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Thursday 22nd March
Samoa Information - Page 1
The Independent State of Samoa consists of a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand.

The two main islands are Savaii and Upolu. Apia (Upolu) is the capital.

The terrain of Samoa is volcanic and rugged with narrow coastal plains.

The climate is tropical with a rainy season from November to April.

O Le Pupu Pu'e National Park on Upolu is the largest park in Samoa. Other protected areas include Lake Lanoto'o National Park, Falealupo Rainforest Reserve, Sataoa Sa'anapu Mangrove Reserve and Palolo Deep Marine Reserve.

Flying foxes, skinks and geckos are found in Samoa. Birds include the brown booby, doves, herons, flycatchers, frigatebirds, terns, parrots and the Samoan tooth-billed pigeon. The surrounding sea is inhabited by marine life such as dolphins, porpoises, whales and turtles.

The traditional Samoan house or "fale" is designed to protect occupants from the sun and the rain and to keep the inside temperature as comfortable as possible.

Fales are usually round or oval in shape. Light timber is used to construct the frame of the building. Rafters and beams of the domed roof, covered with thatch, are bound together with rope. The fale does not have walls but blinds made from woven palm leaves are used when required.

The population of Samoa was estimated at 193,161 in 2011.

Samoan (Polynesian) and English are spoken in Samoa.

The majority of people in Samoa are Christians: Congregationalists, Roman Catholics, Methodists, Latter-Day Saints, the Assembly of God and Seventh-Day Adventists.

Staple foods in Samoa are chicken, pork, fish, shellfish and taro. Breadfruit and sweet potatoes are also eaten.

Coconuts are used in cooking. Other fruits available are bananas, mangoes, papayas and pineapples.

A traditional way of preparing food is in an umu, an outside oven, where food is placed on hot rocks and covered with leaves.

Kava, made from the roots of piper methysticum, is a traditional drink. Other drinks include local beer, coconut milk, cocoa and coffee.

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