16 Dec Why I’m Going Back to Savaii

I went to Savaii on the ferry. It was epic.

I did NOT get seasick.
I did NOT fall overboard and drown.
I did NOT get eaten by rabid sharks.
I did NOT cry / shake / hyperventilate all the way there.

Instead, I –
*Met up with friends on the boat and had a lovely catchup chat. Thank you Logo for keeping me company there and back!

*Enjoyed the salt breeze and glorious ocean views. As well as the very clean and comfortable air conditioned interior on board. I highly recommend the boat to Savaii. They have TV for the kids to watch, snacks to buy and did you read the key words, AIR CONDITIONING? And it only costs twelve tala.

*Was awed by my drive to Vaiola College. Salelologa was rather ramshackle and sad looking but once away from there, the villages are beautiful. Lush gardens and forest and plantations. Vibrant colors everywhere of flowers and fruits. Lots of friendly people.

*Was blown away by Vaiola College itself. Nestled in green hills and touched by majestic blue sky, its an oasis of bustling community and learning and it has a special spirit. A feeling of peace and serenity. I wished my stay were longer.
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*Was impressed by the students as they spoke, sang and graduated. Their singing and their obvious love for their school and each other, as well as the palpable waves of pride from the parents and extended family aiga – well, I cried it was so beautifully emotional. An exceptional young man gave the Valedictorian address right before my speech and it had me scrambling because it was so powerful and actually covered some of the points I was going to say (except he said it much better than I could) so I had to do some quick thinking and make a few things up on the spot. Im dreadful at impromptu speeches so I was a sweaty nervous wreck by the time I got up to do my thing. Thankfully it was a very kind audience so it was much less scary than it could have been.
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*Was embraced and welcomed by teachers and administrators who showered me with flower lei, delicious food and stunning gifts. On the trip back I carried an entire tray of pineapple custard pie with me on the ferry and pretty much the entire cabin was treated to the sweet gardenia perfume of my flowers. The students presented me with an engraved glass star trophy which Little Daughter exclaimed “Its like an Academy Award!”
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Im now a believer.

In Vaiola College as a school.

In the ferry as a safe and pleasant mode of transport.

And in Savaii as a truly glorious destination that Im going to head back to. But this time with all the family.

Fa’afetai tele lava Vaiola College for the invitation. And for (gently) getting me out of my hermit comfort zone so I could experience a very little bit of what makes Savaii a unique treasure.

I will definitely be back.

8 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Aww…A place that I call paradise in the middle of the bush 8)~ with all the mosquitos, snake’s and every crawling creature’s you can think of. I love this place it will always be my home away from home. So much wonderful memories and great history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints established in this luscious school Vaiola. thank you for sharing…manuia le taumafai!!

    December 16, 2014 at 7:25 pm
  • Rapi
    Reply

    Lol@aircondition boat ride to Savaii, pleasant and comfortable boat ride. Especially a treat when you do get spot some dolphins zip by near the front.

    December 17, 2014 at 11:10 am
  • Glad you faced your fear and realized you actually enjoyed it!

    December 18, 2014 at 7:42 pm
  • evotia
    Reply

    Many moons ago, my Papa decided his 2 grandkids (brother and I) were way too palagi and needed to tough it out with my aunt and uncle in Savai’i. He said we wouldn’t last 2 weeks over the summer.
    3 months later a telegram was sent to my aunt threatening them to return his grandkids lol.
    We were sent to the village of Vaiola. My Aunt and Uncle were teachers there. That was our first real “Samoan” experience. We still reminisce about it today. Your pictures of the mountain with Vaiola brought so many great moments of our time on the island. Thank you!

    December 21, 2014 at 8:16 am
  • nola
    Reply

    Thats where my kids go to school. Thank goodness for Vaiola. A gem in the bush truly !! xoxo

    December 28, 2014 at 6:43 am
  • Milla
    Reply

    The place I call “HOME” where everyone come together as ONE FAMILY, where we can just go in any house and treat it our own, where we get beat up by other parents infront of our own parents Hahahaha, where my Mum taught me how “STAND even when standing IS NOT easy” #ILoveYouVaiola

    December 4, 2016 at 4:25 am
  • Laloifi Tonumaipe'a
    Reply

    Great to hear of your experience in Savaii especially your visit to Vaiola College. It is definitely a gem in the bush. That young man in the photo with you is my nephew Tyrone Taleni, an awesome young man who is currently serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My brother Siakisone Taleni is the current principal and has been for the last 12 years. I am also a product of Vaiola school and many of my nephews and nieces have and currently attending this great school. You’re right about Vaiola being a family school. There has always been that feeling about this school. The students are respectful of their teachers and the teachers and the leaders have worked so hard to give the students a higher level of education and that’s why Vaiola College has been successful academically and sportswise. My nephews and nieces talked about your visit to the school as a guest speaker for the 2014 Graduation and reported of the excitement at the school to have you there and to hear of your experiences and counsel. Yes, beautiful Savaii is the place to go for an Island experience. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Ia manuia

    December 4, 2016 at 7:09 am
  • June Iuni Ah See
    Reply

    An absolutely astonishing place of serenity and peace. The school environment is just so perfect. This school has helped me to become the person I am now. The success I have is unquestionably from the grounds of Vaiola, the enforcement of English speaking on campus makes me sound like an American/New Zealand born with the English level I have. I am so grateful to this school and I am a witness to all that Lani said because I am a former student of Vaiola and I just graduated in the year 2015 right after the 2014 senior class. I must say, I owe it all to Vaiola !

    December 7, 2016 at 12:23 am

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