“LO’U NU’U PELE: MALAELOA”
Tomorrow marks one week since American Samoa celebrated its 113th Flag Day. It was an event that was well put together, themed UNITY. The festive aroma was paved by the patriotic decorations alongside the road, credited to the hard work of ASG employees. Now, it is only a memory. An impeccable memory it is, especially for the village of MALAELOA: Aitulagi & Ituau.
Several weeks leading up to April 17th, the village gathered daily in preparation. Children rushed home after school to do their homework and finish feaus so that they would not be late to practice. Workers headed west promptly at 4pm so that they would not miss any new actions or verses. These regular village meetings created a close bond amongst the Teine & Tama o le I’A VAI. There was a strong sense of camaraderie encouragement, familial connection and village pride. I for one was elated to be part of this group, more so because although I am well aware of my roots and Grandmother’s aiga, I did not grow up in the village. Nonetheless, like many, I felt the closeness.
Thank you American Samoa for allowing Malaeloa to perform on Flag Day 2013. We arrived at the malae o Lupelele as a united body and took the stage with humility. I believe we accomplished what we set out to do: fa’afiafia le aofia.
The fellowship was amazing and will be missed. The periodical laughs following Nanai’s announcements, jokes made by faiaoga (Tipeni Tuiasosopo) following mistakes, and especially evening devotions as a village were a few highlights.
On Monday, the au siva/ aufaipese gathered one last time to listen to fatherly talks by the village Chiefs and Pastors and congregated for faigalotu once again. Malaeloa came together beautifully; you would have never guessed that the last time that Malaeloa performed for Flag Day was in 1976.
All praises and glory to God for his endless love on our village. Till our next Flag Day performance – keep it I’A VAI STYLE!
LP-S Teine o le I’a Vai