Monday, December 16, 2013

Sunday (in more detail!)

We enjoyed an amazing day on Sunday. Attended a church service in Apia where we were welcomed with smiles, songs, and warm greetings. Following the service we boarded buses and traveled to the opposite side of Upolu island to have a traditional Samoan lunch. We were served plausami (taro leaves stuffed w/coconut cream), roasted pig & grilled fish, oka (raw fish in cream sauce with onions & chiles), octopus and other dishes. We were grateful (and just plain FULL!) for the experience. 

After lunch we enjoyed the beach. Oh my ...the beach! Many of our AYLP students informed us that they wouldn't be boarding the bus to return to Apia but instead would stay in the sand. :) I posted a few photos in my short post this morning so you can see why they wanted to stay! Luckily, after the afternoon of sun & sand we got everyone back to Apia for an important dinner. 

Meals in Samoan villages are full of tradition & cultural significance. To help us learn and prepare, our Samoan participants prepared & served a common Sunday night meal in Samoan villages. Seated on the floor wearing our lava lavas, we ate bread, soup made of coconut cream, rice & grated cocoa, bread in coconut cream, and tea made of lemon tree leaves. We also experienced the proper seating protocols, with chiefs & honored guests along the sides of the open room, and heard the traditional opening gratitude & prayer spoken in Samoan. Following the meal we each spoke our words of gratitude (for example, 'Fa'a fetai le fa'aaloalu' or 'thank you for the kindness & hospitality) before being dismissed. What an awesome & beautiful learning opportunity...and just a glimpse of what we'll experience in the villages! 


  1. Excellent information. Thank you for providing updates to all of us back home. I look forward to your posts about the daily activities every morning.

  2. What incredible experiences you're having; yay!

  3. I am so going to love reading these over the next few weeks, all the while I am bundled up in a warm blanket in South Dakota!

  4. Hi, (Warren's wife here)
    Thanks for the updates!
    Hope all is continuing to go well!