Friday, July 1, 2016

Just Another Savaii Trip?

A week ago, we spent the week working in Savaii.  This required us to perform a Monday morning ritual of getting up at 5:00 a.m., drive for one hour to catch the ferry and travel an hour and a half to Savaii.  I always sit on the top deck where the wind can blow through my hair and the air is fresher.  Theron usually sits in the car and sleeps or reads.

Today Theron came to sit with me on the top deck.  I have been reading a book of the best articles from Erma Bombeck.  Erma and I were friends (through her books) through my new mother years, buying Tupperware years, decorating a home years and just generally family growing up years.  Theron knows how much I enjoyed reading her writings and how they made me laugh – they were so true.  I mentioned to him that I should try to spice up our blog with some wit similar to Erma’s writings.  He looked at me and finally said, “You?  Write like her?  Not possible.  Claire can write like Erma, but not you.”

He’s right.  I have no witty comebacks to what people say and I can’t make fun of myself – there’s too much to make fun of and I wouldn’t know where to start.  When our family gets together all the kids and Theron and even their spouses can banter wit and cute sayings back and forth.  I nod and try to participate but my responses always come hours later.  When I speak them forth, everyone looks at me with questioning eyes and total questioning wonderment.  I know they are thinking, “She’s lost it this time for sure.  Just smile at her.” 

Well, I’m going to try a little humor in this blog and maybe, just maybe turn over a large banana leaf.

It’s Not Adrian’s Trip to Savaii
When Adrian and Todd travelled with us to Savaii a few weeks ago, we stayed in a lovely resort, LeLagoto.  Our rooms were beautiful, we had nice dinners, and there was a very lovely sandy beach and great snorkelling water.  A real 4-star experience (there are no 5-stars in Savaii).

The Savaiian Hotel, which is where we are staying this week, is a 1-star experience at best.  Now we have stayed here before and we kindof, sortof knew what it was.  It was clean and functional.  This time we get put into a family room that left lots to be desired.

First, the 4-star had electrical outlets.  We always carry around lots of things that need electricity - our iPads, computer, Kindles, hair dryer and phone.  Most often we even have a projector with us.  Life in the 4-star was good.  At the Savaiian (1-star), we had two electrical outlets both residing at the 8-foot high level.  One had the air conditioner plugged into it – a necessity, so don’t mess with that one.  The other had the "large" 12-inch TV plugged into it – I suppose it worked, it was so small and so high that I couldn’t really see it so we didn't turn it on.  Worthless, I really don’t know why they bothered putting it in there.  No electrical outlet in the bathroom.  In such cases of emergency, I always let my McGyver come with me.  (Did I ever mention how fun it has been all these years living with McGyver?)  He took a coat hanger, wrapped an extension cord around it, plugged the extension cord into the 8 foot level power outlet (one only) and tucked the excess wire into one of the window panels.  That got the extension cord down to the level where we could plug a 4-place USB charger into it and have power for the iPad, charging the phone and charging our wireless speaker.  We need all of these things.  See the picture to believe it.

Next, McGyver found the extension plug that allowed the refrigerator to work.  We never did find the source of its power.  We had to use this plug to operate the hairdryer and charge the projector and computer.  Now, the hairdryer is essential both day and night in Samoa – wet hair from the shower in the morning, wet hair from sweating in the evening.  So, I unplug the refrigerator, plug-in the hairdryer stand and look at a concrete wall or out the sliding doors and hope my hair looks normal enough for the day – there is no mirror in the sleeping area.  You hope for the best hairdo you can get under the circumstances.  In writing this, sitting at one of the chapels we are working on, I just had the thought that I hope we re-plugged the refrigerator?  If not good-bye yogurt.

When traveling to Savaii, we have our car – a big suitcase – so we don’t bother packing clothes in a suitcase we just bring them on hangers.  They ride so much nicer in the car that way.  Well, our 1-star room has no closet or even a rod to hang clothes on.  There is an open shelf above the refrigerator with just enough clearance for the hook of the hanger to be placed on it and clearance enough for a shirt to just barely clear the top of the counter.  My skirts are too long, so they were laid neatly on the extra roll-away bed in the room.

Now, our 4-star room had a nice king size bed, a couple of chairs, a nice desk and a table with two chairs.  A 1-star room has a double size bed, two roll-away beds, a table and one chair.  Go figure.  If four people can sleep in this room, why is there just one chair?

Okay, we can live under these circumstances for a week.  Everything except the COLD shower.  The first morning shower was a real eye-opener.  I waited, waited, waited for the shower water to get warm.  It never happened; it didn’t even get past the chill.  I hate cold showers.  Telling this to McGyver, he goes outside, finds some kind of propane water heater, turns it on and he has hot water.  The justice is that it didn’t last the full length of the shower.  For the next four mornings, he was kind enough to try and get hot water for me; but, a little bit of luke warm was about all I ever got.

We survived the week.  We are now home where I have a hairdryer in the bathroom with a mirror, we have a myriad of choices for plugs, we have consistent hot water for showers, and my clothes can hang in a nice closet. 

Signed - Roughing it in Samoa

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