Pacific Games Fever Into Schools and Village Early

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  • Decorations of village support for the Pacific Gaames
    Decorations of village support for the Pacific Gaames

Roadside flag buntings on long sticks lining both sides of the main road, are becoming early tell-tale signs of the Pacific Games reaching into rural schools and villages around the country.

In one of the villages along the coastal front on the eastern side of Savai’i, buntings showing the colours of Papua New Guinea were lined up from one end to the other.

The early roadside decorations were for the benefit of a Games village inspection visit to check on the preparations, as the host village to the Papua New Guinea contingent.

Each family were required to provide their own materials in the national colours of the Pacific nation and to set it up alongside the road in front of their own homes.

Mother’s Day visitors to the village were told by some of the excited villagers that all they know is a Games inspection team coming but no mention of when.

Some were sceptical at the PNG sports team making the close to two-hour ride from Salelologa to the eastern side of the island to see the welcoming decorations by the village.

Lingering experience of a racing Miss Samoa motorcade without a wave or acknowledgement to the villagers who waited all day to catch a glimpse of the contestants was a major disappointment reminder.

More doubts were added about decorating the village early with still more than a month before the Games. 

Roaming pigs were already digging around the bunting poles and threating to bring them down.

The district primary school was kept busy learning PNG songs and dances and also singing the country’s national anthem.

One proud mother told her 4-year-old daughter to sing the PNG anthem to their homes guests.

The little girl swayed and turned her shoulders repeatedly left to right, as she sang from start to finish the anthem she learned from school. 

She is yet to learn the Samoan national anthem.

Students have also been wearing mufti on Fridays as part of a fundraising drive to pay for the special uniform in the colour of their guest country.

The $5 tala students have to put in kept some out of school on Fridays, unable to come up with the money.

The school students are expecting to be video taped as they perform the songs and dances they have been working hard to learn already.