Patricia Paterson-Ruke saw an opportunity to visit Samoa through her husband’s job.
She lives in Te Puke, North Island, New Zealand.
Her partner is in Samoa for a work assignment and they arrived last week Sunday. They will be staying until 18th May.
Patricia’s partner is half Samoan and has family in Asau, Savaii. He comes to Samoa three or four times a year. For Patricia, it is her second time to the islands.
Dear Tourist met Patricia reading a book at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel poolside.
It her first time at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel and the last time she came she stayed at the Amanaki Hotel.
“My home in New Zealand is beautiful, but not as beautiful as here though,” she said of her impression of Samoa.
“The climate, the people and the green environment, it is just so nice here. Everything together makes it so beautiful and everyone is friendly and open.”
Asked of her take in the Samoan culture, she said: “It is just everything that makes the culture so beautiful and special. The pride of the family, this strong connection with the members is impressive.”
For her, the visit to Samoa is something special.
“It is special for me to come here. I would love to live here. My partner’s plan is to spend six months in New Zealand and six months here in Samoa. I would love to live here in the winter and in the summer in New Zealand,” she explained.
She plans to tour the island with her partner.
“He wants to show me a few more places. He showed me the primary school he has been to, the college and where he used to live. I see this other side of my partner, which is very interesting. I understand more about the way he is now,” Patricia said.
“Compared to the city life, Samoa is more laid back. In the city the people are more in a rush, not the same kind as back home for sure. For me to come here is a good escape from the busy life home. It is a good place for relaxing,” Patricia said.
She also got a chance to taste local food. Her partner’s aunty made oka and so far it’s her favourite dish.
She will definitely come again to the island. The next time is going to be on Christmas when she and her partner will bring the whole family, all eight kids and four grandchildren.
“I can’t wait to go home and tell everybody to come to Samoa. In New Zealand, you see more advertising for Fiji and Rarotonga than for Samoa, but I think they should put more spotlight on Samoa because it is so beautiful and the culture is wonderful.”
“It is a beautiful country and I would come back here anytime,” she said.