The Samoa Voyaging Socety (SVS) works to promote positive Samoan cultural values, respect for the ocean and nature, individual and social responsibility, discipline and integrity.

The SVS considers that the reintroduction of traditional sailing in Samoa will provide opportunities for youth development (sports, leadership), environmental awareness, cultural development and, potentially, tourism opportunities such as whale watching and adventure tours.

SVS is developing hands-on educational and training programmes in traditional sailing and navigation. The programmes will target young Samoan youth including school children, school leavers and other interested groups. The task of learning traditional sailing and navigation skills also develops leadership and discipline among the youth, leading to well-rounded young people capable of contributing positively to the growth of this nation.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Calling Gaualofa (Notes of a jealous supporter at home)

Okay, let's skype San Diego and see how everyone's doing on their third day back at it!

John answers the phone. I hear slamming doors, phones ringing, caughing, talking, rummaging. A bustling atmosphere. I start wondering how big the room is and check it out online: Vagabond + Scott Ave + San Diego. I see pictures of a motel, the typical ad-serenity of catalogue-order-rooms: two doubles with color-coded linen and curtains, and a view onto the kidneyshaped pool laying right next to the path to the reception.

"Where are you guys?" I ask John. "I can see the entrance."

If there was a webcam outside the motel this would be even cooler.

"We're facing the street. It's pretty noisy."

Ah, so basically I am staring at a still of their window right now.

"What's going on?"
"Well, we're busy getting everything together. Stuff out of the storage, stuff we need for the boat."
"What she look like? Can anyone send a picture?"
"I don't know, Ang. We're all on the go all day. I'll ask around."
"K. No worries."

I'm thinking: I'll sure find pictures on Facebook. With over 4,000 followers for the Pacific Voyagers it's hard to miss a beat of what's going on with "her", Gaualofa.

"So, what's the plan for the next days?"
"We're - HI ANG, HOW ARE YOU?!" The phone changes hands.
"I'm alright, how ar-"
"Where are you right now? In Auckland?"
"How's the weather there? It's freeeezing here."
"Are we going to see you on the way?"
"Maybe, I'm thinking Samoa."
"I gotta go now but good to hear from you, here's Fani."

I think everyone's running on too much sugar or caffeine or both. Sigh. Or, it's simply a natural high doing one of the most amazing things one can think of doing... Anyone as envious as I am right now?

"Hey Ang, long time no hear. How're you holding up?"
Was about to ask you the same but seems hard to get a word in with any of you right now. So, just roll with it, girl.
"Are you still working at Uni, how's that going? Hope to catch up with you somewhere along the trip. Are you coming to Samoa for the Independence Celebrations? Should be good."
Yes, should be.
"K, I'm gonna give you back to John. I'll send you stuff for the blog soon, promise! Take care!"

Cheering, laughter, door slamming. Silence.

"Hello?" Nothing. Did they just throw the phone somewhere and leave? "Hello? John?"
"Yes, I'm here. They're all out again."
"Sounds like everyone is pretty excited."
"Yep." He's yawning.
"A little."
"Big day tomorrow?"
"Nice of everyone to say 'hello'."

Silence. Another yawn. Right.

"I should let you go. Get some rest and be ready for the next round, aye?"
"Hm. Yea. We're supposed to have Thursday off and Saturday we're doing a day-sail. And there's a fundraiser. I'll send you texts about what's going on as often as I can. Okay?"
"Yea, don't stress. Have a good night now."
"You know you're with us, aye."
"Yeeah, I know. It's okay. I'll live. Just collect some details for me. Snapshots. Okay?"
"Bye now."

Tofa Soifua, Gaualofa. Be safe!

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