We spent out Saturday at the Family Fun Beach Day at Utulei Beach.
Its ironic because instead of spending the day enjoying one of the many incredible beaches here on the island, we were playing carnival games. Honestly though, it was a nice break, it will help make sure we don’t get burned out of our beach days.
This past week was Beach Week, where businesses, groups, and individuals were encouraged to participate in beach clean-up. One of the sad truths of the island is that people take great pride in keeping their own properties clean and tidy, but there is not much effort toward the island’s public spaces. There has been a big push lately, to crack down on punishing those who litter, we have been hearing commercials on the radio as reminders- “A Healthy Coast is a Wealthy Coast”.
Also, a lot of trash and debris washes up on shore and mostly gets left there. Surprisingly, it has begun to be endearing in a way. This isn’t an overly-manicured resort island. This is a paradisaical island ready to be enjoyed and explored, but where people live and work, on the same land, in mostly the same way, that their families have been on for hundreds of years.
Family Fun Beach Day
At the end of Beach Week, there was a celebration!
The celebration was put on by the Department of Commerce, which is the department where Nate works. The kids and I heard about it on the radio, the day before. When I asked Nate about it he said, “Oh yeah, some of the people from work have been setting up for that.” Husbands… I wonder if he would have remembered to mention it.
We didn’t know what to expect and when we showed up, we were pleasantly surprised. It seemed like there was something for everyone.
There were booths set up for some of the more environmentally motivated groups and agencies on the island.
There was face painting.
There were booths with carnival games, where the kids could earn tickets and redeem them for prizes.
There was a main stage with cultural performances.
There were also two or three food trucks, we didn’t have any because we stopped for lunch on the way there.
Va’a (Samoan canoes) paddling races.
And the pièce de résistance, at least for our kids, were the blow-up water slides. We were not expecting these water features, but that did not stop our kids from going, fully dressed. They didn’t seem to mind walking around soaking wet for the rest of the day, that was not too steep a price for having fun.
We spent about four hours there. By the end, Nate and I were hot and tired and ready to go. The kids were tired too but probably would have kept playing the games for another four hours, had we let them. We figured it was best to leave before anyone melted down.
Its great to see people coming together to care for and celebrate the natural beauty of the island!
What about your home? Are there programs in place? Is there something more you could be doing to care for and celebrate the land around you?
For us, we bring a trash bag with us whenever we go to spend a day at the beach. Not only to put our own trash in, but when we are done, we look around and find enough trash to fill the rest of the bag.
Share what you do to beautify and show gratitude for this amazing Earth we live on.
Samoan Language Study