is too short to show all the lovely places, but here are just a few shots of some of the beautiful nature, starting with this lovely waterfall.
Some typical seaside scenary here; unfortunately the 2009 tsunami ruined a lot of coastal areas & dealt a heavy blow to Samoa’s fledgeling tourist industry.
We were living in an apartment just above this shop here; when news came of a strong cyclone, everyone started boarding up their shops & houses. Cyclones in this part of the world can be devastating & so they’re taken very seriously.
Here all the boats have been lifted out of the harbour & put in a car park where they’ll be safer. Fortunately, the cyclone turned away at the last minute & so damage was limited to just a few fallen trees & power lines.
What better way to end this album than with a beautiful Western Samoa sunset!