From the other side of the world

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Mr and Mrs. Parker at the Cultural Village near the Samoa Tourism Authority.

Mr and Mrs. Parker at the Cultural Village near the Samoa Tourism Authority.

Brian Parker from England, says he is 108 years old. He and his wife are visiting Samoa for the very first time.

Despite the long distance from his home, Mr. Parker is enjoying travelling the world and experiencing the different cultures and the people.

Dear Tourist caught up with Mr. Parker at the Cultural Village where he was learning about the Samoan food and culture.

As to what his secret is behind his youthful looks despite his age, he said “eat lots of good, healthy food.”

It sounds simple enough but  his young-looking features attest to that.

He also believes that Samoans living in London should work together to promote Samoa so that people will know about it.

“It’s good to get them as part of a tourist exhibition so they can sell your country and one of the things they need to do is to point out different ways to get here which is a difficulty,” he said.

“The other thing they need to do is to be very clear about the accommodation available.

“People are going to come here from England and they will be doing it themselves. They will not be coming on a tour so they need as much information as you can provide in England so that the tourists can come and they know what to expect here.

“I’ve been really impressed and I know a little of Samoa’s history and that of  Fiji and other Pacific islands because I’ve studied politics.

“To sell Samoa as a tourist destination they are going to have to get past Australia and New Zealand who everyone knows about.

“As we know many of the Samoan rugby players live in London so if Samoa uses rugby players to sell Samoa, it will be a great benefit.

“There is a place called Earls Court in London they do huge tourist exhibitions every year and I believe if Samoans in London take part in that, then more tourists will be coming here.

“We have been here for five days and we will be going on to Fiji and I knew about Samoa from what I was studying but this is our first time here.

“We have been to the ToSua Trench, Lalomanu Beach and the waterfalls.

“Samoan people are very friendly and are willing to help and it’s a very religious island but I knew that because most European people are not and as we can see everywhere we look there’s a church. In England only four percent of people go to church.

“Food has been good and some of the places we have looked at are beautiful.”

So will he be coming back?

“The thing is I’m very old, I’m 108 and I have got so many places to see in the world but we’re already talking about encouraging a friendship between my granddaughter and our friend from the villages so our children can write to each other and make contact.

“But whether we come back it all depends if we come back to Australia.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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