Finally! After 7 very interesting days in my new home country I was able to get the camera out and go and do some shooting. The conditions weren't the best but the worst day out with the camera is better than the best day in an office so I was grateful I had the chance. I went across the island my first weekend in Samoa but left the camera at home. This time it was charged, formatted and packed ready for action.
My colleagues took me to a place known as Virgin Cove Beach on the south coast of the island. At some point a volcano had vomited up a few thousand tons of lava that had found its way to the beach, that had then been cooled jet black by the waters of the Pacific. You could pick the locations where lava flow had hit the beach and could imagine the steam shooting hundreds of metres into the air as the waves met the liquid fire.
Sadly at the same beach you could see where the ocean had met land with a high degree of fury. Virgin Cove was hit by a Tsunami in 2009 and the scars still showed. Debris from the disaster was still strewn across the beach and threw the mangrove forest behind. A small resort had stood there before the disaster. Three beach houses or falé still stood but I have no idea how. They were damaged but somehow remained upright. A kid called Miracle ran passed me and waved as she went. A guy, his daughter and his 3 foot machete stepped out of the bush at one point, scaring the heck out of me. Those machetes are brutal but part of the subsistence life many lead here.
Another very chatty and cheerful local from the village popped out of one of the falé's and we chatted for a while. He seemed excited about the recent news that a Canadian company were going to rebuild the resort and as is the way here, his village would be employed. I wondered if he had worked at the old resort which...by law...leased the land and employed the villagers to work there.
I looked around the remains of the falé's on the beach and tried to get my head around what had happened there 7 years earlier. I looked out to sea and along the coast and wondered if it had changed much from how it was 100's of years before. I'm sure I'll see places like Virgin Cove that will peak my curiosity. Another new country and culture...so much to learn.