Return to Paradise

return to paradise

Yesterday was the sunniest day we’ve had to the prior eight days, i’m not sure when the wet season begins.. but I guess its started.

The rain, smells nice. Tt has this smell of boiling coconut juice and a umu.

The thick humidity of air welcomes the presence of a cool wash-down by the gods.

My cousin Ieremia, from Leulumoega, and his brother Metuli, played rugby in the rain, the driveway waterfall at home looked eerily beautiful.

My nana screamed out “Eh! Omai i kogoku ke’i ua pe se maka a se kamaikiki”, she’s like that though, the exaggeration and making mountains out of anthills is how she rolls.  My nana’s guide to survival is the over exposre to everything from the A.C to Candles and eating too much carrots. To which I am so thankful for, she makes me smile, I love her so much. Especially, the “too many carrots” part.

I went to see Matareva, I’ve found myself in the habit of mindless driving – its so much more beautiful (and expensive) to do my personal thinking time here in Samoa.  I have a Samoa Tourist map of Upolu stuck to my wall in my room, after studying the main roads, I’ve marked and conquered every street – except for the road to Fagaloa (the origins of Nafanua) which I’ll save until I get enough petrol money (p.s it costs 5 Tala to fill the tank of a Toyota Hilux Double Cab ute, the reduced petrol prices havent hit us yet).

Ok, to the point of Matareva. I actually feel like an idiot.

Matareva is in the district of Lefaga, the place where my dad was born and bred.

Its also the setting of the “famous” Return to Paradise.  I thought that I had watched the orignal (the one with Mila Jovovich), but I was wrong, I had watched a totally different movie.

Dvd Kingz in Vaitele Fou had the 1930 something dvd, I watched it with my nana.

Morgan Tane, the white guy, washed up to an island being run by another white guy (pastor), this island being Matareva, he’s the outsider who falls in love with the beautiful samoan local – Meiava – who has his baby girl, dies while giving birth, morgan can’t face the pain so he runs away, the baby grows up and then it gets emo-emotional.

To me, the love story sucked, Morgan Tane was a prick.

The real character, was Matareva.

I’m not one to take the movie literally, the hollywood take of Samoa and Matareva displays our people as slaves (under the white pastor) and continues to disregard the village system and how our people lived in those days.  (oh before I forget, the Samoan Actors in the movie have good english! better than some today, cool eh?)

For me, the opening scenes were beautiful – it shows the whole island of Upolu, and the oldskool layout of the “village”, Samoans living in Faleo’o’s, kids laughing, men working, women weaving baskets, fishing & church.  A distant world to modern day Samoa.

So, again.. eh! to the point.

I went to Matareva, paid my tala to the village matai’s collecting the fee’s, sat in a faleo’o, it was empty.  Had my smoke & finished my vailima (yeah, I drink and drive.. shh – just like everyone else)

and then I left.

Sandi Thom was right “I was born too late, in a world that doesn’t care”

0 thoughts on “Return to Paradise



  2. ah, like it like it… thank you for the picturesque narratorial post card my bruh :o)
    Whilst you were telling your story with such verve, vailima in one hand and ganja in the other I couldn’t help but roll tape in my moinds oiyz of the sights and sounds that you experienced :o) you so luggy, i’ve yet to return to the motherland, sighs, been far too long…

    you right about the depiction of our people in that setting of long ago too, i sometimes feel when some palagi’s go down that road of making a film bout the people, i have to wonder about their research and like, dude, do you see any cotton fields? it’s jus coconuts and lush green mate so wot’s widda slavery huh? but i guess they had to depict themselves as the ‘enlightened’ ones or in a not so subtle way illustrate their ‘superiority’ for god knows woteva for i don’t know ….

    anyway i digress

    loved it bruh

    thank you for this insight

    Live long and prosper in your hood brush

    Ia manuia


  3. ha-ha i seen the milla jovovich film ur on about LOL…but i wanna watch this 1930-ish film.

    but OMG..ur so lucky…meanwhile everything else back here in syd is same ol..just not as hot and full of pollution lol.

    enjoyed the read.
    luv luv luv jc

  4. Hey i watched that movie long ago back in hawaii yea i remember the old lady sayin sumthin like “fasi, ku’i le gutu ” lol lol but yea all in all that painted a picture for me, of our people from the past and how they lived. Oka se manaia ah? Especillay the part when they sang “Good-bye my feleni”. Yea that was great.

    Have u guys seen “Emma Queen of the south seas”? Well its good incase yall havent watched it. It also takes place in samoa. Yall should check it out………………..soifua
    Ps:kilifi manuia lava ou adventures. Please if u still in samoa can u go to Paia sava’i and tell us about le au sa’a ga sa gogofo i totnu le aga………..thanks fa soifua

  5. Thank you Lauiloa! AND YES! I’ve heard of that story and danggg! I’d love to go find out about it!!..

    If I do find it, I dunno… I’d probably live there!!! the Magic land of Sa’a’s!!!

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