College – Issue 31

to the Papaseea sliding rocks, the Piula cave pool and the To Sua ocean trench. The group attended two fia-fia cultural evenings that featured Samoan dance, song and fire dancing. Audience participation was mandatory and the boys enjoyed themselves learning some new dance moves, especially Hunter who was singled out for a special dance lesson as it was his birthday. “The aim of this project is for the boys of Christ’s College to give their time and energy to help others who are less fortunate and to experience a different way of life,’’ says Mr Porter. “We hope it will give them a wider global perspective and a desire to help others through service later in their lives.’’ Talking to some of the boys who undertook the working visit to Samoa, there is no doubt that this goal has been achieved. It seems they gained as much from the generosity of the locals as the community gained from their efforts.

village, if only in a small way. For me it was a great experience to interact with pre-schoolers who were fascinated by everything we did. I am an only child so it was fun to be around these young kids who delighted in doing things such as jumping on the swings while we were painting them. As we did these things for others, we all got so much out of it and I would certainly put my hand up to do something like this again.’’ Mr Porter says “Life in Apia was busy, noisy and hot. It was a relief to get to Lalomanu where life was more laid back and peaceful, although still very hot. We lived in basic fales on the waterfront and this gave the boys a greater understanding of the local way of life than the backpacker motel in Apia had. But in both places the group had work to do, and, while that proved challenging in the heat at times, they certainly put in the hard yards. We had a set of goals which the boys completed and the local people and organisations were very pleased with the outcomes.

“Village life allowed the boys more opportunity to interact with the locals, especially the young pre- school children, who loved playing with and climbing over them, and the parent group who provided lunch each day,’’ he says. “It was amazing to watch friendships growing in the space of two or three days when there was little shared language and smiles and laughter seemed to be the currency of connection. “The warmth of the hospitality shown by the people of Lalomanu villagers was very humbling, especially when you find out many of their personal circumstances. The boys learnt more about the protocols of Fa’a Samoa (the Samoan way) through a wonderful farewell ceremony in which the boys and staff were given gifts as a token of thanks. The College group responded with donations of toys, sports goods and teaching resources for the pre-school.” But it was not all hard work. There was also time to enjoy some of Samoa’s natural delights with visits


College Issue 31 2016

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator