While I have yet to post travel tales and photos of a recent trip to the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific, my home is already a chaotic scene of winter gear to be used in a more challenging environment - an upcoming high altitude trek in Nepal - the Manaslu Circuit. Before I embrace my inner Tintin in Tibet, I will put my packing (and unpacking, and re-packing) aside for a while and convey some of my experiences as somewhat of a Johnny Come Lately Robinson Crusoe.
After having attended a psychology conference in Hawaii, I felt a little more adventure was in order, and so I caught a plane from Honolulu to - and I love to say this town's name - Pago Pago, capital of American Samoa. From there I would later travel to the nearby independent republic of Samoa - what used to be called Western Samoa.
Over the years churches have succumbed to volcanic eruptions and tsunamis, but the spirit of the Samoan people has remained intact amidst natural disasters. Their joyous disposition was evident in all my encounters.
Robert Lewis Stevenson wrote, "In the South Seas" in 1908 in Samoa. Reading his accounts while visiting those very islands a hundred years later, gave me an appreciation of the massive changes effecting island life, but at the same time how significant aspects of this culture thankfully remain unaltered. The Victorian photographs arranged with traditional local artifacts gives us a peek into Stevenson's home in Apia, Western Samoa.