From Being Hit by a Car to Flying Off Bikes, It Was an Adventure Part 3
Jenny got off my bike and told me to sit down, I knew if I sat down
right then I wasn't going to get up for awhile so I kept refusing. We
saw a store nearby, and she offered to get me a drink. While she went
to get 2 niu (immature coconuts). I didn't want to stay on the grass
looking pathetic, the people across the street were beginning to
worry, so I hopped over to the store and sat out there to wait.
I looked at my foot. There was one toe scraped up, and the big toe
was bruising on the top, with much of my nail missing and bleeding. I
brought Band-Aids with me, but didn't think that would be an
appropriate solution, as it would be on my foot, and bandages never
stay on toes, especially when you are exercising. I tried to think of
what I could do. I had an open cut, and did not want anything to get
inside it to make things worse. I did pack my Swiss Army knife and
like normal, I was wearing a lavalava. I cut off a corner of my
lavalava and used it to cover my toe. I held it in place with a hair
tie. It still hurt, but at least it was covered. That meant we could
continue on our trip.
I was in pain as we went along, but happy that we were still going
downhill. We were going downhill for so long that it felt like we
were never going to reach the shore again. We passed by Mika and
Danny's village and decided that we would take a lunch break soon. We
were in the Aleipata District, an area that was really destroyed by
the tsunami last year, and from passing by a few times, I saw
improvements each time I was there. I haven't really spent much time
there and was looking forward to getting another good look at the
We stopped in the village of Lalomanu, since there are a few nice
resorts there, so we knew we would get a good meal. As we rode our
bikes up to the dining fale, the staff members turned to look. When
they found out where we started the day, they were extremely impressed
with us. We sat down and took a look at the menu, and both decided
fish was exactly what we needed. We ordered grilled fish, and were
upset to find out that they had no fish. We were about ten feet from
the ocean, and knew that there were many fishermen in that village,
yet they had no fish. We settled for spring rolls and French fries
and decided that night we would have a delicious dinner, with fish!
While we waited for our food, we decided to take a swim in the ocean.
It felt amazing. (Besides the fact that medically I really needed to
clean my toes.) We had been riding in the heat for the past few hours
and it was nice to have a break from it.
After our lunch we got back on the road. It was extremely hot, and
neither of us were looking forward to it. We stopped several times
for coconut breaks. (It is cheaper to buy than water, and gives you
more energy!) We thought about stopping in Natalie's village, but
since she lived with a family, we knew that the 5 minute break we
wanted would quickly turn into an hour.
Suddenly we had company. There was a fish truck that kept jockeying
us for position as we took turns passing each other. We must have
switched places over a dozen times. It gave the boys on the back of
the truck a good laugh as they thought of things to yell at each for
Then I saw Jenny stop short. I didn't know why, and was confused.
The previous day she had attached a bike rack to the back of her bike
with twist ties. (Some volunteers really know how to be resourceful)
She tied her bag to that rack with string, and the bag had suddenly
fallen off. I am glad she realized it, because I sure didn't.
Some of our friends lived in Poutasi, and we decided that we would
visit them, unexpectedly, of course. When we reached Poutasi, we
asked where the palagis lived, and of course when directions to the
house got into a conversation about how wonderful the Pisi Koa were
that touched their lives.
Being in Samoa, we are used to people just showing up, but since these
people were from New Zealand and America, we weren't sure how they
would take our unexpected visit. As we let ourselves in and walked
upstairs to find them in the kitchen, they sure were surprised.
(Thankfully it was a good surprise.) We snacked on cookies and water
before deciding to take a nice cool dip in the ocean.
This village had also been effected by the tsunami, and as we walked
towards the coast we saw many frames of houses still there in the
rubble. We also walked past a group of short term volunteers from New
Zealand and Australia who were building a playground for the
community. The water felt great, but knowing that we still had a few
hours of riding (we decided by that point we would make it to Jenny's
house) we didn't stay long in the water. We were invited to stay the
night, but decided we wanted to finish it. (Well Jenny would finish,
I still had 2 hours of riding after her.)
It was still hot when we left, and we passed by a coconut stand. I
decided to fill all of my water bottles with the delicious niu, and so
did Jenny. We also drank them while we were there. All in all, we
went through 8 coconuts. It was a site to see, as the girls kept
giggling as they opened them. We needed the energy because our stop
at Poutasi meant that we would skip our delicious dinner, since we did
not want to ride our bikes in the dark (or after sa-curfew)
We passed by the National Parks where there are nice waterfalls and a
trail to Ma Tree. We were excited when we finally made it to Siumu.
Siumu is where the cross island road to Apia goes. We had ridded over
half way around. Soon we reached Sinalei Resort, the resort where our
Perimeter relay started. It marked the fact that we had ridden 64
miles so far that day. We were extremely proud, and tired, but knew
we needed to keep going.
It was an uphill journey as we did our last two hours. I don't know
about Jenny but I was exhausted from the two previous days and just
wanted to stop, but she was my motivator as she counted the villages
until we got to hers.
When we finally reached her village it was close to 8. Sa was about
to start, so we bought some food and waited for the curfew to end to
get back on our bikes. While we waited at the store, some asked Jenny
where she was. She responded that the previous day she rode her bike
to Apia, and decided to ride it the long way home so she could swim at
Lalomanu. They must have thought we were crazy.
When sa ended, we went back on our bikes and rode to Jenny's house.
It was such a thrill to make it to her house with everything that had
happened that day. We celebrated that evening with egg sandwiches and
cookies, which were exactly what I wanted.