Saturday, October 26, 2013

Samoa in the News

I don't know if many know it, but Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson spent the last few years of his life (1889-1894) in Samoa, where he went by the name Tusitala, "writer of tales." (Some say "teller of tales," but tusi means to write more than to tell.)

He lived inland from Apia in a place called Vailima, meaning "water in the hand," a reference to an old tale of a woman who gave lifesaving water (vai) by hand (lima) to a thirsty fellow traveler. His mansion once housed the Samoan head of state, but has since been restored (by old Mormon missionaries, no less!) and turned into a Stevenson museum.

He is buried at the top of Mt. Vaea, near Apia. I missed the hike to see his grave because I was serving on a different island at the time. But if I ever get back to Samoa for a visit, it'll be high on my bucket list.

Finally, Stevenson has a fitting memorial to him in his hometown of Edinburgh, a statue of him as a boy enjoying a good book and a visit by a beloved canine companion.

1 comment:

Whitney Hardie said...

I never knew! Cool points for Samoa.