Hard to say goodbye to Samoa

By Sandra Nauth ,

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WITH SOME OF THE SAMOA OBSERVER TEAM:  Ilia L. Likou, Sandra Rauth, Nina Ash, Sanele Falaniko, Terry Tovio, Misifosa Uale and Fa’atafugagaomanu Larry Warren.

WITH SOME OF THE SAMOA OBSERVER TEAM: Ilia L. Likou, Sandra Rauth, Nina Ash, Sanele Falaniko, Terry Tovio, Misifosa Uale and Fa’atafugagaomanu Larry Warren.

Every good thing comes to an end. And today, it is my turn to say goodbye not only to my Samoa Observer family but also to Samoa as I begin to make my way back to Germany.

Samoa – and the Samoa Observer – has been my home for the past four weeks. Time has passed by so quickly.

I still have the feeling that I had just arrived yesterday.

But as it says in life, everything must come to an end. And thus I look back on four very intensive weeks, of which I will certainly take home many, many nice and positive impressions and experiences.

First of all I was finally able to realize my lifetime dream, namely to visit Samoa and having an insight into the journalism business.

I have not been disappointed, even more, I highly appreciate the change I have had in Samoa. I will never forget.

I had a great time here in a country where everything is so much different from Germany. Interestingly enough, although Germany is so far away, I felt consistently at home.

Lots of Europeans do have in mind that Samoa is paradise. But that is only one side of the coin, and as we all know from our life experiences, there is always a second side of the coin. 

As a visitor from far away, one should not close their eyes to this second less beautiful side of the coin. Like everywhere else in this big world, topics like poverty, crime, disease just to name a few, shape the daily life in Samoa. 

There is also a lot of work to do in Samoa to decrease or even to avoid them.

So what will I take to Germany from Samoa?

Firstly, I will remember the super friendly people. They are smiling all day, they are relaxed all the time, even if for some of them life is not always easy. 

What I’ve definitively learned in Samoa is that you do not need lots of stuff to be happy. 

Happiness is certainly a choice and one can be happy with less material wealth. This is something Samoans can be very proud of. You don’t need much to live a happy life. It is certainly a lesson for many European people.

The Samoan people made me feel at home here, even if I am a foreigner. 

They were considerate, curious and absolutely open-minded towards everybody and everything. 

Here in Samoa, people start the not only by a “good morning”, even more with “have a great and wonderful day”, although they do not know you. I liked that a lot since it is not common to do this in Germany. 

I will also remember the beautiful amazing landscape. Samoa is indeed the Pearl of the Pacific. 

Its lustrous beauty, its unique and natural landscapes  and of course the pristine beaches. 

For people who haven’t been to Samoa, pictures and a few words don’t do justice. You have to come to see it for yourself. The colours are simply amazing. And yes the heat will be a factor but it is manageable.

Of course, I have to mention my visit of Savai’i. Before I left, everybody told me that Savai”i is the real Samoa and that one has to see it before leaving Samoa. I’m glad I did. It is true, in Savai’i everything is still a bit greener than Upolu and much more quiet than Apia.

And how can I forget my time at the Samoa Observer?

It was not easy but I gained such valuable insights into journalism and the real work of a newspaper that I will never forget this moment in my life. 

It was sometimes a challenge, especially because I didn’t know people and places around Apia, so my Samoa networking was definitely expandable. 

But since in my opinion challenges are there to cope with them, it was a good practice day by day. If one wants to achieve something, one has to invest. 

At the end of the day, four weeks is not enough to get a real practice in journalism business. So perhaps there is another reason to return to Samoa.

If not, I will return to Germany and perhaps plan writing my own novel.

So thanks to everybody who supported me during my stay in Samoa and who made me feel at home even though I’m far away from my real home. 

I want to thank the Malaki family for everything, the Samoa Observer Newspaper and anyone on the streets who has helped – even if it’s just a smile.

I’m returning to Germany with many wonderful pictures I have taken in Samoa but the most beautiful memories are the ones in my heart forever. Faafetai lava and tofa soifua.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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