Sunday, September 14, 2008

Our Week= Walk for Life

Our week
We got the keys to our house this week and I have spent lots of time cleaning it top to bottom, there were some maintenance issues outstanding and these are being rectified. Our main problem is that the untreated water supply is from a local spring. This is also a very dry time of year, so they have a tank under the house to get you over the dry times, we are hoping for rain to refresh the spring. Also our house doesn’t have gutters so that is not an option. Just down the road the Apia town supply starts.
Walk for Life
Friday, I participated in a “Walk for Life” in support for a Lifeline counseling service, it was also Hash’s charity earlier in the year with “Music for Life”. I have included a photo of some of the English Medico’s I had met at Hash (We had 17 medicos and about 28 locals on Monday’s run). The Walk was 3 kilometers through town starting at 4.30pm with the Head of State (a spritely 72 year old) leading the way and setting a cracking pace. The PM’s speech was very funny as he had the crowd laughing about 6 times (I initially thought he was a comedian to entertain the crowd, he was so good.) Traffic was at gridlock as over 1000 people walked down the roads in a procession nearly one kilometer long. The worst was into the western sun, the road was HOT and the reflection was sauna strength. The police band accompanied us the last couple of hundred meters and it was a carnival atmosphere as we walked down Clock Tower Road to the Government Building to bottled water, 2 bullocks on the spits and lots of food and entertainment. I was given a free Tee shirt as I raised over 50 tala.
Green Machine
I caught the “Green Machine” bus today, the windscreen had been attacked with a hammer, gave it the roaring 20’s sort of look, so I enclose a pic (NUS – National University of Samoa). The etiquette is you get a seat (wooden- no padded vinyl here), failing this you sit on someone’s knees/lap, next is sitting in the isle, it is impolite to stand (there is no head height anyway). I gave my seat up to a lady with a child, and moved down the bus and squatted until a girl jumped into the lap of the girl next to her to give the “palangie” a seat, I was very appreciative. They are all uni students and are so polite and friendly. I talk to uni students whenever I can and listen to their story and of course they are interested in Australia. As I hope to be teaching some English later, on a voluntary basis, I am interested in their access to computers as resources will have to be on the intranet.
So I am trying to absorb the spirit, feel the pride of the everyday people and immerse myself in Samoa, so different a place to what I have come from.

Pics - Clock Tower (built as a Great War Memorial) with the Government Building in the background, a High School choir as part of the Opening Ceremony, Medico’s on the walk with the Catholic Cross just at the side, The Green Machine (NUS bus), a photo for my grandsons in WA – Grandad drying his hands at a BBQ (Assistant Goffer).

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