This is it; the last photograph taken of my daughter.
It was Saturday 26 September 2009. There were some photos taken the next day but my sister’s camera broke and we could only retrieve the ones from Saturday. Our camera was lost in the tsunami.
It was the Saturday before that Tuesday. We had only arrived in Samoa the day before but we did have Friday twice because of the international date line (which has since been changed). My sister and her husband wanted to show us the tourist sights around Apia. They knew my husband would be very interested in Robert Louis Stevenson’s time in Samoa.
It’s a large colonial style house in the middle of what once must have been a large garden and plantation. Much has changed since Stevenson lived here as the house fell into disrepair until a benefactor decided that the house should be rebuilt as a museum to its famous owner. Stevenson only lived here for a few years and he is buried on the high hill beside his house (Mt Vaea).
Of course, it was a hot and sweaty day – I don’t think there are any other types of days in Samoa. We took off our shoes and toured the house. The children were amazed at the lion rug (or lioness as they kept telling me as it did not have a mane).
So here I am sitting on the steps of Vailima, Robert Louis Stevenson’s house, in Apia, Samoa with my niece on my knees, my sons beside me and my daughter just sitting a little way off. She is wearing her denim shorts, pink singlet top and pink hat with her name on it.
It is difficult to see us as my sister was, of course, more concerned about getting a photograph of the house than of us. She probably thought she would have plenty of time to take photos of us, whereas it wasn’t every day that you went to Vailima. My husband and brother-in-law had gone off to climb Mt Vaea.
This is it. The final photograph.