Bye Bye, Mrs Samoan Sky

Bye Bye, Mrs Samoan Sky
Apia, Samoa

Apia, Samoa

Last minute souvenir shopping at the Markets of Savai’i wasn’t overly fruitful. The goods at Savai’i markets are much lesser quality than the markets in Apia, but I did purchase some kava and a cow horn… In that order. I return the rental vehicle to the Jetover Hotel and walk back to Lucia’s. One thing that’s dramatically different in Savai’i from Upolu (the other island), is the amount of rubbish. In Upolu, the residents are very house, yard and street proud. It’s tidy and out the front of every house/fale, is what I can only describe as a lifeguards watch post, minus the chair. This raised platform is where the rubbish is put out for collection. In Savai’i’s case, for dispersal on the street (so it seems). Only a third of Samoa’s population live on the big Island of Savai’i however, the amount of plastic bottles, wrappers, aluminium cans and general waste scattered on the roadside, in vacant land and on the shores say its populations ignorance (and rubbish) fills the quota for the whole country of Samoa. In a relatively small and beautiful place, with such strong, proud traditions and religious beliefs, it comes as a surprise to me, and the other travellers I’ve met here, that rubbish is such an issue. If cleanliness is next to godliness, the god loving people of Savai’i, should be god fearing. Savai’i has a long way to go and could benefit from some stern education in recycling and the instigation of a can/ bottle refund centre to combat the establishment of roadside dumps! The couple in the chalet next to me at Lucia’s (New Zealanders, Steve and Sarah) have a flight around the same time as mine, and offer to take me with them to the ferry, and airport. An offer I graciously accept. I leave my little chalet on the water for the last time, checking out at the front desk but continuing to utilise the facilities (kayak/ deck/ lagoon) until the 2pm ferry back to Upolu, with my new surrogate parents. Wandering around Lucia’s, beyond the chalets is a giant, dilapidated boat beached on a grassy bank by the lagoon. I love boats but this old girl rusting away, claimed by the land, yet belonging on the water, saddened me. Is this an analogy for how I see myself, an artist, working in an office? Kayaking around the rocks, outside the safety of the lagoon, I see a wooden box washed up on the rocks, at the tree line. Paddling over to investigate, I’m thinking there’s going to be some kind of amazing, life changing, items inside. Precious stones, cash, maybe a severed hand?The contents of the box, a crab, a thong, seaweed and some fish netting. The crab scurried off when it saw the unimpressed look on my face. I don’t even eat crab. Anticlimax. The time is a ticking. I say my farewells to Tui and Henry at the front desk. “Goodbye Miss King”. Tui gives me a hug before I get in the car with Steve and Sarah. These boys really looked after me, and looked out for me, during my time in Savai’i. From the ferry, I’m even lucky enough to see a turtle. In the short time I spent with Sarah and Steve, I learnt a considerable amount about them. From the names of their pet cows, their travels to Cuba and across the world and Sarah’s preferred method of hair removal (waxing). There’s nothing like the feeling of freshly shaved or waxed legs (on a woman). We have drinks and dinner at Le Vasa Resort. Here they make ginger Mojito’s, and good ones at that! I’m happy. 3 drinks down and I have a bit of a shine on. Lucky the adopted parents are driving. The final Samoan sunset is the best one yet, topped off with fresh snapper. A perfect way to end my final Samoan day. At the airport, more goodbyes, as Steve, Sarah and I go our separate ways to board our flights. “Chel”, says a voice in the middle of the check in line. It’s Jovanna and Alessio, the Italian couple I met on Manono Island and we are all on the same flight to Auckland. It’s nice to see some “kind of familiar” faces. Samoa was not as cheap as I’d hoped. To buy food in restaurants, is the same or more than expensive that Australia. The best bargain I found, was at the duty free. A litre of Absolute vanilla vodka and a litre of Bacardi (to make Ginger Mojito’s) was $44 Australian dollars. I did well. As I walked the tarmac to board the plane, my last farewell, was to the Samoan night sky.

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