2010年06月13日 | 日常

My volunteer action has come to the end of the period. Now I am pushed for time making report to every organization…

Ok, I need diversion. Wake up early and went to fish Market. If I go back Japan, it will be difficult to go fish market case I’m living mountain area…
And eventually I found it!

ヒレジロマンザイウオ。サモア人はなぜかJIM BEAMと呼んでいる。酒?
この魚、初めて見たとき、その神秘的な風貌に見入ってしまった。大きな目玉、全身銀色の鎧で武装している魚のようだ。これこそMoon fishと呼ぶべき丸い体。そして、味もうまいと聞いて、いつか自分でさばこうと思っていたところだ。
Japanese name “hire-shiro manzai uo”. ‘hire’ means ‘fin’. ‘shiro’ means ‘white’. ‘manzai’ means ‘comic duo’. ‘uo’ means ‘fish’ in English
Samoan people call it “JIM BEAM”. What?! Is it alcohol?
I was so impressed when I saw this fish first time. These rounded big eyes. Look like be armed with silver armor. That rounded body. This is the fish it supposed to be called “Moon Fish”. Besides I heard this fish is very delicious! So I had been longing for cook some day.

It was so big and heavy but only 30 tala(US$15) . Also it was fresh. So I could not stop buying it…

It’s time to cook. I tried scraping scales by using scale scraper, it never works!! Damn it! It really armed!

So I was obliged to use pliers. I pulled off every piece of scale. It was very hard work. So I asked my friends to help. She enjoyed pull off scale in the beginning, soon we were exhausted…

We managed to finish scrape scales. Then cut off the head and fillet fish in 3 pieces. We gonna grill head later.

Today’s menu… Sashimi, Carpaccio, grilled fillet. It took almost 2 hours to fillet this fish including pull off scales…

The taste is so nice. It is similar to yellow tail. We will enjoy this fish few days.
It was first time to cook such kind of fish we have to pull off its scale using pliers. It is true that here exists armed fish!

It has white part in its fin. That is why we call it “hire-jiro manzai fish’. It was awesome!!
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Plastiki !

2010年06月06日 | 日常

Shopping bag (My Bag) project which is one of my own action finished official launch, so I was feeling kind of relief. Actually I finish my work at ministry in the end of May and was planning to spend my rest of time freely. In fact, I have sent out Questionnaire to customers who are using reusable shopping bag. At the very same time…


Do you know “Plastiki”? They are cool guys sailing from San Francisco for Sydney using boat made from plastic bottle and reusable and reused materials. Their sailing is kind of rising awareness about reducing plastic waste. Now they are anchoring Apia port.

Check their website below ↓

Actually their boar supposed to land Fiji, but the bad weather has veered their boat to Samoa. I heard about them in Australia or NZ NEWS on TV. But what a coincidence they landed Samoa!!

で、何の因果かアンケート活動していた自分の取り組み、すなわちプラスチックバックを削減するための今回のMy Bagの取り組みを、どこからか聞きつけ、Crewの一人の女性が自分にわざわざ会いに来てくれた。
いろいろ話する中で、この活動の事を撮影させてもらいというオファーがあった。実は彼女はカメラマンで、この航海の様子を撮影しており、撮影した素材はNational Geographicの公式なドキュメンタリーになるというのだ!
It was just an accident that they landed Samoa. And it was also just an accident that I was working on “My Bag” project that is campaigns to reduce the plastic bags which “Plastiki” crew have also enlightened. Then one of the crew(Singeli) bother herself to came to meet me. We talked each other and I introduced my project. She is camera operator and she offered me to shoot a film about my project. That film is for National Geographic documentary. Wow, Cool!!!

We determined date and time and went to grocery store. One of the crew(David) was talking to camera during his shopping and Singeli shot him. Oh, that is documentary!
I answered some question and introduced reusable shopping bag that we printed in our My Bag project. In the end, David and Manager of grocery store had conversation bit.

This manager is environmental-friendly. After distribute reusable shopping bag to customers, he tries to maintain customer’s motivation to using this reusable bag again and again in future. Every time customers come back and use their reusable shopping bag, you can go into the monthly prize draw to win. It is very good idea for Samoan people because they like such kind of bingo or something. He always consider environment. This filming might acts as an encouragement to him. And I was interviewed too.

If this project will be inserted the documentary, it is the biggest advertisement. And this documentary put a lot of positive pressure on Samoan government to progress this action.

One meeting is one chance. My project has been helped by accidental meeting. It is important to create and stretch network everywhere.
Let’s see how it works!

River walk

2010年05月28日 | 日常

My volunteer activity has come to the end of the final stage, I wana write about my leisure time. It was the most interesting trekking tour in Samoa. Trekking? Walking? Not sure…
これはエコツーリズムにも通づるものがあり、サモアの自然を生かしたツアーであって、値段も手ごろ。独自の観光資源を活かした、そして自然環境をRespectもしているとても良いものだった。どんなツアーかというと、簡単簡単。川を登って歩くのだ。だからRiver walk.
There is something in this walking that has relevance to ecotourism. This tour is making good use of Samoa’s nature. It is not so expensive, and is making good use of their original resources for tourism and is respecting nature in Samoa. What kind of tour? Its very easy to explain… Just go up the river. (ascend against a stream)

 ある日、ピースコーの友達からテキストが来た。River walkに行くけど、来る?詳細は不明だがなんか面白そうなので即参加。ピースコーはいろんな遊び場所を知っている。
One day, I got text from my U.S Peace Corps friend. She said “we gona go river walk. Do you wana come?” I was not sure detail… but definitely I go! Peace Corps know a lot of interesting spot.

総勢11名で行くこととなった。首都から車で1時間ほど走り、奥地のlefagaという村へ。美しいLalotalieという川のほとりにfale(サモア独特の小さな小屋)があって、今日はここに泊まる。荷物を置いて、コーヒーを飲んでまったり。そしてRiver walkが始まる。オーナー兼ガイドのOlsenさん。サモア人。どうも俺が記念すべき初の日本人客らしい。日本の友達にも宣伝してくれと言われた。あいにく今日の日本人は自分だけ。楽しかったら宣伝するよーという感じでツアーが始まった。
11 people are in. We took a taxi van and it took about 1hour from capital, we got lefaga village a remote area in Upolu island. There are fale(Samoa’s unique small hut) beside the beautiful river named Lalotalie. We will stay here! Put the baggage and drank some coffee, we spent a calm time little bit, then started river walk. Mr. Olsen he is owner of this accommodation and the guide of this tour. He said I was the first Japanese participant to this tour and he asked to advertise my Japanese friends to visit his accommodation. Unfortunately, I was the only Japanese at that time. Ok, If it is fun, I would love to recommend my friends to come


We need reef shoes and water proof camera. Definitely!!
There were a lot of jumping spot and rock climbing spot. It was not inferior to Josefer’s water fall.

American girls were so brave.
We climbed river about 3 hours. I really enjoyed Samoan nature. there was the biggest waterfall in our destination. Cool!! When we go back to the fale, we walked down normal track. It took about 20min.

The biggest water fall

Going back fale.

We are exhausted but it was best spice for dinner.
Then had a chat in the fale and fell asleep…

It cost 100tala(about 3,500yen) per night. Inclusive of guide, dinner and breakfast.
It is interesting trip like adventure. They are making good use of Samoan nature. It will be popular as ecotourism if improve little bit. It is better to consider meaning of this liver’s cultural position, legend of this region and set up tour. That will be perfect!!

Hey, Olsen! This is advertisement!!

Olsen & Jane Va’afusuaga
Lalotalie River Retreat
Falease’ela-tai Villge
Phone (+685)774-8759
P.O.Box. No, 3432 Apia,Samoa
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マイバッグ表彰式 Prize giving

2010年05月25日 | 日常

Ok, we are ready for ceremony. Plenty of parties, guests and media came to ministry of environment (venue).


The ministry gives us short speech and then he supposed to introduce My Bag project and prize giving and official launch ceremony. He was speaking in both Samoan and English. I listened carefully.


He started talking about My Bag project. Wow, he was saying what a cool bag it is! I was so glad!! He is worthy to be minister!

一安心してスピーチを聞いていると、何かがおかしい! もうひとつの津波ポスターの話と話がごちゃまぜになっている!誰が大臣に説明したんだ?自分でするべきだったー!

I felt relief. I continued to listen to his speech. Something wrong… he messing up My Bag competition and Tsunami clean up poster competition!!! Who briefed to minister? I should have briefed by myself!


Then he announced winner of Tsunami poster as winner of My Bag ….


Oh, my god! Our CEO found mistake and told that to minister. Then he noticed his mistakes and announced again.

おー、これぞサモア。細かいことは気にせず、終わりよければ全てよし。皆笑って、間違いを流して、入賞者は商品を貰って、みんな幸せ!! サモアやなー。

Oh, this is Samoa. Who cares the detail? Only I care the mistakes. Everything will be fine in happy ending. Everyone was laughing and everyone was happy! This is Samoa!


When our CEO handed over printed bags to the supermarkets owner in the ceremony, there are some problems as well. But who cares? No one cares!!

という訳でいろいろあったけれど、とりあえず自分のサモア環境省での活動はほぼ大詰め。最後はサモア人の仲間が一様にほめたたえてくれた! Good job!!

That was a story of My Bag Art Design Competition. My volunteer activity is in the final phase. In the end Samoan people admired my action all the way. Goood job! Same as you guys!!

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2010年05月22日 | 日常
Judge and prize giving for My Bag Art Design Competition

Actually I prepared everything for My Bag Art Design Competition judgment alone. Set up venue, made appointment with judge member, order light refreshment and so on… I did everything by myself. Sometime SPREP people and my colleague helped me. But my office had not been interested in my project. I prepared very carefully, so I could finish judgment with no big trouble. Hum-

Then ordered printing company to print overall winning design on the bag and fixed prize giving day for winners on end of May... I got sample of printed bag. It was great! My principal saw that bag and she was so moved. Then she suddenly offered me that hold prize giving and official launch ceremony for “My Bag” in celebration of the international year of biodiversity 18th of May. That day is official. Off course our minister will attend the ceremony and a lot of media also. Perfect advertisement for “My Bag”! Why not! It was welcomed offer! Maybe I need fix my schedule little bit but ministry will set up venue and prepare a lot of things. I was wondering to ask minister to attend the ceremony. Anyway I can skip that matter.

Judge members are choosing best design…

So I accepted that offer. And inform winners and sponsors to attend that day. I was so happy because Samoan people moved their mind because they saw the printed bag. It was the moment my efforts bore fruit.
But before 1 week from that ceremony, we had a meeting and attended. Guess what… the date had been changed!!! What!? Hey what happened to schedule.??? Oh man! Here is Samoa. I know it sometime happen… hey I already informed prize winners and sponsors! Awkward!!!

Moreover they scheduled prize giving of My Bag, official launch ceremony of My Bag, and prize giving of Tsunami clean up poster( we did another poster competition at almost same time) in very very short time. Is it possible??? Are they completely out of their mind??

Then I had been busy all day in that week prepared everything. Rescheduled winners and sponsors, made scenario of official launch. I made rundown for minister with illustration on it. It says what is purpose of this My Bag, what is the most important point, what is the point which I want to tell Samoan people.

I assume I did better when I prepared everything alone. Even more I was disturbed my coworkers. But if I do everything alone, it is no meaning. I was so glad that Samoan government had been motivated. Here is Samoa!

Guess what, how it worked on that day?

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My Bag Design Competition

2010年04月28日 | 日常

I have been super busy. It is my volunteer activity. My last action. My Bag Art Design competition.

Actually, this kind of promotion is usually held by many organizations. It is for reduce plastic bags. Advertise school kids to be participants of My Bag Art Design competition and collect designs. Then select the coolest design and print that design on the bag. This is one of the ways to rising awareness for reduce the plastic bags.
When I was a trainee in Kasumigaseki (Japanese government), I did the exactly same thing when I was there. (at that time I was well taken care by principal and staff)
In Japan, that project was in big scale. But Samoa’s population is about 200,000 and Samoan people love painting. I believe this kind of competition works very efficiently in this country.

サモア政府はこの解決の第一歩として、スーパーなどで使用されるレジ袋は生分解性のプラスチックを50%以上含有したレジ袋(BIO Bag)のみ使う事を法律で定めた。
In Samoa, if we go shopping in vegetable market, shop boy put the things in plastic bag immediately. Yup, it is free. According to data, one person consumes 170 bags in a year in Samoa. Here in Samoa, they never burn rubbish. Simply they are dumped in the soil. Even using Fukuoka method (enhances aerobic bacteria, decompose organic waste faster, less cost), the plastic bags are standing out in the dump site. Samoan government tried to solve this problem by making law which insist plastic bags using in such as supermarkets supposed to be Bio plastic bag(contain more than 50% organic plastic)

What does it mean ‘contain more than 50% organic plastic’? How about rest of 50% of plastic? Will it remain long time? Is there exactly data for rate of decomposition?
My luck of knowledge of plastic bag is sack. But it is clear that we should not mass production and mass consume. My purpose is very simple. I wana decrease the amount of plastic bag. Wana close the entrance!

そして、幸運にもサモアにあるSPREP(South Pacific Regional Environment Programme)という南大洋州の環境組織の目にとまり、スタッフとの数回の打ち合わせの結果、ついにキックオフできる予算を獲得できた!!!
This is my idea. Of course there is no budget. Fair enough. Originally, technically our section does not have budget. Everything is at stake to me. First of all, I wrote my proposal, ran around to get budget. If we gona do something, whatever good plan, bad plan, we need budget. I realize this matter every activity. And I understood how difficult to get budget as well.
I ran around supermarkets they are using plenty of plastic bag, private company with no appointment by myself.
Then I was lucky enough, finally, I got budget for kick of my project from SPREP (they are working for environment in south pacific region) after some meetings with them.

Besides, I’m lucky again. I got budget for printing bags from Digicel( a major cell phone company in pacific region). So my proposal comes true!! I believe.
Actually, I met many difficulties in this point. Barely, finally, they gave me a support. I discussed heard of marketing again and again…

samoa rugby official team jersey. now my favorite

It is no meaning if only print the bag and distribute for customers. We need involve supermarkets around capital city. There are 4supermarkets in capital area. Probably we can involve 3 supermarkets. They will give discount when we carry our own bag when we go shopping and refuse plastic bag. They might contribute to encourage using My Bag by taking part in such as discount system.

We already advertised on news paper about My Bag Art Design Competition, at the same time, I visited schools (primary to college) and lectured about plastic waste, mass production and mass consume, the present condition of waste in Samoa. Incidentally, advertised our competition. My Samoan coworker said he will help lecture but he skip lecture almost all time. But I didn’t give up and continued environment education in school. Then we got more than 200 images for printing bag. It was about double as normal submission in such a kind of competition in Samoa. Cool!! It was worth to have visited schools. And it was featured on newspaper in Samoa.
Then we hold competition with judge from sponsors, of course I judged too.

lectured in school

masterpiece from kids!

over all winning design

bag image 1 now editing

overall winning design college

bag image 2 now editing
Anyway, from proposal to end, I have to do by myself. I am super busy in many ways. With other people’s support, I am working on it. Prepare for printing bags, prepare for official launching ceremony for My Bag. I am hoping people in Samoa can receive small message from this project.
I definitely update about this project again soon.
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2010年04月23日 | サモアでの発見

I have been super busy lately… I had not updated blog… bit update….

The other day, it was my daughter’s birthday! I love you cheeky little miss. Love you lovely little miss whatever happens wherever I am. Have a fun of your life. Then please play with your father when I gona back in Japan!

BTW, I had been run around Samoa busily, I got hole in my sandal.
I was just wondering why my shoes get wet so easily. This is why. Well, I covered in glue so far. Hold on 2 months. So my rest of time in Samoa as volunteer is 2 months.
I gona update soon again.

To Sua Trench

2010年03月13日 | 

To Sua Trench(トスア トレンチ)

Story in my vacation again… next time, I definitely write about my work…
It was not year end holiday.. But it was most spectacle beach I had ever been.
The name is To Sua Trench

Why is it spectacle? The waves from ocean shaved the cliff and made cave. And the wave also made well. The cave and well(trench) is connecting under the ocean by accident! We can swim from well (trench) to open sea through cave.! (see my illustration)

So, I gave you spectacle image! Ha ha.

Swim in the bottom of well(trench)

Dive and pass through the stone wall,(to pass through the stone wall, we have to dive more than 1m, and go forward more than 3m. It is so scared. Dark enough, you can start to panic easily)

Then we come out in the cave

After that, pass through the rock gate,

We can pass through open ocean!

It was so windy at that day. When we were diving and try to go forward, the wave pushed back us. Sooo scared!! Here is kind of dangerous place, you should go with your friends. Not by yourself.



We can also enjoy snorkelling, swimming and playing in a stony shore.
In one condition, we scratch body by coral, rocks…
Also the current is very strong. Watch out not be hit by rocks…
But here is definitely most spectacle beach in Samoa!
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Dwarf cave 小人の洞窟

2010年02月18日 | 日常

サバイイ島にはDwarf caveと呼ばれる洞窟がある。
近くに住むPeace Corpsの家に泊めてもらい、皆でCaveに出かけた。

There is Cave which is called “Dwarf Cave” in Savaii Island.
Some tradition about Dwarf cave say that a long long time ago, Dwarf had lived in this cave. In this cave, I heard there are tables and chairs for Dwarf and also there is pool for Dwarf…sounds interesting.
We met up Peace Corps he is living near this cave and went to this Dwarf cave.
About 1 hour walk from his house, we arrived Dwarf cave. A villager he was at entrance of
the village took us to the cave. (Need pay 5tala each)


Watering place

And there is Dwarf pool below the cliff.

The inside of the cave is really dark! We could not see anything. Absolutely darkness.
We found table! Where is chair?


I could not see anything below. Oh man! I could not find the depth of this pool. I was just wondering if the rocks are sticking from bottom…
Anyway I jumped in as special commando.

Wow, cool! What cool fresh water!! The bottom was gravel or mud?
After confirmed security, some of us who have enough courage join the pool. After swimming, it was bit hard to climb up again.

Actually, this cave is still continue to inside. No one reached the end of this cave.

夜はPeace Corpsの家でQuesadillaを!

At that night, we stayed Peace Corps house. He made Quesadilla for us. Thanks man!!
It was awesome!!
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The last sunset 最後の夕日

2010年02月16日 | 日常


I watched last sunset in 2009 at west end of the Savaii island with some JICA friends. The Savaii island lies west end of the world. You know, the international date line is lined next to this island. That’s why we can watch last sunset! The sunset in Samoa will change to next day’s sunrise in Tonga. So there was funny tour in millennium night. The tour celebrate 2000 in Tonga then jump in the jet and back to 1999(Samoa)and watched last sunset again…



There is cross mark at the west end of the world. Maybe village painted it…
What will you do in the last sunset in the year?
Well, I stood on my hand. Why? I don’t know. It was dangerous place…
So that place is very remote area. It takes very very long time to reach here.
I had friend in this village. We met before in airport. His family kindly fix bed for us and we stayed his house. Wow! I’m always happy in their hospitality!


このビーチfaleは知り合いのSamoan familyのTuimaualugaさん が経営してます。

In this last sunset beach, there is Tidal pool. It’s like a Paradise!natural rocks are forming pool. We can fishing, catch sea urchin. I wana try to make sushi using this sea urchin.
This beach fale is running by my friend of Samoan family. If you visit Samoa, please come and watch last sunset in the world!
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