Saomoa is close to the International Date Line. In fact, Western Samoa and American Samoa are divided by the line. The islands of Savai'l and Upolu are amongst the first to greet each new day, and Tutuila is the last.
The Islands lost a day in December 2011 in order to bring them in line with trading partners in Australia and New Zealand. American Samoa continued as they were, presumably because of it's contacts with America.
Samoa was populated approximately 3,500 years ago by people from the Lapita culture, from whom Samoans retain navigational ability, amongst many other attributes. The population remains largely Samoan, with 7% mixed, or Euroneasian, and only .4% of the population European.
The closest I have come to Samoa was a trip to Fiji with the smalls many years ago now. Samoan images I have googled for this post indicate a similar tropical paradise of warmth, palm trees, turquoise seas and white beaches, although the history and culture seem quite different.
It is interesting to read about the culture which is the central component of a Samoans life. The "fa'a Samoa", or traditional Samoan way, remains a strong force in Samoan life and politics and is an intrinsic guideline for every person on how to live their life by celebrating and embracing traditional values, culture and environment.
Despite centuries of European influence, Samoa maintains a strong adherence to historical customs, social and political systems, and language. The Samoan way is all about family and place, elder respect, the chiefs and the church.
Red is an important colour in the culture of the islands, and the National flower, while not endemic, is the red ginger or Alpinia purpurata. The waxy bright red florets are often used on ceremonial and official occasions in the leis worn by officials, singers or dancers
For this weeks inchie I drew an image of Alpinia purpurata, or Teuila, (te-oo-wee-lah), as it is called in Samoa. I used a tattoo image as the mat, they are so graphic and interesting.
The girls came to visit on Sunday, which was lovely and I made the pumpkin ricotta gnocchi that I have been waiting to make. The whole family it seems loves gnocchi, I am slightly less enthusiastic owing to the period of time I need to stand while mixing and rolling them ready for boiling. I am not at all comfortable sitting down for these sorts of chores.
But Chris came to the rescue and helped out with the cooking. They were pretty good, all in all.
I finished them off with a sagey butter sauce and served them at the table with a basil pesto, rich tomato sauce left over from the pici I made during the week, Parmesan and a plain lettuce and tomato salad. We are still picking oodles of cherry tomatoes . Everyone just helped themselves to their sauce of choice. We finished off with vanilla panna cotta and baked rhubarb. I am not used to eating lunch now, so it was a bit of a struggle. I certainly didn't want any supper!
I chopped and froze the chives and parsley, made tarragon butter and started a jar of tarragon vinegar and turned the basil into pesto ready for Sunday lunch...the house smelt wonderful all afternoon and the freezer is very well stocked. Tim is not a herb or leafy greens grower!
I gave Bede's driver a bag of the older ones on Saturday. She is a coordinator at an aged care facility and will probably be able to share them around amongst the residents, hopefully some of them will be useful for them to use.
I have made about six Easter cards to start with today but seem to have worn out my envelope punch board and need to replace it before I can move on too far.
I am trying to focus on creating clean and simple cards at the moment, a genre I have enormous trouble succeeding with, so fingies crossed!