Fish Tale

I found this out recently talking to an old friend of my Grandmother's who now lives here in Honolulu. She tells me stories of the old days.


A well known feature of Vaisala - is the swamp - the Taufusi. It's pure swamp, has been the vaikaele for the village for a long ass time up until we had water tanks and vai mai through the pipes. Which wasn't that much better. Some of my earliest memories are playing iga ve'a in amongst the reeds and marshes of the murky Taufusi with Seleni, Lupe and Seleisa, my neighbours.

Taufusi 2

So I just found out that the Taufusi - a swampy marsh by the coast in Vaisala was originally a fish pond. It was the first breeding pond for Tilapia in Samoa back in the 1960s (or thereabouts). And some mornings when after the high tides that overflowed from the ocean into the pond had subsided, the roads lay littered with fish.

That's it really. LoL

The beach by the Taufusi at low tide.

When she told me though, I had such a stark visual - that stuck with me.

It's 1967, the morning after a storm and my grandmother's friend, a youthful Samoan beauty in a pressed long puletasi and a blooming hibiscus sei, her first day on the job as a new teacher at the recently established Vaisala Primary School is walking down the hillside to the school in the morning from my grandparents house. The air is damp with dew, the sun peaking out over the horizon through the cloudless morning sky and the roads - wet, with slight steaming vapour - are laden with... fish.

The road by my grandparents house that leads to the Taufusi.