Students brave the rain for their country
Samoa's unpredictable weather in recent days failed to dampen the enthusiasm of some two thousand students who rehearsed for the Pacific Games opening ceremony on Wednesday night in the pouring rain.
The students wore raincoats provided by the Pacific Games Committee.
The Apia Park Stadium was filled with parents, families and friends who turned up in numbers to give morale support to the students - and to catch a glimpse of what the world will see on Sunday when the XVI Pacific Games officially open in Samoa.
A parent, Repeka Amituanai, told the Samoa Observer she is sad that the students had had to rehearse in the pouring rain.
But given the developments in recent days with some 500 dancers pulled, she said she wants to help.
"Everything is possible and if we pray that the rain will not continue until Sunday then it can happen if we all pray together as a country,” she said.
“It’s just saddening to see these students performing under the rain and knowing my own child, who attends Leifiifi College, easily gets flu, which is what I’m worried about.”
Students from the St. Marys College and Samoa College, who replaced the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S) schools, were also part of the rehearsals.
These two schools had only one day to practice, with the choreographers putting in more effort to teach the moves, which were necessary for success on the night of the opening ceremony.
Another parent, Tominiko Alesana, brought his family to watch his daughter, Tina Tominiko.
“Too bad the rain seems like it won’t stop even on Sunday, but of course we will still be coming to cheer for my daughter and to also be part of the Pacific Games,” he said.
Mr. Alesana was also proud of the effort by the choreographers and the Pacific Games Committee who have had to juggle the last minute decision by the C.C.C.S. hierarchy to withdraw their colleges.
“I always heard my daughter mumbling about it at home," he said.
"So it was very sad how most parents, including myself, had to hear that while we never miss out from checking up on our children how they are with their preparations for so many days."