Friday, September 2, 2016

Gilligan's Island Samoa Style

What do you get when you put two dentists, a retired university professor, a CPA, a civil engineer, several teachers, a former mayor, McGyver, a welder, an accountant, a former secretary, some self-reliance folks and a former softball player together on one small island?

Sixteen senior missionaries on a tropical adventure and a good time that is had by all.

From our first trip around the island 16 months ago, we have had the desire to stay over night on Namau Island.  This is a small private island on the far southeast corner of the Upolu.  There is a pristine sandy beach, beach fales and beautiful island greenery.  We put the word out to the senior missionaries that we were making the trip on Friday, August 25.  We thought maybe one or two couples would attend, but low and behold we had all but three senior couples.  Trips like this always require a happy, adventurous look before and then the okay it's time to go home look after.  Here we are -- rip roaring ready to go.
I should also mention that senior missionaries (probably old people in general) over pack.   Total trip time was to leave Apia at 8:30 a.m., drive about 2 hours to the boat dock, take a 20-30 minute boat ride to the island, get situated into our fales, eat lunch, play games, snorkel hike, eat dinner, have a bonfire, sing, talk, sleep, have breakfast, snorkel, pack up, have lunch, and leave.  In other words, a simple overnight stay.  You can see by the trunks that we had much more clothing and supplies than we really needed.

Because we had so much stuff and so many people, the boat had to make three trips.  And, as you can see, it's not a very big boat.  But lots of fun since we all got to see several large turtles swimming around on the ride over.

Living and sleeping accommodations were beach fales (fall-ees), a 4-inch foam mat and a mosquito net.  There is no electricity on the island.  All meals are prepared by the family that owns the island.  One whole night without electronics - we survived.  Theron supercharged the drone to make sure he could get a little flying time in.

It really is quiet and enough space for everyone to spread out and do their own thing.  Elder Vellinga pulled up a beach chair and was content to read a book, some of the guys hiked to the top of the hill to look at the fruit bats and the cliffs on the other side of the island, others of us took a little afternoon nap and played a few games of cards.  Now, this is the way life is supposed to be.
This picture is a view of the shore and our Upolu East Stake Center that is right across the bay from Namau.  Below, Theron is tree hugging in front of our fale.

These views are from the top of the hill looking out over the ocean.
Caught a Fruit Bat / Flying Fox out during the day.
This little star fish are found all over the islands.  They are blue and look like they are made from rubber.  Notice the water is so clear and shallow in spots that you can just go around snapping pictures!

Rusty and Cindy Gillette found a nice log to just relax.  This is a long way from Idaho, but it's what they do almost every weekend.
Now this was fun to have a bonfire on the beach.  We brought some marshmallows, Hershey bars, graham crackers and a ukulele.  Well, it was a great bonfire, but I smelled like smoke all night long!
Isn't this idyllic?  Just a relaxing time to walk on the beach, talk with friends and enjoy nature.  We didn't even need the Captain or Gilligan to help us settle in.  However, if we do this again, I will make sure that our fale is not under a coconut tree.  The wind blew most of the night and the palm fronds drug back and forth across the fale roof all night long.

This one is now off the bucket list!  The list is getting smaller as our time grows shorter.


  1. Envious we were not there for this adventure!!!

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