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It’s been a real challenge setting up a house and home in Samoa, but we’re making some progress now.
We’ve spent a large part of the last month pushing through with setting up on the land in Falelauniu, actually more up by the Aleisa Road.
It’s a good patch of land with a nice breeze wafting up the hill and a good temperature to live in – certainly in the shade of the trees – compared to much of the lower and hotter areas in Samoa.
Debbie has her garden under way. A lot of time and energy has gone into clearing the land – trees chopped down with machete and stumps dug out or pulled out – mostly by hand and the garden will do well in time in the tropical growing conditions. We have bananas and coconuts producing already from previous owners’ planting going back generations but the rest will take time to develop.
Our first WWOOFer volunteers have been and gone now (www.wwoofsamoa.com) one guy from Germany, two from Italy and another two from Argentina. Thanks to their help, the gardens are big enough to plant out and quite a few little things have been sorted – like water, generator power and now the Internet!
A pleasant surprise came last week with Samoa Tourism Authority finally wanting to talk with us meaningfully. It’s taken 18 months and has been a long drawn out saga that began for me a week or so after the Tsunami in October 2009 when I first offered my services to the Prime Minister. At the time he asked me to speak to Sonja Hunter, CEO of STA and suggested to her that she see if they could use me. In the interests of burying the hatchet and goodwill we won’t go into details about the delays, but various things have now “happened” 18 months later and it looks like SWAP and STA may be able to work together in a much closer way. This was always my long-term goal, so I’m pretty pleased to be starting to have meaningful dialogue with them.
Creating a home is way more than just building a house. Emotional, financial, social and matters of faith all roll into the equation and it’s a major life-changing event. Every new path, pipe and plant though represents another step in a pretty challenging journey, setting up in a new country.
Overall, Debbie and I are pretty pleased with the new land and what we’ve achieved in only a few short weeks. More to do but good progress every day.