Couple seek authentic Samoan experience

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi 04 January 2018, 12:00AM

A Brazilian and an Italian walked into an open fale in Samoa and decided that this was a side of Samoa that they wanted to experience.

Inara is a native of Brazil and her boyfriend, Ramon is an Italian. Both are living in New Zealand, but when the chance to travel popped up again, they came to Samoa in search of an experience as close to authentic Samoan living as possible.

“Sao Paulo in Brazil is like 24 million people no one knows anyone and it’s very different from this lifestyle,” said Inara.  

“There is a reason they are so security focused there and they keep to themselves and who they know because it can be dangerous. Samoa is like Bahia in the northeast where people are more open.”

Inara listed all the places they visited and they were very particular about what they wanted.

“When we came, we stayed in Apia for two nights and then we went to Lalomanu so we could stop and see all the waterfalls we could,” she said. 

“At Lalomanu, we spent two nights and from there we saw the other waterfalls at the To Sua trench and we stayed at Le Vasa which was nice, but it was not what we wanted. We really like more to have family around and we didn’t feel the openness.”

Inara loved being right in and among the village finding her bliss in several of her now favourite spots.

“We went to Savaia because one of our favourite villages is near there. It’s just so beautiful there and the village itself, I just want to sit there for 10 years just sitting and looking, it was a feeling of bliss.”

The couple also travelled around Savai’i and found another favourite place in the big island.

“We also went to Savaii and the first night we spent at Tanu beach fales which we really liked. It’s more about family and open fales which was really good. From there we went to Vaisala, it was beautiful snorkeling there, but it was too big for what we wanted and we still wanted the fale family style by the beach experience.

“But then we went to Satiatua and for us, it was our absolute favourite, like ever. That family and the girls there are so beautiful and powerful. And we spent New Year’s there; it was the grandmother’s birthday on New Year. They were the best. We went to the church on the 31st and we were celebrating and it was beautiful.”

Spending the last few days in Upolu, both Inara and her partner have been reflecting on their time so far and they believe they will return, but next time they will know where to go for the open fale holiday they desire.

“Last night we spent at Lusias, it was nice, but again we were looking more for open fale style housing. So next time we come back we want to stay in Satiatua and Manono because it’s more for us. In Manono it was more like a house there, but still it was perfect because it was in a high place so we could see the ocean and the sunset.”

The intrepid travelers are happy with their travels through Samoa and they will return to New Zealand on a high from such a fabulous trip.

“We are so happy we came here and we will come back. We loved the place like the food is amazing; everything tastes like grandma’s food. The nature is impressive but it’s sad that with all the cyclone and tsunami that the coral are destroyed.

“Our favourite thing here is Samoa were the people. The kids they were beautiful and they are so genuine, even the people who are so serious, when you wave to them they open up and smile to you. It was really great and I think this is one of our best trips. You know sometimes you are sad to go home, but we are not even sad because it was such a good trip.”

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi 04 January 2018, 12:00AM

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