We took a little trip to Apolima-Tai, a small island between Upolu and Savaii, a few weeks ago and it was the first time a lot of us from both islands had gotten together since New Years. It was nice to see everyone and hear news from their villages. Casey organized the trip. We met in Apolima-Uta, Casey’s village, and hired a small skiff to take us to the island. Just in case you are confused about the two Apolimas, “tai” means seaward, seaside or just near the sea and “uta” means inland.
Once we had loaded up the skiff, we were on our way propelling across the waves with the owner of the small boat manning the motor. His young son was hard at work the entire one hour trip, scooping out the water, that was rushing into the boat through the cracks and holes, with what looked like a red gas can with the top half cut off. If the leaking boat wasn’t enough to make us nervous, when we reached the entrance to the island, the boat’s engine stopped and we were all told to get inside the boat. Some of us had climbed on top of the roof and were basking in the sun during the trip. “This is the hardest part” said our captain. “See those two rocks?” and he pointed to two spans of rocks and a narrow path between them where water was crashing through. “We are going through that narrow space and I need you all inside in case we hit a rock and the boat lurches”. We looked at each other uneasily as we clambered back inside. It was clear that the man was waiting for the waves to settle before attempting the pass. Suddenly, the engine roared to life and we were speeding towards the pass. Water splashed up on both sides of the boat and soaked us as we cheered. We were through!
We went for a hike through the jungle to a lighthouse and enjoyed the breathtaking view of the island below, we were served a fish, taro and coconut lunch by the captain’s family and on the way back to Apolima-Uta the boat dropped anchor to let us swim in the warm turquoise ocean for a little while.