Re: Looking in the mirror, Samoa!
Michael, I read your comments with much agreement, however the mirror needs us to reflect on some of the more basic aspects of life in Samoa too.
The violence you highlight is the visible part of the iceberg, with the day to day theft, cheating, lying and other un-Christian acts going on as if it was normal and acceptable. Frankly, it is not and may indeed be the foundation that the other visible problems you refer to are built upon.
As a Palagi, I expect to get ripped off every now and then, putting up with it because it is usually minor, however the blatant ripping off of all Samoans by their own should not be acceptable.
For example a new petrol station that has recently opened seems to not fill your tank as much as others for the same money, so today when I took a 20 litre drum to be filled, they managed to get 23.4 litres into it according to the shiny new pumps. I brought this unbelievable situation to the attention of the attendant who promptly passed me onto the manager, who almost immediately apologised and charged me the correct $47 instead of the indicated $55.
Now, this wasn’t a Stupid Palagi getting overcharged, but a case where everyone who purchased petrol there was being overcharged by 10-15%. So much for looking after the interests of the poor Samoans...
Another example is the theft by employees, particularly those Housekeepers who take it upon themselves to steal anything and everything that isn’t locked away, including my wife’s underwear and my son’s clothes. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen people walking in the village wearing my family’s missing clothes.
It seems that the churches preach redemption on Sunday, sin on Monday here in beautiful Samoa. Fix the underlying problems and maybe the bigger issues will be easier to address.