Sunday — a day set aside to honor our mothers
Traffic at the Laufou Shopping Center area is expected to be bumper to bumper today as residents hit the road for final shopping before Mother’s Day this Sunday, when American Samoa joins the rest of the nation in honoring our mothers.
Mother’s Day for American Samoa will be filled with church services territory-wide, with special church programs performed by mothers and for mothers. Performances will range from skits, to singing, and acting out plays from the Bible.
Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 8, 1914, designated the second Sunday in May each year as “Mother’s Day”.
“Mother’s Day is memorialized and celebrated each year to honor all mothers and to express our gratitude for the hardship they suffered silently as they tirelessly nurtured our growth and vigilantly molded our character to ensure that the quality of our lives exceeds theirs,” said Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga, in his Mother’s Day message.
Mothers are “truly God’s greatest gifts to all of us” and on this Mother’s Day “be sure to let your mother know that her love and sacrifices made you the person you are today, and let them feel your love and deep gratitude for their sacrifices which they made freely so you can have a better life,” said Lolo.
As residents of American Samoa prepare for Sunday’s special day, Department of Public Safety has called on motorists to be careful in areas where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic, such as the Laufou Shopping Center, as families do their last minute shopping.
Police also plan to beef up road patrol to ensure a safe Mother’s Day weekend in American Samoa.
Similar to previous Mother’s Days, local florists have been busy since early this week with pre orders of flower ula, Hawaiian Haku and flower bouquets. Making the week even busier for local florists is that this week also included Teacher’s Appreciation and Nurses Appreciation weeks.
Meafou Imo of Vai’s Flowers says that every year there are always many people wanting flowers for Mother’s Day and she is seeing the same flow of people to her Nu’uuli shop as last year.
However, she says her customers are now in the habit of making sure the orders are placed in advance. “People are getting tired of last minute orders and then they don’t get want they really want, because it’s all sold out,” she told Samoa News.
“So we have customers who called Monday or Tuesday to place their orders,” she said. “Our customers don’t want to come in and say ‘I’ll take what ever you got’. Instead, they want to pre order to ensure that they have the right ula or flowers for Mother’s Day. Customers are also making sure that they place their orders for the right colors of flowers.”
She says this is good business and makes it easy for florists as they place orders with vendors off island. Most of their supplies were expected to arrive Thursday night on Hawaiian Airlines. A popular item for Vai’s Flowers in past years is the Hawaiian Haku/ pale, or floral head band, and she has two staff members working specifically on this popular Mother’s Day order.
“And because of the many other activities happening this week in the territory, such as the appreciation for nurses and teachers, customers are calling as well to remind us of their orders, because they are busy with these and other activities,” said Imo, adding that students and schools are asking for special ulas and bouquets for teachers, while families and friends ordered flower ulas for nurses.
She also revealed an interesting new trend. “We are also getting ula orders from neighboring Samoa” for certain events later this week and this is keeping the florists extra busy.
“Our customers in Apia want different flowers than what are available in Apia; and they want to replace the usual candy ula,” said Imo, who is happy with the new boost in sales.
Stores are hoping to pick up more customers today for Mother’s Day purchases, while the food stores are ready for the push for Mother’s Day to’ona’i, with the high demand for the usual food items, such as taro, bananas, chicken, lamb flaps, fish, fasi-povi and other beef items.
A handful of local fishermen who go out fishing on a daily basis told Samoa News that they are hoping for good fishing this week before Mother’s Day, so they don’t have to buy fish from the store.
Two of the fishermen said they do this daily just off the ocean in their villages to support their families. “I’m looking at Saturday morning to head out fishing for our family’s Mother’s Day to’ona’i,” said one fisherman.
There are restaurants offering specials for Mother’s Day brunch — it’s Mama’s day off — no clean up, no organizing and no obligations — except to look and feel beautiful and be appreciated and loved.
Samoa News staff and management wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, as well as the special people who serve in the role of mothers in our community.