Taxi trips tarnish view of Samoa

A mother-of-four and midwife from America has issued a warning about unscrupulous taxi drivers taking advantage of tourists. 

Jennifer Lynn, a 33-year-old, who is of Samoan origin, travelled here to volunteer as a midwife for the past month during the Pacific Games focusing specifically on assisting with home births. 

But speaking to the Samoa Observer on Thursday Mrs. Lynn said the trip had started out well when she first was taken by the island's beauty, night sky and singing.

"You always hear in the songs 'Samoa matalasi' or how the good the people are and friendly also Samoa people are kind giving people," she added.

But an unwelcome counterpoint came in the form of a string of bad experiences with local taxi drivers. 

For Mrs. Lynn and her three sons they were disappointed to see another side to Samoa. 

"What I experienced was totally different, because there was a taxi driver who charged me $150 tala [for the trip] from my house to Apia," she said, in reference to a weekly hire arrangement. 

Mrs. Lynn added that she felt harassed by certain drivers. 

"Some taxi drivers drop me home and then later they come again without any reason," she said.

These experiences and the large amount of local people littering combined to leave a sour taste in Mrs. Lynn's mouth, she said. 

"To me everything here is about money and not about [kindness] or loving the other person but people are trying to get over other people over money," she added.

Update: This story has been amended to correct details about Ms. Lynn's family life and trip here. 

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