The view from our little front porch on our first stop in Samoa
From Pago Pago in American Samoa it’s a quick 35-minute flight to Apia, the capital of independent Samoa. You don’t even change a single time zone. You do, however, cross the international date line and switch days. Without having to adjust our watches, we went from being 7 hours behind the Eastern time zone on Wednesday to 17 ahead on Thursday. And the 14th of September mostly just vanished. I’m not sure there are many places in the world where you can do that.
Many homes feature the relatives buried prominently out front
Apia is on the island of ‘Upolu, where most Samoans live. As our taxi drove us to a resort on the south shore of ‘Upolu, our first impression was just how lush and beautiful it is. Thick green vegetation is loaded up with flowers in red, orange, yellow, and white. The weather was quite moody, really playing up the color drama.
On Friday nights restaurants put on “fiafiia,” a fun dance performance that features lots of shouting and chest pounding
Next impression: The people here are just super friendly. We’ve joked that it reminds of of Minnesota. When you walk down the street everybody says hello. And they frequently want to ask where you are from, where you are staying, what you think of Samoa. All this without the slightest hint that you are being hustled for anything.
During our first few days we got a good dose of that moody weather I mentioned. One minute it’s sunny and beautiful. The next minute dark clouds roll in out of nowhere and it pours. The sun might return just as quickly, and it might even start pouring rain while the sun is still sparkling overhead. It’s weird to find yourself getting rained on and sunburned at the same time. But whatever the weather is doing it’s always lush and beautiful. We really liked sitting on our little porch and watching it all unfold.
On our second day we took the public bus into Apia to do some errands. The bus is crowded, the benches are hard, and the people are friendly.
In town we discovered this church, completed just a couple years ago. We loved the very bright, Samoan interior. Wait, who is that praying, just to the right?
The roadway leading to our resort under a moody sky
Sitting by the pool area was gorgeous under a sunny sky
Still lovely even in the pouring rain that would come out of nowhere