Archives for March 2010

The Samoa Solution

There’s often a difference between perception and reality. Sometimes we want to give on our own terms in a way that is comfortable to us, and the type of giving we had conceptualised before we left to give. In fact the giving process is often two-way and sometimes cannot be preplanned. [Read more…]


The word sustainability is usually used referencing ecological issues, but there’s another raft of meanings to which it can apply – and most of them are absent here in Samoa, a lot to do with the day-to-day subsistence way of thinking and living. [Read more…]

Sunday Fun

It’s Sunday here in Samoa. So no work. I’m going to try to say this without Samoa bashing, or Christian bashing or sounding overly negative, cynical or going too deep on a Sunday, and I just KNOW that I’m going to fail – probably on all counts. So you know what’s coming don’t you? [Read more…]

In God’s Name

There’s no escaping the God thing in Samoa. We’re I’m staying if you’re not awake by 8.30am you will be rising to the sound of my old AOG mates (the happy clappies) as they wind up for their morning sing-song. Public broadcast mode seems to be their default setting and we can sing along a block away. I probably would if I knew Samoan. But it seems to me that God might have a problem or two around these parts. [Read more…]

A land of contrasts

Samoa is a land of contrasts. One minute you’ll be accosted in the street and begged for a buck or two. The next minute you’re sitting in a village with people who have nothing who are giving you all they have. One minute you’ll be ripped off and abused and the next you’re dealing with the kindest most generous and helpful person on earth. [Read more…]

Passionate people

I’ve just come off a furious few days interviewing for our first few Samoan Web Ambassadors. The depth of goodwill toward Samoa in the responses we’ve received has caught even me by surprise. [Read more…]

Second phase giving

Giving. Pots and pans are fine for a week or so post-Tsunami. Food and shelter abound naturally in rural Samoa, so what next for those wanting to give? I call this second phase giving. [Read more…]

Understanding a culture

Moving from the Western world, in which one could say I was a mildly successful, into a foreign culture and really getting to understand the culture I find myself in, has been quite a challenge. [Read more…]

Word has it

The Samoan Smile

The Samoan people have a lovely smile. They need it because a lot of them have really grumpy, serious, sad and sometimes downright scary faces to start with! [Read more…]