Malo lava Dom
Thanks very much for your trip report and insights into fa'a Samoa.
One of the reasons that Samoans both resident and otherwise are obese is that they can't afford healthy food. Canned corned beef, turkey tails, fatty lambs strips etc are a staple. They are also traditional fare that's why so many relatives returning home bring so much with them. You could even take a ton of KFC in as long as you declared it!!!
Funerals (fa'alavelave) are a huge affair in Samoa and most relatives do return home for the event which usually lasts several days, a few of mourning then a celebration of life. You may have noticed many tombs in the front yards, that's where loved ones are buried. There is only 1 cemetery in Samoa and it's not full.
I hope you do get to go back one day and discover and explore some more of this amazing and stunningly beautiful country, the heart of Polynesian culture which is alive and well in Samoa.
Fa'afetai tele lava
Manuia le aso
Thanks Deb - I hope my comments about the level of obesity did not come off as offensive to anyone - your explanation for why this is the case makes a lot of sense.
I read somewhere that in Tonga (I think), the health authorities are trying to discourage the people from eating 'mutton flaps' which if memory serves are sheep ears drenched in lard or some kind of fat. Apparently these and similar foods are blamed for the high rates of heart disease and diabetes there...
We loved Samoa and the people there and would definitely like to return someday.
No Dom, there was no offence taken. I live in a Samoan village when we are in Samoa for months at a time and see first hand the struggles people have with finding enough money for food. Fortunately seafood is plentiful and many feed their families straight from the days catch, much more healthy than the dreaded turkey tails (which actually bounce!!) and lamb flaps.
You're quite right, there are high instances of heart disease, diabetes and renal failure and a few years ago the Govt launched a get fit program which seems to be working. Most of my Samoan family are reaping the benefits of healthier eating and exercise - they love Zumba, walking up to the RLS resting place on Mt Vaea and swimming in the lagoon that is part of our village. Also Samoans are realising all the food that they need can be found on their own land and in the sea.
The LHD/RHD change was quite comical, and scary at times, particularly when yoy came around a bend barely missing a car tavelling on the old 'right' side of the road. Surprisingly enough the whole process went quite smoothly with very few accident.
Thanks again for your report, I did enjoy reading it and the time you took to compile it shows how much you appreciated your stay in a stunningly beautiful country with wonderful people and a unique culture.
Manuia le aso
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