Pe o fea o lenei lalolagi e te aumau ai,
e te manatua ai lou atunu’u moni
Samoa, no matter where you are in the world, Samoa will always be home forever.
E i loa le Samoa moni i lana tu ma lana tautala.
You can tell a true Samoan by behaviour and speech.
I recently returned from Samoa with my eldest son for a family funeral. I reflect of the song by Vaniah Toloa, Samoa e Maopopo mai.
Vaniah sings about the Pacific Duck known as the Toloa and shares the analogy between a Samoan and the Toloa. Wherever the Toloa migrates, eventually they will find their way back home to Samoa.
I last visited Samoa in 2011 with my cousin and sister and before that I had brought my boys over for my auntie’s funeral in 2008. Each time I return to Samoa, it is like the song. The smells, the sites, the language and the people remind me that this is who I am.
Samoa was truly gorgeous and pristine. The border rocks had all been whitewashed, The malae were swept clean and of course the colours were super bright.
I caught up with several members of my extended family, Aiga Lautele and met some of the next generation that I had not yet met. Meeting them was really special because knowing who your family is is part of being Samoan. ‘Ta te aiga.’ is an expression I heard a lot when I was growing up, so much so that I started tracing my genealogy just so I could connect who exactly members of my ‘aiga’ were.
My son did most of the driving so I was able to enjoy the view. We visited where my mother was born in Tafitoala and predicted where their ‘fale Samoa’ would have been but has now been reclaimed by the sea. Again reminding me of Global Warming affecting the pacific islanders who have contributed very little to Global Warming but are affected the most.
I was able to tick off To Sua off my bucket list, number 47.
If you use Google Street View, you can see To Sua from a 3D perspective.
One of my cousins informed me that the trench is where sharks used to give birth. I am not sure how accurate that is. However I am glad I knew that after I had been swimming around in the spot.
My son and I visited a few tourist spots such as swimming amongst the Giant Clams and revisiting Papaseea. However the focus for our short trip was family so much of our time was spent with family and reminiscing on life in general.