Celebrating birthdays in Samoa
David Barry left Samoa in 1979 for Australia and returned home on Wednesday after 39 years abroad.
Originally from Matautu-tai, he flew into Samoa from Sydney with his wife Amelia, and is keen to catch up with family and friends after a long while.
The couple are in Samoa, thanks to the generosity of their eldest daughter, who decided that return airfares to Samoa are the best birthday presents for her parents.
Amelia turned 60 last week and David is turning 70 next Tuesday.
Their daughter and the sponsor of their trip, who is one of their six children, wanted to ensure that their birthday celebrations were memorable according to David.
Upon their arrival in Samoa on Wednesday, they did not want to wait another day to catch up with family, and went to David’s home village.
He said when they got to Matautu-tai, he realised that the land now had shops and there were families living there, whom he was not familiar with.
“I went back home to where I am from and it is really bad. It was not the way it was 40 years ago. Everything that was there is all gone now,” he said.
The bridge next to the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows brought back a lot of memories, added David.
It used to be a popular hangout for him and his friends.
“Back in the days it was very beautiful and me and my mates would come by the bridge near Aggie’s and hang there, singing music and playing the guitar.”
But the Sydneysiders have four weeks up their sleeves and intend to make the best of their stay in Samoa.
David said he is excited to show his wife the best of Samoa’s attractions. This includes travelling around Upolu and making a stop over at his father’s village Vailima, and his grandmother’s Safatoa Lefaga village.
For now, they are at the Le Manumea Resort and are enjoying every bit of the experience.
And while it has been a long time since David’s homecoming, the couple said this visit will not be their last, as they intend to bring their whole family back to Samoa for another visit.