From South Africa to Samoa

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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Teachers need a holiday too: South African Nicola Van Schanke visiting from Fiji where she teaches.

Teachers need a holiday too: South African Nicola Van Schanke visiting from Fiji where she teaches.

It’s been said that experience is the teacher of all things.

Nicola from South Africa would agree. The Pacific is a long way from South Africa and Samoa probably wouldn’t even register on the radar of many South Africans.

For Nicola, her curiosity about the elusive Pacific saw her taking on a primary school teacher job in Suva Fiji so that she could travel and see more of the blue Pacific.

“I’ve been in Fiji for one year now since last August,” she said. 

“It’s such a long way to visit from South Africa, I was looking at teaching jobs and the opportunity came up to teach in Suva so I grabbed it because it’s such a great opportunity to travel around the Pacific a little bit, otherwise it’s just so far.”

This is Nicola’s first trip to Samoa and so far she has liked what she’s seen.

“I love it, it’s really beautiful.  Yesterday I went around in the car around the southeast, spectacular beaches, it’s really good. The people are so warm and friendly and happy and relaxed. It’s very peaceful.”

Getting out of the city was Nicola’s aim when she decided on a Pacific Island holiday destination. 

After being in Apia for a couple of days she was ready to hit the big island of Savai’i.

“I live in Suva which is the capital, there’s a lot of traffic and its dense and more pollution- and it’s a lot more developed than here although, Apia is pretty developed too. I would say that this place is more for relaxing, later on I’m heading to Savaii I heard that its beautiful.”

Her accommodation was to her liking and what little local food she has tried, she found delicious.

“I was staying at the Talofa Inn, it was very good. There are two lovely ladies running the place and it’s very clean which I like. Lovely breakfast and variety of fresh fruit and coffee, it was perfect. I had one of those coconut buns in the coconut cream, it was really good and tasty.”

“I haven’t really tried out any local food aside from the food, couple of fruits I’ve tried here I never seen before but I can’t remember the names. I tried the sour sop fruit with the bumpy skin and it was delicious and tasty.”

Nicola considers herself a no frills traveller and for her life was more about collecting experiences rather than collecting things.

“I have been popping into a lot of bakeries and filling up with a lot of hot dogs since I’ve arrived. I’m on a tight budget as well so I’m spending as little money as possible on shopping or eating out and drinking and more on the sightseeing. I’d love to have more cocktails but I’m more about spending money on seeing more places and the transport to get there.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia