Looking back on her one year reign as Miss Samoa, Australian-born Ariana Taufao says she sees her role as having been one of support and being involved with many organisations.
“I am very grateful to the Ministry of Education, the National Rugby League and Obesity Samoa for example for allowing me to be so involved by visiting schools, getting to know the community and focussing on them.”
For Ariana it was always very important, to let the communities know that what they are doing is important for Samoa.
“It has been a great learning experience,” she said , and there have been a whole bundle of highlights.”
The ones she said which really touched by heart, were visits to the grassroots of the community, and getting involved with mothers and fathers, kids as well as the elderly.
Other major highlights were participation in the Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam and getting to know Samoa on a more personal level.
During her reign, Ariana said she didn’t want to be seen only as somebody appearing at events but as a normal person who people felt comfortable talking to. She also had some personal goals to achieve and she added more objectives to her bucket list that she had not been aware of at the beginning of her journey.
All in all she liked everything, she said - the ups as well as the downs, but most of the time it has been a great experience.
And Ariana is happy to pass those experiences on to a successor to let her know and be aware what to do with the role as Miss Samoa.
Of course, there have been some unexpected things, difficulties, but in her opinion those are always part of the life.
“You can never really be fully aware of a situation until you’re going through it. It is just about adapting” was Ariana’s comment. As for some personal recommendations for her successor, she said that it is most important to trust in yourself, to trust in God and have faith in yourself.
And that this is not only important for the next Miss Samoa but also for all girls in general. The next Miss Samoa shouldn’t be afraid of this journey, she said. “Nobody comes into this knowing everything. It is more like, ‘come into it and learn about it’, which is the main thing.
After the end of her year as Miss Samoa, Ariana Taufao is returning to Australia to finish her studies.