Ngati Kuri meets Ngati Samoa

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi 20 October 2017, 12:00AM

Robyn and Jim Niho paused on their walk through Taumeasina village to take one last shot with their camera phones to remember the view they have loved to look at for the past 10 days of their stay. 

The couple was due to leave that evening so they were making the most of the day.

The couple from Kaitaia, New Zealand, told Dear Tourist that this was their first time in Samoa and they had really enjoyed their stay so far.

“Beautiful, love it,” said Robyn.  

“We’ve been to other islands and I’ve just thought about Samoa for a long time and then a special popped up so I said to Jim, ‘c’mon let’s do it’ and that’s how it all happened and now we are here.”

Jim added: “The people are different in a cultural sense but in terms of look it’s similar in that it’s all a magical paradise in the South Pacific – beautiful.”

The only other Pacific Island the couple had been to was Rarotonga and their accommodation selection on their second Pacific escape to Samoa was slightly different, but nonetheless a positive experience for Robyn and Jim.

“We’re in a bit of a different situation then when we stayed in Rarotonga because we stayed with friends living over there but here we have been staying at a resort. But mind you it’s just been awesome here,” said Robyn.

“Taumeasina Resort has just been beautiful, it’s been so nice there and we’ve even visited a couple of other resorts here and they’ve got that nice tropical look with all the palm trees but of course they are older and more established but Taumeasina has its own unique style.”

The couple told Dear Tourist that they don’t travel much so when they do, they try to get as much sightseeing as possible and they have loved the authenticity of the surroundings in Samoa pointing out some things that they each enjoyed.

“For one, the warmth and the warm water, it’s just been absolutely beautiful,” said Robyn. 

“We’ve actually toured the whole island since we’ve been here. We thought one side had more things to do than the other side of it. We checked out the Trench and Lalomanu beach. The Piula caves were magnificent and yesterday we snorkeled out to the giant clams.”

“We climbed the mountain to Robert Louis Stevenson’s tomb so that was good. We were huffing and puffing when we got there.

I had to stop a few times up there but I’m glad I did it because the view was nice and also I just wanted to say I did it especially since we had just been to the Robert Louis Stevenson museum the night before.”

For Jim, who is from the Ngati Kuri tribe of Te Hapu, which according to him is the most “northern village in New Zealand”, being in Samoa brought a sense of familiarity and some of the locals have mistaken him for a Samoan providing some very humorous exchanges. 

“I’ve noticed the hard working people here, they are pretty accommodating and I think they would do anything for you.

We haven’t come across anyone untoward. I was mistaken for a Samoan here, someone said something to me in Samoan and I didn’t reply back in the native tongue so maybe that gave it away,” Jim laughed.

Robyn laughed and added: “And the taxi driver, he was a hard case because he kept nudging Jim here on the arm saying ‘oh you’re my brother you got the same colour skin’.”

The couple took a few more memory shots from the village fales before heading back to their hotel to begin the dreaded chore of packing 

“We are going to go back and pack now and then we are going to get by that pool and not move for the rest of the day,” said Robyn. 

“Be lazy for the rest of the day and then fly out at 9.30pm. All good things come to an end.”   

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi 20 October 2017, 12:00AM

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