Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sunday's different

Sunday is a day of rest in Samoa, like it used to be at home when I grew up. Saner times. Even Saturday was different with no gardeners on the grounds. This morning at breakfast a lot of the 'usual' faces weren't there serving, and no doubt they were all off to church with their families.

I spied this beautiful snail near the garden on my way back from breakfast. Such a lovely shell but I think it had been damaged. 

The resort put on a free shuttle for anyone who wanted to go to church- and I knew I wanted to hear the singing so I was in. I thought we would be going to the nearest church but we passed that and I think we reached the edge of  Lefuga as there was even a bank nearby. There is a new church being built that looks very beautiful from the outside, and we had the service in an adjacent hall. As far as I could work out, there had been cyclone damage to the old church.
It was very interesting. Most of the adults up front were in white and the congregation was segregated. The men and teen men were on one side, and the women singing were in a large block adjacent to them. The younger children were seated together on the right hand side, and were so well behaved throughout. Then there was a gap to a more varied group behind that included us. I don't know why some of the locals were back with us...
We arrived late but so did others. Our donation was collected at a desk before we went in, and our names and amounts were later read out along with all the family donations. I know I am not the first to wonder who went without a necessity to give the expected amount. But there is a cohesiveness in these communities and it centres around the common good rather than individual good.
The harmonies were beautiful when they sang. We'd been warned the whole service would be in Samoan but the pastor actually spoke good English. He welcomed us, and seemed to give an English introduction to most parts of the service before carrying on in Samoan. He even gave a precis of his sermon in English. After the sermon a very well dressed woman in green and her equally well dressed husband went to the front, where two boys had brought in a table. Then the serious business of publicly reading out names and donation amounts began. When that was all over and done our van was outside ready to take us back to our resort.

Most of the rest of the day became a swimming and snorkelling day, interspersed with reading my book. Yet more different fish to spy in the coral.

At lunchtime there were some day-trippers, come for Sunday. There was also some unexpected music from three local men playing guitars and singing. 
I watched the sunset again on the beach, then discovered it was a quiet night in the restaurant. Lots of people must have gone home ready for a new work week. The two units near me even seem to be empty tonight for the first time. I guess there will be an influx on flights tomorrow. 

At dinner tonight I discovered that one of the NZ women in a group I've been talking/ swimming with a bit has worked with a friend of mine. It's only ever two degrees of separation in New Zealand as they say...

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