Samoa 1 April: Apia

A day of coconuts and garlands

Video of today's highlights – enjoy!

The first task this morning was to practice the Peace Run song as a warming up for the day.

The team was expanded with the addition of the five who had met us at the airport yesterday. Mr Tafaese Spencer, Suia Petana and Apelu Saua from Ministry of Sport, Education and Culture joined the team not only as hosts but full participants for the day.

Our first stop was Samoa Primary School ...

... a great introduction to the enthusiasm of Samoan students.

Vice-Principal Aukuso Ualesi provided a translation into Samoan for the younger students and sounded as though he had been doing Peace Run ceremonies all his life.

After assembling in class circles outside to pass the torch the teachers relayed the torch themselves.

The regional school inspector Vaiaso Finau was very happy to hold the Peace Torch.

It was hot!

The Peace Run journeyed on to Viamauga College where we were greeted by students lining the driveway who relayed the torch from the entrance to the field where they assembled.

The Peace Run was introduced by the very energetic principal, Tamasoalii Sairvaise. These older students were very inspired and in response to our singing returned the favour tenfold by singing their school anthem and a very heartfelt farewell song.

The last person in the huge circle made to pass the torch around the playing field was the principal who upon receiving it took off for a full sprint lap ...

... to the great delight of his students.

Both the Ministry and the Peace Run team were interviewed for TV.

Our next school, Vaivase Primary School welcomed the team with a very rousing welcome song lead by their singing teacher Louda. The children sounded awesome.

Their deputy principal Fai Falefata received the certificate of appreciation and added his own words in support of peace.

A TV, radio station and newspaper came to interview the Peace Run team.

To conclude our school visits for the day we were taken to Leififi College. Vice Principal Eturasi Nati welcomed the Peace Run team to the school.

Lead by Victor, these students welcomed us with the most extraordinary and powerful performance of percussion and voice in what we were later told, are support chants for competitions. It was amazing!

As only the year 10, 11 and 12s participated in the main presentation, the torch was taken classroom to classroom so the rest of the students could hold the torch.

A TV station came to record the whole Peace Run presentation at the school and to interview both members of the Ministry and also the Peace Run team.

Principal Malaea Lauano farewelled the team and we all came in for a group photo.

The final visit of the day was to the Victim Support Centre’s Campus of Hope, a refuge for children needing protection. They were very keen participants and extremely good at guessing the team’s countries.

Having finished the formal meetings our very kind hosts Spenser, Suia and Apelu took us on a tour of the island. The loop included lush green hills ...

... beautiful coastline ...

... a waterfall ...

... beautifully manicured lawns and gardens both surrounding the very open homes and roadside ...

... and finally a visit to the Ba'hai Centre that despite being closed, we were invited to enter by the caretaker Felice.