Aquila versus the Sliding Rocks

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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Aquila the brave: Taking on the sliding rocks at Papaseea like a champ.

Aquila the brave: Taking on the sliding rocks at Papaseea like a champ.

Still acclimating to the hot Samoan sun, Aquila of Oregon, United States, had an umbrella as her accessory of the day as she took a stroll with her mum and niece on Beach Road.

Aquila and her sister are visiting their mum who serves as a Peace Corp volunteer here in Samoa. 

Aquila and her mum were giving big sis a break by taking out her niece. Taking a moment to speak to Dear Tourist, Aquila filled us in on her Pacific holiday so far. 

“I’m finding it great, it’s been fantastic. I’ve had a phenomenal time.”

Even though her family members are avid travelers, Aquila admits this is her first time in the South Pacific.

“It’s my first time in the South Pacific; I’ve never been anywhere near here so it’s very exciting. 

“We’re kind of a family of travellers, I’ve lived overseas and they have lived overseas, so it’s familiar to live apart.”

So far, it has been the openness of our people that Aquila has noted with interest and at first she found quite disarming.

“I find people here to be very friendly because when you’re travelling people are smiling at you and you think to yourself, should I smile back? Do I ignore them? What do I do? So people are very friendly but mostly in a genuine way and not ‘I’m trying to get something from you’, so I find people here genuinely friendly.”

In between hanging out with her family, Aquila has had a taste of our local foods and found her own favourites.

“I went to the Cultural Village and I’ve had a couple of meals and we were at Namu’a. I’ve never had the breadfruit before and I like the breadfruit chips and the palusami. 

“We missed the Oka Festival. But my sister and I have tried oka before, I tried and found it too spicy for me but it was delicious. I could have had a sip but not a whole bowl,” she added.

During her adventures so far in Samoa, probably the most memorable would have to be the sliding rocks which she revealed took a fair bit of time in building up the courage to try out.

“The beaches are beautiful. The weather is very hot and I’m from a cold rainy place. I’ve done some adventuring here and that was pretty cool. I went to To Sua and that was really cool. I went to the Piula Caves which was also lovely and I just went to the Sliding Rocks which was a little scary.

“It took me so long to work up the courage just to go down the small one, I didn’t see anyone go down the big ones, but maybe because it looked so shallow at the bottom, but it took me a good 20 minutes to work up the courage to go down the small one.”

After overcoming that obstacle, Aquila recommended that anyone who was feeling a little hesitant at trying the sliding rocks should feel the fear and do it anyway, just like she did. 

“You should do it, I watch people go down and it looked a bit dangerous, but it’s totally worth it. We are taking my niece out because her mum is sick and I just went to book a snorkel trip so I’m looking forward to doing that at Palolo Deep before I leave.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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