With school out and the weather in Apia hot as sin and my growing boredom with my own house, I’ve set out across the strait to visit Phil on Savai’i. I had a couple errands to run in Apia this morning, but I caught the 10 a.m. pasiovaa and the noon ferry and the right bus and now here I am at Phil’s.
Usually trips to Savai’i are rushed for a couple reasons. First, during most of the year, school is in session, and there’s a pressing need to come on the last boat on Friday, and leave early enough to be back on campus Monday morning. Second, there’s an unofficial weekly gathering of Peace Corps in Savai’i’s main city, Salelologa, and it’s difficult to avoid the social obligation. But I’ve arrived on Monday afternoon, and there’s not really a big rush to do anything or be anywhere, and so far the trip has been quite leisure.
Phil’s house sits on a little cove, and sitting around this afternoon, I asked if we could go swimming. “Yeah,” said Phil. Phil got the snorkels out while I found the sun screen in my backpack, and 10 minutes after deciding to swim, we were wading into the ocean in Phil’s backyard.
When I was assigned to the heart of Apia, I was very happy, but I admit I’ve always been a little jealous of Phil’s place. He’s got a scenic view of all 4 of Samoa’s major islands, and his house is far from the dirt and grime and crowds in Apia. But I didn’t even know the half of it. The coral reef in Phil’s backyard is breathtaking.
The current was strong enough today that from castoff up the shore to the swim back into Phil’s backyard took roughly 15 minutes. We did 2 rounds and saw many different types of fish and coral and anemones and stuff. I imagine it’s the kind of thing that might grow tedious after a while, but I feel like living here I’d be out there whenever the tide allowed.
Afterwards we hiked up to the grocery store to pick up supplies for dinner, only to have Phil’s pule cover over and drop off barbecue.
Overall, the day has been great and very un-Apia.
I hope you’re well. Pictures below.
The new open-air market in Salelologa.
We played Jenga tonight.
Jenga soon devolved into strange impromptu offshoot variations like this one here. This version was a tangible mix of Battleship and Jenga. I built 4 towers out of 50 Jenga blocks, and Phil blindly threw 4 Jenga blocks at my towers. I then got as many points as the height of my tallest tower left standing.