It's a Sunday morning. The smell of roast pork wanders throughout the house awakening appetites pushed along by the breeze from the ocean down the road billowing gently through the open louvres. I enjoy the light wind on my face as I look out with pity at the trees and rooftops bearing the full brunt of the special kind of heat and humidity that only occurs on a quiet Sunday in Samoa.
The neighborhood is quiet except for the rustling of the leaves of the coconut and breadfruit trees outside, and the sound of my daughter rummaging through the pots and pans while she asks questions to those preparing roast pork for to'anai.
The sounds, scents and the heat take me back to so many other hot Sundays in Vaisala and Fagali'i. When I smelt that smell of burnt lau sului and mamoe kao as we walked back from Sunday school with sweat on our foreheads from walking uphill in our 3 layer Sunday best. When I felt that same breeze on my face when I sat in the back of the pick up riding to the store to buy some Veloveta ice cream to enjoy with imported canned fruit cocktail (the days before red velvet cheesecake with cream cheese icing). That same sound of rustling trees and waves crashing on the not so distant beach, lulling sleeping adults in broad daylight while children get up to mischief.
I have to laugh at the impracticality of wearing a 3 layer dress with socks and shoes to church on a tropical island. And at the warped notion of value at eating imported canned fruit cocktail while fresh fruit rot at our feet. And the strangeness of a whole nation taking a nap in unison after enjoying a feast of Samoan proportions. It's kind of funny, because as impractical and warped and strange as these Sunday rituals are, I must say, I've really not changed much at all. Sundays in Samoa. So good.
I think the food is ready now.