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Samoan Villages: Do you know this nu’u?


Spotted this great scene on the way to Apia from Piula. Can you imagine coming home after a hard day of work, grabbing a cold drink and just unwinding in your own private faleo’o on the beach? That’s what I call “paradise”.

This lovely village on a peninsula in the Atua district is known for its surfing spots (not for beginners, though – too many rocks) and for its association with a certain vicious, mythical creature.

Do you know this nu’u?

Check back next week for the answer.


Did you figure out what the Samoan herb was in last week’s Quiz Post?

Well, it grows abundantly in Samoa, but I don’t think a lot of locals know what it is.


This is would be turmeric. Some people call it the healthiest food in the world, as it helps to alleviate pain and studies have apparently shown evidence of its benefits against cancer, liver disease and other ailments.


Turmeric (a slightly different variety) is everywhere in Indian cuisine. Maybe it’s time for Samoans to pay more attention to this amazing herb growing wild in everybody’s back yard.


Samoan Legend: Vaea and Apaula

Ia, fa’alogo mai.

That’s what our elders would say to get children’s attention before telling a fascinating tale, especially an old Samoan myth or legend.

I missed out on that experience growing up, so I wanted to hear a few of those stories while I’m here in Samoa. When I asked around at various family gatherings, though, I got mostly blank stares. I guess childhood was too long ago for my relatives…or maybe we’re not learning our folklore much anymore, not even in Samoa..?

Finally an aunt said, you know the best person to ask about …Read more ››


Samoa Plant Life: Do you know this plant?

Apparently, the root of this plant can help relieve pain. It’s widely used in Asian cooking, but I’m not sure that’s for the flavor. I’ve eaten a lot of food with this stuff in it, but I still couldn’t tell you what it tastes like – it’s so subtle and almost bland.

It grows well in Samoa, though. It’s all over the place, but I don’t think a lot of locals even know what it is.

Do you?

Check back next week for the answer.


Did you recognize the Upolu building in last week’s …Read more ››


Apia Lasagne – A new generation of Samoan food

Years ago I would visit Samoa and expect to be so immersed in the Samoan language that when I returned to my western world I would feel super fluent, showing off all my newly rehearsed Samoan words and phrases.

Samoa isn’t like that anymore. Today, especially in Upolu’s town area, it’s not easy to find anyone who doesn’t speak perfect English, or who won’t obligingly switch languages once they hear your overseas accent.

It makes sense. English is the language of tourists, formal education, international aid, and therefore, money. Locals have to make a living, right? …Read more ››


Samoan Landmarks: Do you know this building?

It should be one of the most recognizable buildings in Upolu – just about everyone has to come here at least once in their lives.

Does it look familiar to you?

Check back next week for the big reveal.


Last week’s answer: This herb is indeed the moegalo, or lemongrass.

Can someone please do an experiment to see if it really does repel mosquitoes?

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