Passion and wonderful memories of Samoa

By Anina Kazaz 28 September 2018, 12:00AM

Passion brought a couple from Melbourne, Australia, to Samoa. 

For Judy Turno and Neil Adam, their first trip to Samoa was for a very special reason. Neil grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland. That’s where he developed a passion for Robert Louis Stevenson’s work. 

It is one of the main reasons he wanted to come so he could visit the Robert Louis Museum at Vailima and up the mountain where he is buried.

For Judy, she spent part of her childhood in Papua New Guinea, so she has always had love for island living.

“People are friendly, laid-back, it’s much more casual and you have that feeling of being in a much more relaxed society,” said Judy.

And it is with island living.

“When I asked what the speed limit is here, one guy laughed and said “there is none.” So of course that makes people from Australia think you can put down a 100 km but actually what it means is that you have to pass through slowly. I really like that,” 

Neil said he didn’t really know what to expect. It’s his first time in the Pacific region. All he heard were stories from Judy who spent time in the Pacific in 1960s.

“Obviously there has been change since that time. Life in the islands is so attractive. It is definitely a more relaxed approach to life and that is lovely to see.”

Neil added that he enjoys the fact Samoa is not overly commercialised. He appreciated the authenticity of the behaviour from locals and their cultural values.

“It is very unique,” he said.

“We are only here for a week you can go and be a tourist and see a lot of incredible things but I wouldn’t say that we got beneath the skin.”

Yesterday, they visited the Cultural Show at the S.T.A Cultural Village. He said the event was fantastic since it gives visitors an understanding of Samoa.

Neil also loves the family oriented nature of Samoans.

“Everyone lives together in communities where in Europe the families are splitting up at a point in life and going their own ways,” he said.

 “Generations are dividing, people grow up and go away, people are brought up to go away and it’s been like that for generations. 

“It is an expectation in Europe to get your qualifications and go overseas. Whereas in Samoa, they are based with their families in their place. I didn’t even know my grandparents and I think this is a shame. 

 “I think a lot of Samoans left Samoa for work but then they come back. 

“It is probably the restriction of opportunities to get a career here. I know a lot of Samoans in Australia and New Zealand. So that’s probably a minus for life here but when you think about the pluses living with your family it’s a balance.”

Neil and Judy say they have had a fabulous time and this visit will not be the last.

By Anina Kazaz 28 September 2018, 12:00AM

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