The year 2012 has seen out my third year in Paradise, and I think you could say that it has been the first year that I haven’t really struggled to understand the country. It’s not that I know everything about the Samoan culture, rather that I know enough to be comfortable with the country I now call home and realise that after a few years of some rich experiences, I really do understand things here. [Read more...]
Cyclone Evan struck Samoa last week, twice in fact, once from the South West, which did most of the damage and then again from the East, which really just rubbed it in. Looking around now with not a tree in sight (except for coconuts), I guess you could say that Samoa has just had a haircut – short back and sides.
Camp Samoa now has no water, no power, no phone, no Internet, no WWOOFers, no trees, no mosquitoes or flies and no privacy. We can now see the neighbours on all four sides, and can stand in the kitchen and see the lights of Apia, and great sea views! [Read more...]
Some updates from Paradise follow.
Nuts, nuts and more nuts. Someone had to do it . . . 2,4,6,8,10 . . . 5546,5548,5550 . . . five thousand five hundred and fifty peanut seeds, more or less exactly!
Yes we counted them and assuming that there’s a 10% failure rate, [Read more...]
The recently completed Teuila Festival 2011 has been a real success – at least compared to last year’s offering. No doubt the Samoa Tourism Authority will be well pleased. Savali editor Tupuola Terry Tavita makes some good suggestions and speaks quite frankly about the poor tourism participation at Teuila in his recent editorial.
The unasked question is: “What is the purpose [of the event]?” because as Terry observes – it is all about Samoa, not on generating tourism. [Read more...]
Last week, Debbie and I decided to push forward with an idea that I first conceptualised in 2009, and setup in March of 2010 – a themed bus for the marketing of Samoa.
Imagine what Walt Disney would do with a local wooden-body bus in Samoa and cross that with Bill Gates in IT, Marketing Stevo from Apple, and what Croc Dundee did for Australian Tourism marketing.
That’s it basically. [Read more...]
I’ve finally put my entire portfolio of domain names on the market, with all my really good New Zealand phone numbers too. [Read more...]
It’s been a real challenge setting up a house and home in Samoa, but we’re making some progress now. [Read more...]
Another week of action in Paradise!
Samoa is pretty much outdoor living anyway, with permanent camping the general feel of the place as we’ve got open walled Fales and a pretty constant 30 degrees year-round make for a camping-type experience once you are out of the resorts and city. Outside living though is a little different for us – we are literally CAMPING in the bush at the moment.
Fortuantely the trees drop the temperature a good 2-3 degrees and keep off 90% of the sun 80% of the day, so it is really quite comfortable micro-climate. A gentle breeze coming up the hill and the trees killing any dew, it makes for a lovely spot, actually. Note the cover for the limo – stops the falling coconuts from damaging it – until the lean-to is built. True!
The driveway has been completed – 8 truckloads of fill – teams of Samoan boys all keen for a few bucks for smokes and booze – a lot of sweat and diesel burning diggers and we now have vehicular access to our Campsite.
Water is now piped in from the roadside (we tapped into an obliging neighbour’s waterpipe, thanks!) – untreated but drinkable for the brave. That’s me! A one inch sub-main is promised but “We don’t have any 1″ pipes left so it will happen in the next financial year” we are told by Samoa Water Authority (SWA). I think it “might” just happen in a few months.
This is one big momma coconut tree that was spared from the axe. Debbie loves her coconut trees and especially this one with a bend, so it stayed, and we can just sneak the road past it, just. Palagi in Samoan clothes – shirt only on for the photo. Jandals optional but necessary on the road. Lavala is cheap and easy to buy, wear, wash. Great once you are used to them. Aussie squashable hat is a must for Palagi nose and ears when in the sun.
Now to organise transfer of all our gears from Satapuala . . . and setup an office in town somewhere.
We’re getting there after the major hiccup with the Satapuala landlords. Costly and sad to have to move on from The Airport Lounge, but we had no choice really. In the end we’ve ended up with better digs by far but we’ve basically been set back by a year and lost a few quid.
We have no power nor Internet at the campsite and are working outside on setting up shop, so I’ll chat to you again a little while later, sometime!
The clearing of a Samoan jungle has been started.
It is rare for me to be out of the office without the SWAP uniform. Wearing it at all times goes with the territory here because we draw high attention to ourselves.
It is also rare for me to be photographed, as I am almost always behind the camera snapping others.
This is a rare shot taken of yours truly by one of SWAP Ambassadors Rob Spijkerman while waiting to see the PM this week.
Of note in the photo is a series of cultural challenges – for both cultures. They are (in no particular order):