Liz Gargley is no stranger to Samoa.
She remembers sitting on a total stranger on a Samoan bus was quite shocking, back in 2008 but this week, she took that all in her stride and she was at total ease with the experience this time round.
She remembers Samoa exactly as it was when she was last here.
“I remember how warm it was when I arrived and then after that was it was about how warm and welcoming the people were,” she fondly recalls.
Liz is here to celebrate the 50th anniversary for the Peace Corp in Samoa.
The Samoa Observer caught up with her after the parade where they marched to the government building to mark the event.
Liz told the Observer that she is excited about being in Samoa and remembers how she felt when she first learned 10 years ago that she would be volunteering in Samoa.
“At the time you could put a preference for a geographic region and I had put down South Pacific because I had always wanted to explore that region and when I learned I was going to Samoa I was so excited!”
Liz came a week earlier so that she could take in the sights and sounds of Samoa and has been reacquainting herself with old haunts but also discovering new eateries and shops that have popped up in the last 10 years.
It’s also given Liz a chance to brush up on her Samoan language, which has been made easy by how friendly and inviting the locals have been.
“Since being here, I have been taking advantage of practicing a lot, especially going around town and talking to the locals.”
Liz hopes to return again to Samoa and hopefully bring some friends with her who have heard about Samoa and have been intrigued and inspired by Liz’s Malu tattoo that she acquired when she was last here.
“My Malu definitely gets a lot of attention in the US. Some people have asked me if I’m wearing leggings and want to touch my legs. Even if I go to a tattoo shop in America, all the tattoo artists are asking me what it is and they want to take pictures.
It gives me an opportunity to share my experience of Samoa and its beautiful culture.”