The Elkins Round-the-World Voyage

August 24, 2000

Western Samoa


Dear Friends - well we didn't go to church, wouldn't you know it rained that day, and especially hard at the time we were to go. We went into McDonald's for lunch that day. Monday we had chores to do in town. We got a taxi and took laundry to have it done (6 loads of wash), $65 tala (remember divide by 3). Dan also wanted to get propane, $44 tala. Then to the Australian Consulate to get visa. They requested to keep our passport for a day. Tuesday we were to rent a car and go around the island. We went to the Australian Consulate again but Dan did the paper work in pencil and he had to do it over in pen. Then to the police to get a Samoan drivers license. Then to Agie Gray's to change money and get a rental car. Waited over an hour and visited with an English bloke. Notified the lady that we were still waiting. Was 11:30 by the time we got the car. We could keep it till 11:00 the next day. I had packed a picnic lunch, brought swimsuits, towels and a camera.

We started out of town. Moving too fast to take pictures. Passed the first waterfalls, passed the first caves. Passed the first village. Got some pictures of the next few villages. They have kind of open air places. They kind of have two places. One wood frame small dwelling and an open air cement platform with thatched grass roofing and woven mat roll up sides. Some of them had beds and chairs on them. Lots of people sleeping and sitting in the cool shade. The first village had rocks all around their places and dried their clothes on the rocks and hung some on clothes lines. Saw pigs, piglets and cows crossing and standing in the road.

The next village had little white painted rocks along the road to show the start of their village and each driveway. They had some nice churches, grass and trees all around. We saw school kids getting out of school. All in uniforms, red skirts and white blouse,  blue with light blue shirts, orange and so on. One outfit was pink shirts and turquoise skirts. The boys wore sarongs skirt things too. Some of the little boys picked up rocks to throw at us. Most of the children and grown ups waved and smiled. We passed up the beach then we passed up the next water falls. We got lost and went around in a circle. We went up a pass and saw mountains and a valley that were pretty green, lots of vegetation. The taxi man said they get cars from Hawaii, used ones at that. So making a circle we only saw about a 1/4 of the island and so we went to Robert Lewis Stevenson Museum. A big triple home with 300 acres - now it belongs to the government again.

Wednesday did some more chores. Went to the mobile station to order fuel by the barrel for our boat. Would be there about 1:00. Went to the Australian Consulate to get our papers and passports. Dan filled the jerry jugs at the station with the car a couple of times. He knew he needed more than one barrel. But not enough for two barrels. Went to the grocery store and took things back to the dinghy. Went to the rental car place to take the car back. Then to McDonalds. I shopped around town and Dan went back to wait for the fuel, and wait and wait. I was done shopping and went back at 2:00 and no fuel yet but he had a great time visiting with the port captain and the big ship captains. One was 72 and still working. They talked about how much beer they would drink after work. Well, had to call the fuel place again, the fuel finally arrived at 3:00. I forgot to pick up my film so went back to town. Met two Samoan girls walking and they showed me how to catch the bus for 20 cents Samoan. So I shopped some more and walked back to the boat. Dan was just finishing the fuel up. Aggie Gray's was having a dinner show tonight so we took showers and went to that. The shows are different than other societies. These ladies have long dresses on and mostly do hand movements and shuffle their feet a little. The guys put on quite a show though. They slap and jump and turn summer salts and play the drums and guitars and also there was a fire twirling show by the pool. A very nice night. There was a buffet - $42 Tala each. There was crab with cheese stuff, some of their taro and native veggies, macaroni, potato salad and coleslaw, sweet and sour meat dish, beef stir fry dish and red sea urchins (we didn't eat it), poison cru, ham and turkey, chicken and there was a baby pig with all of its parts - the head, feet and tail. There was a desert table too, chocolate cake, white cake, ice cream, lemon meringue pie, pavaloka (meringue) dish, fruit salad, pudding with fruit, it was great. Oh in the middle of our day I had came home to find the groceries on the couch. I had gotten a bottle of bleach and it seemed to be only 1/2 full. The cushions where wet, Oh no. That is right - two cushions had absorbed the bleach. I stripped off the covers and rinsed it off and it ate the material. The corduroy material was bleached as well. Dan hosed it off and it also shredded. Till Later Dan & Sandy

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