By Andy McCallum
Fa’afetai Samoa. As I head back to Australia at the end of the month to be with my family after more than two amazing years in Samoa, I have much to be thankful for.
Fa’afetai for the opportunity to meet such amazing people.
Fa’afetai to all the wonderful Samoan people whose smiles will always be with me.
To those who are so entrepreneurial in earning money for their families; to those resilient people who continue to push through the challenges that the system, the churches, the politicians and families can sometimes throw at them.
To the Palagi ex-pats who I would never have met, and become fast friends with, had it not been for the all-encompassing way of life in Samoa.
To the ‘long-termers’ who embrace all the new ex-pats on island and will always stay in my heart; to my amazing team at Oceania Gas – hardworking and always with a smile; to a place that taught me that it is okay to be a ‘bit’ late and that taught me patience (most of the time); and to the newspaper guy who knows I will buy a paper as I enter the McDonald’s drive-through and helped changed my tire in the rain.
Fa’afetai for fa’asamoa…fa’afetai to the resort servers, the casino dealers, the car washers, the vegetable growers, the netball and soccer players, the horse riders, the board members, the charity workers, the fighting boxers, the car drivers (with bonnet-mounted Pegasus), taxi drivers, cricket players, the security guarders, police marchers, the L.T.A watchers, the pu-pu makers, the cyclone watchers, the house cleaners, the letter writers, the policy makers, the shirt makers, the run runners and walk walkers, golf buggy drivers, the All Black watchers, the alo paopao paddlers, the dive instructors, the BBQ cookers, the coffee makers, and most importantly the beer brewers…fa’afetai!
Fa’afetai Samoa for the amazing memories for my family.
From Moso’s footprint to Tafatafa’s beaches and to everything in between…fa’afetai.
This place is amazing and more people need to know about it…I am sure my new colleagues in Canberra will get sick of me talking about Samoa’s beauty as I persuade them to visit your shores.
As I leave Samoa with a heavy heart, I am returning to my family, and that makes me smile.
And I have no doubt that I will wash up on these shores again.
And that makes me smile even more!
Fa’afetai, fa’afetai, fa’afetai tele lava Samoa. Tofa Soifua.