Thursday, January 05, 2006
Falealupo Tai, the end of the world,. literally
Falealupo is the last place on earth to see the sunset each day.
It's also the last to see the sunrise, the rain, tarsealed roads, medical services, clean water and all else that we take for granted.
I make it a point to be at Falealupo each December.
It is becoming my yearly 'to do' project.
In December, we stayed again with mom's good friend, Ausega Tautali at Falealupo Tai.
Tautali and Ime have moved to the family fale tele in the villge, leaving Lautofa, her husband Aomua and 6 children back at the old place.
Falealupo Tai hardly rains, the government ingores them - basically.
Anyhow, despite these setbacks, people are rather resilient, after all theyve survived three hurricanes, two which wiped away Falealupo settlement in 1990 and again in 1991.
Tautali, still makes the finest tanoas/kava bowls, and traditional artifacts from ifilele. His son-in-law continues his work.
I had to mention the children, six of them, running around half-naked in the sand. Every waking moment is dominated by the loud stern voice of their mother, Lautofa.
We took the kids for a ride to Asau, only to find that the only petrol station in the area had no friggin' petrol. So we had to drive back to Falealupo Tai, with all 6 kids in the car.
They are so used to getting yelled at that when you do talk normally to them, they don't respond.
These children do things their peers in America wont do, (unless there's a candy dangled). Each day, they carry heavy buckets of water from the sea for food preparations, they sweep the floor of the fales, feed the pigs, weed the gardens, do the washing, run errands to the village and back, help with the food preps(thats no easy task: youre peeling 50 green bananas, scraping 20 ulus and lighting a fire using dried leaves and wood).
Who said life's a beach in Samoa?
Depends who youre asking.