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Samoa offers respite for Canadians

It is a long way from Yukon in northwestern Canada to Samoa in the Pacific Islands.

It was a challenge going from a winter chill of -30 degrees Celsius to a Samoan daily room temperature of close to 30 degrees. But best friends Jen Horton and Claude Chabot were not entirely disappointed, with their decision to escape the winter chill back home to spend nine days in this part of the Pacific. 

The Canadian pair told the Samoa Observer that the heat in Samoa was unbearable, though the rain in recent days was most welcome. 

“It’s been so hot! It’s been raining but we like the rain. The rain is very nice because the first few days with the sun here it’s so hot, so with the rain it’s nice, it’s comfortable and its cooler,” said 67-year-old Claude.

He spoke about the pleasures of their trip to the pearl of the Pacific, starting with the Samoa Tourism Authority’s Cultural Village.

“The culture shows were really really well done and just the beautiful spirit about it. The guy who was leading that is extremely good, very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and passionate about Samoan culture,” he said.

But 68-year-old Jen added that an officer at the Cultural Village explained a lot of things that they didn’t previously know about Samoa. 

But it has been the different Samoan personalities that they have met, who made a lasting impression on them.

“We had a lovely tour of the island with a taxi driver, whose grandfather was one of the first guys on the island, and he really takes that role seriously, so that was another highlight.”

“We love the fresh water pool that we also got into off the cross island road. And we really enjoyed snorkeling at the marine reserve (Palolo Deep), that was really nice,” Jen and Claude said.

They were also blown away by the generosity of Samoans. 

“On Saturday when we did the tour with the taxi driver, he told us ‘I will bring you a meal’. And he brought us a meal to our cottage – a traditional Samoan meal of coconut cream on taro leaves and a big taro,” Jen said.

Claude added: “And he thought, you know I’m just going to do this, no thought of anything in compensation – just this friendly thing. He wanted us to know the culture, so that was a highlight.”

And while they were enjoying the comforts of the Vaiala Beach Cottages yesterday, Jen said they couldn’t wait to return to Canada. 

“Yes so we are from Canada, which is a cold place, and we can hardly wait to go back – so we can go skiing. We wanted a break from winter but we can’t wait to get back now.”

“It’s a nice trip and a nice change – but this even at night we get so hot – it’s even hotter than what we get in the summer back home,” he added. 

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