Samoa: Manono circular time

For: Laura Berdejo (text and photos)
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Manono is small, Round, nice, as pure circular flip walking sounds conclusive cycle, a closed course, they become actions and repeated as the notion of time in East. Speaking of Manono in this way comes to mind unusually Platero: Platero is small, hairy, soft; so soft on the outside, say that all of Cotton, not bearing bones.

Manono, o Platero, is one of the seven islands of the Samoan archipelago, in the South Pacific, and among the two main islands, Upolu y Savaii. It has four villages where they live 811 People, you go around in about two hours walking and in the center is a mound where a president is buried ancient. The trip lasted a week and the team included two experts from the Samoan Ministry of Education, a volunteer from the Japanese agency cooperation, three workers of the ministry of environment and a representative of UNESCO, I. At the head of the expedition was Tuiolo, focal point of Samoa for World Heritage, Tatupu with your baby, of five months of age.

The principle

We arrived by boat from Upolu, the main island of Samoa, a distance of approximately 50 minutes between the world more or less civilized, with showers, its copiers and people dissatisfied, the timeless world of Manono where one morning to six months of rain are enough reason to do nothing and, simply, sit and watch. Throughout the island there is a mirror, not a single shower, drank coconut water and ate fish fresh from the sea. They carry a significant burden of beer and toilet paper, that's what we asked, and were greeted with a ceremonial meal served on banana leaves and facilities prepared for our stay: would sleep in girls talk of matai (chief) The Then you, and boys in the talk of matai of Lepuiai.

They carry a significant burden of beer and toilet paper, that's what we asked, and were greeted with a ceremonial meal served on banana leaves

The fales are houses without walls. When wood floor is accessed by a staircase with two steps and the roof is oval, Boats as inverted, and rests on a row of studs. It usually consists of one room where all the aiga (extended family) sleep, come, siestea, conversation, raises the children and go hang out round. As our matai was wealthy and belonged to an illustrious family, in its talk had a separate room where he slept with his wife and a television where you could watch one channel. We slept on straw mats with a mosquito net that engaged them with cushions, knots, shoes and any invention and the air coming through the walls allowing nonexistent relieve immense blanket of heat. The best mosquito, the chief, Tatupu is the left because he was a baby. The presence of Tatupu - which means prince in Samoan - also found mealtimes, sleeping hours, orientation of the chairs at the door and the overall schedule.

El medio

In the morning the men of Apai out fishing or shopping, that was to go to other towns of Manono to change palusamis (a kind of ball breadfruit leaves stuffed with roasted coconut oil), taro or cacao by other more abundant elsewhere on the island. Some days the kids were up to the handles and brought us fruit for breakfast. During the day we walked, going to the store to buy slices of fried plantain, we lay on the grass, and at night we dined, women were helping to clean the talk and we showered in wooden huts where two cubes: one collected the rainwater and the other used it as I would like everyone to clean. The interpreter told me that she missed a bit of rain water in the second bucket, a damp cloth moistened with which he washed and then threw the water over to clarify, So all week I was taking a shower like that and sometimes taking a bath in the sea also.

As the week went on the amenities Western Samoa or of the city were growing further and increasingly revealed as something useless. For example, one day we went to see the tomb was in the top of the mountain, turned out to be a real rainforest.

The journey began early semi steep slope. Sin embargo al poco rato de haber iniciado el ascenso, with great effort and slip, always in the rear, based on grab and several coconut trees, colleagues and all vegetation, I had to sit on a stone to rest. I could not more. I continually slipping and admired the big Samoans but agile, who saw light jogging and climbing the hillside jungle.

– Palangi - then told me a Samoan approaching the stone where I replenished. Palangi means foreign, applies to non-Polynesian or Pacific.

– What? - Asked.

And in an incomprehensible dialect of Manono, acidulated with gestures and smiles, he invited me to take my Samoan my boots and go barefoot slip. He could if he wanted to take the boots. The soles of the feet grip better to the ground because they can not bend and boots, had me showing me their feet all black.

The ascent and descent were made possible by not wearing anything on your feet. That gave me a nice short and revealing

And so it was. I climbed the mountain barefoot, I went down the mountain barefoot, I came to town, ate, merendé, I had dinner, breakfasted, barefoot all. There was one who put me shoes, goretex boots and less. I had obeyed my feet and I was dazzled, had been caught in the mud and grass as if they were waiting and had been made for this. The ascent and descent were made possible by not wearing anything on your feet. That gave me a nice short and revealing. Very rarely have I had a feeling like since then and probably the last time was when I started dancing and felt the pleasure of releasing the imprisoned body, but that's another article.

The end

The week ended as it began in reverse, Upolu taking us back to the empty of beer and cartons to pull. I remember the last morning I got up early and leaving the talk I saw the baby of the family of matai watching sunrise. He was a good time watching the sun rose from behind the sea with nothing to look and touch one foot. Aquello me Hizo comprehend Manono. Understood-and I think I understood then the astonishment of the people when asked about his relationship with the environment- that time they had another speed. And that probably was circular, as its island. And from there everything else is derived: the rainwater into cubes, bare feet, children playing on the edge, the mosquito net for Tatupu, shopping canoe, slowly watch the sunrise.

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Comments (7)

  • ricardo


    Fantastic story, Laura. The bare feet has fascinated me. Welcome to VAP!


  • Paul Rodriguez


    Fuck that envy, that place, that history. There is a calmness, good vibes, tranquility. Just explain that we have missed if the beers were cold…


  • Hook


    I have entered a terrible desire to get out of here and retire in the circular island. What a great place, that a good idea of ​​time-varying, that good story!


  • It


    Laura, have left me completely enthralled by this wonderful story, with coconut water and freshly caught fish, Tatupu and idolized my feeling of infinite peace barefoot baby watching sunrise…
    When are we going?


  • Soldier


    Laura's wonderful reading you can smell the rain, the beach and the mountains of Manono…


  • Alex


    Dan wanted to leave everything. Manono seems like a dream across the world. And maybe you just need to dare to dream. Congratulations Laura. Te seguiré la pista 🙂


  • Marian


    Congratulations, Laura! May you continue to have discovered your potential of your feet on many more adventures….. and writing the follow. To me the phrase has carried “As the week went on the Western comforts, Samoa or of the urban, were increasingly distant and increasingly revealed as something useless” .
    A place leerte, M


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