Monday, January 10, 2011

What is a Beach Fale?

Me and my sister hanging outside our fale in Manese.

What happens when you don't close your fale and a storm blows in.....Mattresses fly away and get soaked.

View from a beach fale on the north shore of Savai'i.

Swimming at Manese. Our fale is in the back.

Beach fales. A truely relaxing experience

Beach fale
When the new Peace Corps arrived at Falealupo Tai to celebrate New Years, I learned that not everyone understands Samoan lingo, including people who have been living here for a few months. For example, they did not know what to expect when staying at a beach fale. They had been told that the bar had been stocked, but no other piece of information was given as everyone expects you to always know what to expect.
When staying at a beach fale, you stay in a house cause a fale’o’o. This looks like a little hut on the beach. The house has no walls, but woven mats that you can drop down to give you privacy, or shade you from the rain. Inside the house are mats with mattresses on them. The mattresses are made of foam so they are easy to carry in and out of the houses. There is usually a mosquito net for each person’s bed. There usually is not much room to walk around or do much else in the house. There is a light in the house, but no extra electrical outlet.
There is a dining room area, which is another shelter from the rain where you have community meals. There is also a shop that contains the “bar”. The bar consists of 3 options, beer (on this island they only sell the National beer, Vailima), Soda (Coke or Sprite in the big glass bottles), or bottles of water. The shop has your snacking options, such as noodles, canned meat, crackers, and a few other items.
There is a community bathroom with a shower, complete with your nice refreshing cold water.
Staying at beach fales can be a great experience as you just enjoy the simple life of what is in that village. You swim, play volleyball, sometimes people bring other equipment to play other things like Frisbees or a football, and just have fun with your friends or family.
Beach fales can be a nice relaxing way to spend a vacation.


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