A city girl with island roots.
I traveled across the ocean to see the life of my people.
My heritage in it's fruit.
Blue skies, green mountains filling the island.
Palm trees, up and down the highways.
The ocean green and blue.
The temperature humid.
The views immaculate.
The air unmeasurable,
and the time easing by.
I traveled across the ocean to find my people were beautiful. Welcoming from an arms length of trust. Among the beautiful views came waves of heat. My people living thru it. Truly making a dollar out of fifteen cents. I mean island life was normal. The commute from Pago Pago to Tafuna a breeze. With one highway, one lane and a 25 mph speed limit. Oh yes, island life was a breeze! One side green mountains, the other side blue ocean. I mean the views were beautiful. 2 McDonalds, and 1 Carls's Jr on the entire island. Restaurants like Paradise Pizza, DDW Beach Cafe, and Goat Island Cafe made up beauifully, overlooking the ocean. From visiting Leone, to Alofau. Nothing beat Vatia. I mean up the hill and down was this beautiful valley of a village overlooking a sand beach. It was amazing. This was where my ancestors were born and raised. Here I stood on soil that my ancestors lived on, cried on, and died on. Leila lived only for the ocean. The water warm and welcoming. The sun hot, but the breeze easing the pressure off. We are spoiled in the states. But with views and oceans like this, I couldn't know who was more spoiled.
The truth to tradition. Rendition. Keep the peace, but don't disturb the petition. For it is the law. Given to mankind before the fall. My island was living in tradition by the law, for the law, and if you were lucky enough you would feel the law. Please don't mistake my forthright for being ungrateful. I am a product of my people, but I am only indebted to God, therefore I will speak my truth with grace.
I boarded the plane 4:45 to Samoa, I was a little uneasy. Nervous. Almost ashamed. The stares so loud. I probably wouldn't like fame. With an unsettling spirit I found the past lives on here. It journeys with you here. It lingered in the spirits of people. The conversations. The gazes. I was trying to live up to my tradition. Live up to the exceptions of my people. Live up to our pride.
I found that pride was deeply rooted in us. Pride in who we are. Pride in our names. Pride in our families. Pride in our villages. Pride in our religion. "Fa'avae I Le Atua Samoa." ("Samoa is founded on God.") The entire island on Sundays were shut down. You were only to go to church and rest. We took pride in this tradition, but would we truly know the meaning of what God was capable of doing for our island? Or was it just part of our tradition? We would take our pride and raise up our children to know who we are and where we come from. Raising strong and respectful children. Always honoring your name, but did how we live honor God? Did we live according to His word and not just tradition?
I saw pride could become our downfall. We would become prideful in owning up to our wrongs. Prideful in apologies. Prideful in believing our own truths about who God is. "Samoa, Muamua le Auta" (Samoa, God is first.) Is that just a "traditional quote "rooted in us? Or are we making God priority over all things? Our God is bigger than a routine Sunday morning church service. I seen my island in a beautiful way, yet unknowingly take fault in prideful traditions. I seen that most of the times what rooted a long decade fight needed a cure of forgiveness. (See, Ephesians 4:31-32)
"For all that is in the world - desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions - is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." -1 John 2:16-17
Many times, we had let our past speak for us. We had let tradition speak for us. We had let hurt hinder us. We had become our ancestors. And not to say for good, but to say that the painful pride had produced hurt children. The only cure to painful pride is forgiveness. And the only way to truly forgive one, is thru the blood of Jesus Christ!
Please don't get me wrong. I enjoyed every second, minute and moment spent on my island. But I have you know that my experience came with a price so I have to explain my journey across the ocean. You might read this and say what does that city girl know about the island. Se fiapoko! But I want my island to know that the hard conversations that have been swept under the rug have surfaced. My generation has come. We must talk about it. Forgive about it. Learn from it.
A city girl with island roots.
I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name. -1 John 2:12
Here are some of my favorite videos and pictures. These pictures and videos can't do justice to what the real thing is but I hope you live thru them! -$