Return to Paradise for Samoan teenager
All year round, Samoans abroad flock back to the homeland to celebrate the treasured tradition of the extended family reunion.
For the younger generation of Samoans living overseas, coming back to visit Samoa is a mix between coming home and visiting a new country.
Such is the feeling for 19-year-old Shannon Maumasi from Auckland New Zealand.
She says that she hasn’t been back here for 10 years since her last visit and has noticed some big changes in Samoa mostly to do with modern upgrades.
She is quick to say that she is glad that some things have stayed the same.
“In New Zealand, it’s like materialistic stuff all the time, people stay indoors on their phones with the wifi on watching TV but here in Samoa everyone hangs out with each other playing games,” she said.
“They get out and about here because there is so much to do and that’s what I like about coming to Samoa.”
Since being on the island, Shannon and her cousins have had a blast exploring all the swimming holes from To Sua to Piula and chasing waterfalls in Falefa.
However for Shannon, a couple of weeks in Samoa is not enough to discover all of its wonders and marvels.
“Even if you spent a year here, I feel like I wouldn’t see everything that Samoa has to offer,” she laments.
“There’s so much to see!”
She plans to return again to continue her journey of discovery and connection in beautiful Samoa.