Aussie couple keep on coming back

The charm of Samoa continues to make the island a favourite destination for Australian couple Chris and Sue Tilt — they just keep on coming back.

In fact the Sydney couple recently returned to Samoa for their eighth visit and are so happy to be back.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, the couple said they are also here to visit a friend who works here.   

“We have a friend who lives here in Samoa and he is working in the bank so we come and visit him and he takes us around to all the different places.”

Visiting Samoa at this time of the year has its challenges with the wet weather a noticeable feature, not forgetting the mosquitoes which can be a nuisance. But the couple is taking everything in their stride and enjoying their first day back on the island since their last visit.  

Currently, Chris and Sue call the Taumeasina Island Resort “home” and are thankful for the hospitality and the focus that the resort staff are giving them. 

They return to Sydney next Thursday so with five days to discover more of the island, they intend to make the best of their adventure. 

Discussing their interaction with Samoans during their stay on the island, the couple described the locals as very kind and hospitable people.

And with the New Year just around the corner, the plans for the next holiday destination in 2019 has begun, with Chris and Sue indicating that there is a chance they could be back again next year. 

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College hosts Samoan language week

Samoa College will mark its inaugural Samoan language week in a bid to draw its students’ attention to the country’s cultural practices and customs. College Principal Karene Faasisila, Vice Principal and staff are behind the week-long program of activities that also include the ava ceremony and cultural formalities (folafola sua, folafola toana’i, folafolaga saumolia, sula toga). According to Taumaloto Kaisa, who is a teacher at Samoa College, the program involves the whole school and doesn’t just target the teaching staff. "The college’s principal, Karene Faasisila, vice-principal and staff have initiated a Samoan Week activity not only to end off another academic term but also to highlight the importance of Samoan practices to the students," he told Samoa Observer in an interview. "The program isn’t only for the teachers teaching Samoa or is limited to students who only take Samoa. It involves the whole school with the aim of emphasising Samoan cultural practices because we have seen that some students haven’t experienced most of our practices." The week-long program this week comprises five main categories of activities that will run until Thursday. Category 1 activities highlight the importance of Samoan literacy through speech competitions, impromptu speech competitions, spelling competitions and debates. Category 2 focuses on cultural formalities such as the ava ceremony and others (folafola sua, folafola toana’i, folafolaga saumolia, sula toga) and Category 3 is Samoan sports and games such as cricket, collecting coconuts and weaving baskets. Mr Kaisa said it is important students experience and participate in Samoan sports and games in order to find out more about their origins. "The importance of students experiencing these sports is because there are a few Samoan statements that derive from Samoan games which are incorporated in speeches and formalities,” he added. "It’s important that the students experience these sports so that they’ll know where these statements come from and what it practically means. "The fourth category is a demonstration of handcrafting, weaving and printing. Students are taught on how to weave various Samoan crafts (ma’ilo, polavai, polasisi)." Students would learn the art of weaving an ietoga (Samoan traditional fine mat) and instead of tapa-making, consequently Mr Kaisa said the college had found it difficult locating an expert in that area who could teach the students which is why the elei printing activity was added. All the four categories will be implemented Monday to Thursday before the staff and student body converge on the college hall on Friday where there will be traditional performances with classes competing against each other.

By Hyunsook Siutaia 30/09/2020
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