Why I’m staying in Samoa

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Dear Editor,

I write to respond to your letter writers who have asked me to leave Samoa. Let me say I followed my husband to Samoa. 

I would have preferred to stay in Canada but he wanted to come home and my love for him brings me to Samoa. 

Believe me I cried and begged him to stay in Canada. 

I could not live without my husband so I accepted my life in Samoa part time. 

As long as we are together and as long as there is free speech in Samoa I will be in and out of Samoa, saying what I want, how I want. 

You and your boss may find it classless and vulgar of me to describe the 79 percent drop out rate for students in the Samoan education system as an education system that is leaving the future of Samoa in serious trouble.

Sorry for the toilet reference, but it’s the truth and really an accurate way to describe such pathetic educational outcomes. 

Also why would you be offended that someone rightfully points out that the cleanliness in Samoa could be better, if it is also the truth? 

Cleanliness isn’t really a hard goal to achieve. Don’t forget I look at things differently than you. You may be used to the garbage all over the streets and in town and hardly notice it anymore, but someone looking at it as a newcomer can be turned off by the general dirtiness. 

Take the general dirtiness and combine that with recent stories of typhoid and cholera after the cyclone, plus the lack of accountability of the government and ask yourself, why would anyone feel confident about drinking the water? 

Not everyone wants to risk their health and life by walking around in submissive denial. 

You say you are not an H.R.P.P and Tuilaepa supporter but I think otherwise. I’m sure your boss is too, so perhaps it’s my pointing out how the P.M. comes up with his majority that is really what you find vulgar, crass and classless about me. 

Oh well I guess we won’t be going out for lunch together any time soon. 

I’m ok with that and I’m sure you and your boss are too. 

So Vai Autu, as long as Samoa keeps its borders open to foreigners like me, and Samoa sends its citizens out looking for remittances, and some of these citizens marry foreigners from these democratic, secular countries that have excellent education systems, and as long as free speech exists, you may not like what some us say or how some of us say it, but you always have the option to not read it. 

I stand by my comments about the poor having no representation in government, your land being at risk to foreign ownership, the dismal educational outcomes that your church run education system is producing, the general dirtiness, the undemocratic system of government that is currently operating, because that’s how I see it. 

The teuila, the frangipani, Lalomanu beach, and the dogs are beautiful though.

The bugs, not so much or some of the people who like to call me names because I’m not as quiet as they would like me to be, but usually not to my face, or those that poison my dogs or cold bloodedly run them over with their car, or those who steal from my home when they have been hired to work there, and the small group who attempted to rob us when we left the bank, I try to make the best of it. I just happen to believe that the root cause of what I perceive as meanness of spirit in some of the people is due to poverty the government chooses to ignore and church/religious/Christian hypocrisy that is exploiting the people for their own gains. 

All in all though Samoa is nice to look at, some people are kind and love dogs like I do, and I’m getting used to it all. 

Tell your boss as much as she would like me to go back to Canada, and as much as Canada and I both miss each other when I’m in Samoa I think she’s stuck with me and my unwillingness to shut my mouth. 

Looks like we all have to work on tolerance and acceptance. 

Anyway having said all this I will try to be more grateful for the rich abundant land that Samoa provides me to grow food with my husband and use less offensive terms to describe the education system and other things I find challenging about Samoa in my comments. 

 

Wendy Wonder 

Canadian in Samoa 

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