Talofa my lovelies!
Well, since I last wrote, I have the most amazing sunburn…I’ve done the Brits proud! We went kayaking on Friday (took the day off hospital…!) around a little slice of paradise called Virgin Cove. Imagine, if you will, the most idyllic tropical, white sanded, palm fringed beach and then triple it and your’e not even close to how beautiful it was ( for pictures follow the link www.virgincoveresort.ws/main.htm and go to the ‘beach and nature’ page). We had a guide, a guy called Morton from Denmark. We kayaked right along the cove (a good 3/4 of a mile) and then into the mangroves – a maze of fresh water ways bedecked with trees that dipped their braches on either side. Having never kayaked before, I had slight problems steering around the narrower parts and managed to crash into every available bush/rock/branch that was remotely sticking out from the banks. Special needs! I was mocked considerably! When we got back to the Virgin Cove resort we ate lunch and then crashed out on the beach for a while and had a dip in the sea – seriously, Ive had colder baths at home – it was lush! The weather had started out quite cloudy, but despite my factor 40, I was slightly frazzled on my right hand side – very attractive as you can imagine. I think we all underestimated the strength of the equitorial sun! Today is Sunday and Im still in significant pain…don’t worry mum, its not THAT bad!
Wednesday night was one of the funniest of my life so far. A group of us went to Aggie Grays resort to see the traditional Fia Fia dance that is held every week for tourists. It was breathtaking! There was a 10 strong music section consisting of classical guitars and traditional drums, another 10 or so male dancers and the same number of females. They were all dressed in traditional costume and the ladies had fantastic headresses, grass skirts and actual bras made of coconut shells – comedy value!!! The music was wonderful; they all sang in full harmony to alternate male and female led dances. The female dances were very gentle and soothing with strong hawaian influences, whereas the males performed mostly dances of war – the rhythms were edgy, strong and loud and the dancing was like the haka but better – it was absolutely stunning! Within the row of women, there was very obviously a shim (lady man) who was dressed just as the other women, but not blending terribly well. I was told by one of our friends, which was later backed up by the lonely planet guide, that the shim was infact a fia fia fina (not quite the correct phrase, I’ll change it later). This is basically a guy who is bought up as a girl. It is tradition in Samoa, that if you have 4 sons and your 5th child is also male, that 5th child will be raised as a female so that there is someone to cook, clean and act as a mother figure…RANDOM!!! HOWEVER, the real fun had not yet started. At the end of the main dances, they asked for 3 volunteers to come up on stage and compete in a Samoan dance-off. There weren’t too many willing volunteers so one of the women came down into the audience and dragged up 3 men…Dave being one of them. What followed was pant-wetting comedy genius! There was a lot of hip wiggling and tusch shaking on Daves behalf, but, alas, despite his best efforts he was first out of the competition. However, he was competing against a Tongan and a Kiwi, whose hips had obviously jiggled more regularly in the past! He did come away with the most beautiful garland as a consolation prize, so it was all good…I was so proud! Don’t worry, I have photograpic evidence and intend to use it for blackmail purposes in the future!
Yesterday (Saturday), a group of us hired a taxi to ‘The return to paradise’ beach, which was apparently made famous by some Garry Cooper film…we were less than impressed (SNOBS!). It just wasnt up to standard; the sea was too choppy, the sand wasn’t white enought, there were’nt enough palm trees… I could go on! We realised that we had SOOO been spoiled by Virgin Cove and demanded that the taxi driver take us back to the real paradise immediately! We spent the whole day just Lolling on the beach and in the sea – it was heavenly!
When I write next, I promise that it will include more about hospital…i.e. the reason why I’m supposedly here!
Love you all tons and am missing you. Loads and loads of love xxxxxx