Sunday, October 24, 2010

Our First Trip To SAMOA! (and hopefully the last... just kidding)

Luka's first plane ride!

the view of Samoa before we landed

Poata's brother Faaee

a lady and her baby selling pillows... yes- pillows

really really extremely expensive produce

gnarly weird bread with frosting and fruit loops?? no, i did not buy it or eat it!

poata's dad Falefasa, at Poata's grandmother's house

Poata's arm and his mother and grandmother

some little cousins of Poata on the swing set in front of his grandma's house

Luka with his grandma Lupe

the tombs of Poata's relatives, outside of his grandmother's house. Everyone has tombs like this right in front of their houses! It's crazy how different cultures can be!

Luka made so many friends while on vacation! I'm sure he misses them! They were so sweet to him!

the open market! This one sells produce and there is another for clothes and souvenirs and such

the inside of the buses! And they blast music like nobody's business!

sene (cents)

the Apia harbor

the clubs!

crazzzy amount of coconut trees all in one place! This was how it was everywhere!

kings tomb

kings tomb

the parliament building

the robert lewis stevenson house/ museum

statue depicting the a story about king malietoa who was a cannibal

amazing pathway to a waterfall!

a baby waterfall

more friends of Luka

the road to Poata's house in Solosolo

cool hut in Poata's yard

Poata's house

crazy glowing tree

little cuzzy's

cool island in Poata's village

these little convenience stores were everywhere! Like every 10 houses!

Falefa Falls. Gorgeous!

the stairway down to falefa falls

Poata's cousin Henry, who I was a little infatuated with ;)

Poata's little cutie cousin with Luka

this should be at the top of the page because it is Luka at the HNL airport waiting to board
the open market

oh heaven, especially when it is a million degrees outside! Scoop's ice cream! yummmm, pretty much a daily treat

Poata and Luka sharing their scoops

the SAMOA APIA temple! we can see it from Poata's parents house!

helping his grandpa Fasa fix their truck

Luka on "White Sunday" a huge kid's holiday in Samoa

at church


White Sunday

with 2 of his little cuzzy's

oh just chillaxing with some frozen apple juice

at the solosolo sea wall

just another gorg waterfall!

with little cousin Menime

Poata's brother with his future wife Ana

my BFF'S!!! I loved these little piggies!! they live at Poata's aunts house and they are so cute and small!

Luka on the phone at his great grandma's house with his cousin Peta

at the Apia sea wall with the harbor in the distant background

at the airport going home

Luka on the flight home in his pj's, it was an overnight flight so luckily he slept most of the way, this was right before landing.
We took our first, long awaited, trip to the friendly islands of SAMOA! We have been together 5 years now, married 3 1/2 and finally made it to my husbands home country! Of course he was beyond ecstatic to be home! All of his family were dying to meet our little "baby Luka." Everyone called him that there! It was really cute! We had an amazing 2 week stay there. Number one on my list of things we did was going swimming in 3 different beautiful waterfalls! Samoa is beyond lush and gorgeous! Even more so than Hawaii and obviously Hawaii has no shortage of lush-ness! There were rivers about every other mile and waterfalls flowing into the street and the mountains are un-tame and beautiful with overflowing coconut and banana trees. And while I'm on the subject of coconuts and bananas, I should add that I drank on average the water of 3 young coconuts (niu) a day! As well as bunches of bananas, papayas and other yummy fresh fruit from the HUGE open farmers market. We went on a couple historical outings as well, like the Robert Lewis Stevenson museum (author of "Treasure Island" and "Dr. Jackle and Mrs. Hyde." Turns out he lived in Samoa the last 4 years of his life and loved it there so much that he moved his entire family there and wished to be buried there when he passed. His home was beautiful and was in my favorite village in Samoa that Poata and I referred to as "Mill-Ville" because of all of the gorgeous giant houses! We also visited the tombs of past kings of Samoa, in a gorgeous coconut tree filled park along the beach. We went to the open markets a lot just to look at all of the neat crafts that people make and to grab a few souvenirs. We spent a lot of time visiting Poata's family in his home village of Solosolo. We met mostly with his mothers family because his mom doesn't really like his father's family for some mysterious reason, and was pretty adamant about us staying clear of them. We had a good time in Solosolo!  Samoa is just beyond humid though! I think maybe Samoa is close to Hell? Another thing I didn't care for was the cultural view toward money. I thought it was strange to have such amazing people, who work so hard and live off of their own land and raise their kids to be so respectful, religious and diligent, revolve their minds around money! Maybe it is just because we come from the states and they think that we are all rich here, when in reality we work extremely hard to survive here! So because of this false idea of money growing on trees they expect us to just give all of our money freely to them, to everyone! From high school friends to family, to beggars, to random acquaintances, NOT COOL! Especially when you brought money thinking you were going to have lots of fun with it! I mean this in no offense possible, this was just my interpretation. Anyways besides the heat and the shortage on cash we lived and we had a very memorable trip and my husband is dying to go back! His brother is on a mission in the Philippines and has a beautiful girl waiting for him so assuming he is going to marry her short after his homecoming we are planning to visit again for the wedding. Which is a little too soon if you ask me. ;) I'm really thankful I live in Hawaii where it is beautiful and a little cooler.


Kerri said...

Oh my amazingness. I'm so glad you finally got to go to Samoa. I'm also glad you finally posted again. So cool. How fun!

Kami said...

Oooooo, it sounds so much fun! But I like your title of the post the most "(and hopefully the last...just kidding)" haha! I understand :-) Love LOVE the photos deary especially of beautiful little Luka, I bet the family must have loved him to bits.

Did you get my message in fb? I just wanted to know if you would like be a guest blogger on my blog about 'being your own beautiful'. I asked ALOT of other girls and all of them are on board with this, hopefully you can too. But it's totally ok if you don't want to, I understand sister. Take care :-)

darah. said...

Beautiful pics Brisha! I really want to visit Samoa...for a short, short while. hahahaha. I love my people, but I totally understand about the whole money thing because my dad's family will randomly call asking for money since we live in the US and are supposed to have lots of it? It's so sad. Or they think that we'll open our house to them and ten other families...but my mom was raised Hawaiian and definitely does not feel that way. Other than that, I still want to go and see it and maybe I'll pretend like I have no money...because I really want to just go shopping at the open market.

Crystal said...

thats so cool u got to go there!!

Cierra said...

yayyyyy! first off, i am SO impressed that you got this posted so usually takes me like 6 months before i get around to posting big trips and stuff.

second, i loved it. the photos, your commentary, all of it. you crack me up, brisha. i think my favorite picture is the one of the gnarly foot at church. i can just picture you in my head being disgusted by it and stealthily snapping a photo. i love you!

the pictures are gorgeous! i wanna go there...but after what you have to say about it, just for a short visit as well. ;) but really, those waterfalls are unbelievable and i am jealous of all the coconuts you got to eat.

and i just have to say that luka is seriously getting cuter and cuter each time i see pics of him. i didn't think that was possible, but clearly it is! i love his perfectly tanned skin...i am way jealous. and of course his big eyes and rosy little sun-kissed cheeks. and that he was just chilling in his diaper the whole time cause it was so hot. okay, do i sound too obsessed now? sorry. but yeah, he's to die for.

loved this post. love you!

Le Mama! said...

beautiful pics! yep Tongans are the same way with money. thats why I don't bring any with me when I go visit! :) j/k Glad you got to go. go during thier winter next time! It might be a tad cooler :)

Johnson Family said...

How could you not want to go back???? LOL...just kidding, I understand. I'm glad you got the opportunity to visit Samoa. Luka is such a cutie. When are you guys going to make it up to Utah so he and my daughter can have a playgroup?