Into the final week

Time has flown by this week, compared to the first week in Samoa. We are cruising through the work and have the roof on top of our building. The septic tank was constructed yesterday and the building received a coat of paint today.

Up at the playground, the slide and monkey bars are connected and there are only a few small things to complete. The playground team went to collect stones today for the perimeter of the playground pit, under the guidance of Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale, a skilled landscaper!

The team on the church has completed a massive paint job, inside and out and today they took to the floor of the sacristy, which had been broken apart by the earthquake. They removed all the broken concrete and will pour a new slab on Monday.

Today John Paul Hinojosa left us for Fiji, where he is joining a group from Sydney's Nairana Study Centre, who are working in Vuake village, in the Yasawa Island group. Tomorrow we will say goodbye to John Gandy, Josh Ioelu and Ben Corbett, who are heading back to Auckland for work.

Meanwhile the rest of the group will be heading early tomorrow morning to Savai'i, to see some of the more remote sites, including some blowholes. We will stay in Manase and chillax for a while after two weeks of heavy work, before returning for our last three days in Samoa.

A few nights ago Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale joined us for a get together after dinner. He talked about the village of Poutasi, his chiefly title and also about that fateful day of the tsunami - 29 September 2009. After a moving account and fielding some questions, Joe whipped out the ukulele and we had a great session with some Samoan songs, some not-so-Samoan songs and a lesson on the ukulele from Clare and Eileen, two teachers from New Zealand who are volunteering their time to teach the village schoolkids, as part of Tuatagaloa's Ukulele Revolution.

We were thinking of all our donors, including Play it Strange, who donated 12 ukuleles for the cause. Hopefully the village children have more skill than some of our volunteers! Nevertheless, there was some musical skill on show from the likes of Josh Ioelu, Luke Adeney and Adrian D'Souza.

This may be the last post from Samoa, as we are heading away for the weekend and then straight back to Poutasi to finish off the work. It has been a wonderful trip with many friends made and lessons learnt, and we can't wait to get back and tell you all about it.

Thanks for reading and until next time, Fa'afetai lava and malo from the Samoa Service Project team!