From France to Savai'i, volunteers share their experience
They might be a long way from home but two French women say they are loving their time in Samoa.
Mollie Rocquentin, 25, and Rorraine Lepage, 23, caught up with the Samoa Observer where they said they find the culture and the people of Samoa fascinating.
Mollie arrived in August. She wanted to find out a lot more about the Samoan culture and her people, having read up a lot about it.
"I decided to discover Samoa because it is a very different place compared to where I come from,” she said.
“Samoa is very different from Europe and that’s the attraction for me. I love the weather, the people and the culture.”
Since she arrived, she has been volunteering at Iva Savaii where she stayed with a local family.
"The main activity in the Samoan family I stayed with was gardening. But I also helped with cooking and doing things like the traditional umu. It was great to learn.”
Mollie said the simplicity of life in Samoa is one of her favourite things. It’s something she looks forward to sharing with her family back in France.
“In Samoa, you have can have up to 15 people in a family and that’s quite normal. Not where I come from, the families tend to be very small and we keep to ourselves,” she said.
“In some families, there are only two people or four.”
Rorraine has also been volunteering in Samoa and has been staying in Savai’i.
"The thing I was amazed by is the kids,” she said.
“They do not have toys but they help with weeding the gardening and play an active role in everything including the many chores they have to do. This is is fascinating.”
Like her friend, Rorraine said family life in Samoa is something the world can learn from.
“It’s wonderful and a part of the Samoan experience I will always remember.”