I paid a visit to Lalomanu Primary School in early May and delivered two boxes full of books, textbooks and resources kindly collected by Amaroo School (thank you, Louise and the team!) and held by the Australian High Commission in Apia (thank you, Sue Langford!) after they were mailed in March. I was able to spend time at the Library on two days and to do some badly needed cleaning and dusting.
|Lalomanu Primary Teachers check the new arrivals. Deputy Principal Fa'av'uga Afioga (right) and class teachers Pelematete Tupailagi and Fa'afetai Sola (centre)|
Almost five years on, the Clea Salavert Library is still far from realising its full potential. It would be desirable to see the school utilising the Library daily rather than on an ad hoc basis. It is quite frustrating to realise that Lalomanu children have not been gaining access to their Library.
|Los alumnos de los grados 1 y 2 de la escuela primaria Lalomanu saludan a la cámara|
One issue we will attempt to deal with in the short term is the lack of books in Samoan. It is very important that children can read books in their mother tongue, not only in English, which is of course the language of business and tourism in Samoa. In a country like Samoa, literacy cannot (and should not) only focus on English. One important goal for us as Patrons of the Clea Salavert Library will be therefore to find and supply books in Samoan for the children of Lalomanu.
While in Samoa it was good to catch up with many good friends, like the Kasimani-Thomsen family. It was also nice to be able to explain the history and purpose of the Library to people who were curious about a palagi who was visiting Samoa for the fourth time but who was not on a holiday.
|Malgrat la manca de recursos i mobiliari, els estudiants de Lalomanu fan la seua feina i escriuen..|
|Neetia entró a leer durante la limpieza de la Biblioteca|
It was also a good opportunity to see the extent of the recovery achieved on the south coast of Upolu Island five and a half years after the catastrophic tsunami of 29 September 2009. It has been a slow process, but positive outcomes are beginning to emerge.
|Sinalei Resort is again a jewel on the South Coast of Upolu.|