Friday, August 22, 2014

Great Sights and Sounds of Samoa

Hōkūleʻa,  Star of Gladness, began as a dream of reviving the legacy of exploration, courage, and ingenuity that brought the first Polynesians to the archipelago of Hawaiʻi. The canoes that brought the first Hawaiians to their island home had disappeared from earth. Cultural extinction felt dangerously close to many Hawaiians when artist Herb Kane dreamed of rebuilding a double-hulled sailing canoe similar to the ones that his ancestors sailed. Though more than 600 years had passed since the last of these canoes had been seen, this dream brought together people of diverse backgrounds and professions. Since she was first built and launched in the 1970s, Hōkūle’a continues to bring people together from all walks of life. She is more than a voyaging canoe—she represents the common desire shared by the people of Hawaii, the Pacific, and the World to protect our most cherished values and places from disappearing.
As Hokule'a enters a port of the many Islands of the Pacific there is a big celebration and honor is given to the crew for their voyage to the Island.  They arrived in Pago Pago harbour on Aug 21/14 and it was quite a site.  They brought out the long boats to go out and greet her.  Then many traditional celebrations took place.

There are 2 McDonalds and 1 Carl's Jr. on the Island as well as Island Pizza (was a Pizza Hut, same as).  Wendy and I have been warned about where to eat and where not to eat by one of the ladies who works for the Government as a health inspector.  We have been given very few options so we have tried to be careful where we eat.  NOT wanting to eat at McDucks and CJ's we have ventured a bit.  This mobil wagon has pretty good Hawaiian food and the Seaside Eatery has the best burger on the Island.

We have lots of bread fruit trees around us and Wendy decided to cut one up and cook it for a future meal.  I am thinking it might be sometime in the post mortal life.

One of our neighbours brought us a stack of misi luki from his plantation so that we had a good supply of fruit.  By the next morning more than half of this stack had turned yellow and by the next morning the whole thing was ready to eat.  We took bundles around to the missionaries as they don't often get the nice, sweet tasting misi luki bananas.  They considered it a treat.

Well, we are so fortunate to be welcomed to all the 6 Stake activities so we are on our third party.  The Samoan, Tongan and Pacific Island people really know how to party.  They have great dances and songs as well as very pretty authentic dress.  We are so impressed at the older folks and how well they sing and dance.  They really have the moves.

Wendy with her Maori friends.  These boys had a great dance routine.

This dance was one of the most entertaining.  The man dancing would make certain types of moves and those sitting would clap a loud clap all together.  It sounded like a gun shot every time and the audience would laugh and clap with excitement.  We really liked this dance. 

We hired a young boy to lead us up a river stream through the jungle to a beautiful waterfall.  We weren't dressed for hiking but we didn't know when we started that we would be climbing and fording a river 4 or 5 times.  Anyway when we got to the base of the waterfall we wished we had all our swimming gear so that we could swim.  It was a beautiful spot and we will definitely hike back in here again only better prepared.

The Wood family have a special blessing of Grandpa Burns Woods uncle Ted (EJ Wood) being one of the first palagi missionaries to Samoa in the late 1800's.  He went back after his mission to preside over the mission as the mission President in 1896.  Wendy and I took a boat ride over to the Island of Aunu'u which is the site of the first landing of missionaries to the Samoan Islands.  Elder Wood was one of those missionaries.  This little bay was where the boats would land and one of the few places that is accessible to land on the Island.  This good Bro. & Sister were so good to show us around the small Island.  He has lived his whole life here and has raised a family of 15 kids some who have served missions and some getting ready to go.  This is a special Island and a very nice feel here.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Elders of Tutuila

These are the current Elders of Tutuila.  We are instructed to not publish the Elders names but we can put their pictures on our blog.  Some are in Pday clothes as it was their Pday on monday and the others are in their regular work clothes as Missionaries on the tuesday.  We have grown to love these Elders and their wonderful faithful spirits.  We love seeing them each week and helping them with all their needs.  They love Sister Saunders cookies and brownies - they don't get those kind of treats here so they really get excited when she treats them with goodies.  They also love her for the medical care and the Mom away from home care and advice she gives them regarding their personal health.  Our goal is to keep our Elders Happy, Healthy and Working hard.