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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Oct-Nov
Active RetireesTM | 19 TRAVEL INTERNATIONAL F or an avid reader, no visit to Western Samoa would be complete without finding time in between the tropical paradise musts to see a couple of landmarks. One is the lava fields depicted in Albert Wendt’s Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree. The other is the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. I start with the museum, on the main island, Upolu. A massive, manicured lawn and sprawling home signals that this property, once home to Stevenson and his family, was created in the image of a place other than Samoa. Inside, the furniture says the same. Stevenson and his wife, Fanny, moved to Samoa in 1889, living in a shack for a short time before constructing the grand house and filling it with 72 tonnes of furniture, shipped from home and dragged from the Apia port. Our guide shows us the many rooms the family lived in and passionately recounts their stories. Stevenson was so well loved, she tells us, that when he died, he was carried by the locals to the top of the mountain above his home – a rigorous 30-minute climb even along today’s well-beaten path – for burial. Others say that locals respected him as a tusitala, a story-teller, or because his obvious wealth, apparently accumulated without labour, led them to believe he was a man of much mana. The second literary site is on the less populated island, Savai’i, so we board the ferry. A word for the wise here: there are three different ferries, and each offers a very different ride. One has an air -conditioned first- class lounge. On another, passengers vie for a shady spot on the bench seats and, if I tried, I could easily trail my hand in the water. Go with the flow “All is well in lava,” according to the title character of one of Samoa’s best known novels, Albert Wendt’s Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree. The Saleaula Lava Fields on Savai’i were created when slow-moving lava-flow covered the village of Saleaula over six years between 1905-1911. The lava fields are certainly an escape. All is still and the lava, which looks rock-hard, is slippery and almost spongy underfoot, with trees and shrubs fighting their way through the cracks. » Treasure islands Western Samoa's islands are so much more than the one-time home of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson. By Hallie Donkin EThe Stevenson family home is now a museum dedicated to the writer.
Active Retirees Aug-Sept
Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2012