Greetings again from Paradise. In this update I share the latest news from Samoa – plantation work continues, the WWOOFing programme and Samoa backpackers keep ticking over, I update the Camp Samoa recovery from Cyclone Evan, share news on the launch of my [s-t-i-l-l delayed] book, ‘A little Slice of Paradise – engaging with post-Tsunami Samoa‘, news on Club Samoa and I share my plans for the rest of the year.
Cyclone Evan knocked Camp Samoa around quite a bit. We lost some 50x banana trees and the roof, but I had cleared all bad and dangerous trees in the year before the storm. Everything that I couldn’t or didn’t get into the container got totally soaked and much got ruined. I retrieved that roof from the neighbours cow paddock and rebuilt the entire roof structure, despite still not having the government lease signed.
I used the limousine as ‘mental’ security and incurred debt (something I vowed never to do again) with the local timber merchant, enabling a decent rebuild. Lacking capital AND meaningful income streams in a new country is a challenge!
The gardens went to weeds while I did construction work but the bananas have rebounded and are a month or two away from producing fruit again. Pawpaws are just fruiting again now after the storm damage. The taros are all ticking over nicely keeping us all in good food.
The WWOOFing programme keeps ticking over and our Samoan backpackers flow through in steady but unspectacular numbers – it is a small market!
The launch of my book, ‘A little Slice of Paradise – engaging with post-Tsunami Samoa‘ is still delayed, pending the outcome of the Ombudsman’s investigation into the Police. Once that is settled, I can update the appropriate chapters and then we can hit the print button.
My General Manager (and supposedly business partner) for Club Samoa, Maurice Blackwell, dropped the ball and threw in the towel recently. I had developed the Club Samoa brand and products for him, set up the company, as well as the Club Credits trading system and he did absolutely nothing that we agreed on! To say this caused me grief is an understatement. His resignation follows on from a rather frank report and discussion that drew his attention to the fact that if he cannot even open a bank account for a company that he is GM of then it’s unlikely that our customers and partners are going to get looked after professionally. Needless to say, this unprofessionalism wasn’t in line with my expectations. His resignation without reason speaks volumes, so we’re now back to the drawing board and the door will now open for others to step up to the mark.
My plans for the rest of the year are to continue to develop Camp Samoa, finishing the construction, painting tidying up the lands and gardens as time and money allow, and lifting all web presence and usage of all the various businesses I’ve set up. In New Zealand you’d probably hammer just one or two business units, but in Samoa with such a small market, the various businesses and programmes and services all fit in well with each other to keep the hounds away from the door.
I’m FINALLY putting together the Ninth Heaven website and organising regular trips to Uafato. They will appreciate this effort having been let down when we closed the Satapuala business.
I’m currently working on an eBook called SAMOA on a BUDGET that gives the budget tourist the best of Samoa for the best value, and have now listed the books and eBooks in various stages of publication.
I enjoy having the various guests come through here and taking them on tours; teaching the culture and helping them learn and grow in various ways. Everybody is different. Some come with closed minds. Others are very open. Many have quite limited ability to divine reality and are grossly led by the mainstream media and fads of the day. I’ve had some very interesting talks with different guests and there are some who have really had a special time in Samoa with us. Key questions I ask relate to where they get their information from and how they can tell it is fact. I laugh a little when young guests are full of confidence, telling me that evolution is a fact, or that the Germans were the bad guys in WW2, or that the banking system is about to collapse because of [enter the pet fear here], or that Jesus was or is [enter the pet opinion here].
Not having Samoan boys around the place for the last year and having half a dozen dogs has made for pretty much trouble-free operations with only one ex-staff member raiding the place a couple of times. In some ways it is just plain old hard work here, yet in others it is quite relaxed and peaceful.
I do watch the world get busier and busier, more into debt and more sophisticated and more into debt, and am sad, yet I’ve also been able to see the world and understand what God is up to a lot clearer having lived outside my own culture for a while now.
I intend to continue blogging about the world as I see it – readership of the blogs and website is quite low, but quality relationship is high as a result with a wide range of visitors from around the globe on many different topics. It’s also an important part of me – to be able to share with others online!
Thanks for stopping by.