Home is where the heart is

Home will always be where the heart is for two Samoan sailors.

Having traversed the oceans of the world for two consecutive years – as crew members of the cruise ship MSC Magnifica – thoughts of a brief stopover in Samoa, were long extinguished.

But that changed for Pa’apa’a Mataitai and Soloaiga Liua Savaiinaea on Monday.

It happened when the 3,223-passenger capacity cruise ship berthed at Matautu-tai in Apia, with a Samoa Government delegation led by the Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on hand to welcome them.

Mr. Mataitai was overwhelmed by the occasion, and seeing his wife and two children approach the ship. 

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“There are no better words to explain how I feel right now, because I’ve been on the ship for more than two years now, and having my kids around me again right now is just so wonderful,” he told the Samoa Observer, in an interview.

“This moment is explained as when you lose someone for years and has now been reunited again.”

Samoan sailor, Principal T Soloaiga Liua Savaiinaea, spoke of the experiences they’ve had to face during the cruise ship’s voyage – compared to how it is now back in the country.

“Being on the cruise ship is a whole different world, where you get to approach different people with different cultures and languages. And back here at home (in Samoa), I’m just obliged with only one language and culture to obey,” he said.

Another Samoan sailor, who didn’t want to be identified, said each one of them has a nine-month contract with the MSC Magnifica, and returning to the country works out for those who just ended their contracts. 

“It’s a perfect opportunity for us – who have finished the contracts and are on a break – to come to Samoa because we wouldn’t want to spend so many hours on the plane to come back to Samoa to visit our loved ones. We’re so grateful towards the MSC Magnifica and the management for the wonderful opportunity,” he said.

The MSC Magnifica departed Apia for Tonga 5.00pm Monday and berths at Nukualofa this morning. It will then head to Suva and Lautoka in Fiji for the weekend, before leaving for New Zealand early next week.

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