After the little bit of rain on Easter Island, we were somehow not expecting the 90 degrees and humid in Samoa. Our bags arrived very quickly, and we went to the pool, where it seemed warmer…. We had another Polynesian show at dinnertime, including a fire dance. I imagine that for some people on this trip, particularly those from the East Coast, all this Polynesia stuff is fairly unusual.
Nat Geo offered three options for the next morning: snorkeling, a Robert Louis Stevenson museum, and a visit to the “Women’s Committee” of a village, along with a kava ceremony. Scott and I have both done something like this in Fiji, and having been to Fiji twice, we signed everyone up for the snorkeling. But wonder of wonders, after hearing the options, AILI said SHE wanted to do the “cultural” activity. Scott decided the pressure to get cleaned up and back into suitcases the next morning would be too much, so he agreed to go with her. Aili says that it was “way better” than any snorkeling; a kid climbed a coconut tree and brought down a bunch of coconuts.
We were up early. Our trip leader, Richard, said that, because we fly westward and gain hours most days, it’s usually very easy to fall asleep at night, and people don’t mind getting up early. We also haven’t been tempted to even look at the TV’s in our room, either because we’ve been too busy or… maybe our room on Easter Island didn’t have a TV? In bed last night at 9:30, it WAS easy to get up at 6:30. Funny how that works.
Snorkeling was snorkeling; we saw loads of stag horn coral, both dead and alive, the usual suspects, and probably some new fish. I’d be a poor person to ask which ones. The water was like a bath… in the 80’s.
This is Samoa-Samoa, or “true” Samoa, not American Samoa. In 2009, they decided to change which side of the road they drive on and in 2011, they changed their timezone to align with that of New Zealand and Australia, with which they do their greatest business. The Rapa Nui on Easter Island are fomenting for independence and separation from Chile. With only about 7000 people on the island, Scott and I were thinking the disadvantages of being a country that largely imports everything would seem apparent, but from our summer trip in the Galapagos, we know the people there have also had some rustlings of independence from Ecuador. I think this is an essential question for minority cultures and far-flung territories within any country. Democracy as a small minority within a much larger population doesn't always serve the minority population well. And yet, what is too small, too inefficient? I suppose the Rapa Nui would like to be able to choose their own timezone and side of the road.