A dream birthday present

By Ivamere Nataro 26 January 2018, 12:00AM

From weddings to birthday bashes, there’s no better destination than Samoa – the pearl of the South Pacific. 

On his 16th birthday, Stephen Webster from Christchurch, New Zealand, chose the islands to celebrate another year of his life. 

It was a drizzling afternoon and he was on his way for a walk around Aga Reef Resort when the Dear Tourist team met him. 

Here with his aunt, Stephen, said it was his dream to set foot on Samoa’s shores. 

“Coming to Samoa is my birthday present. I didn’t get it last year because I postponed it to this year,” he said. 

His chosen present would’ve been an opportune time for him to meet his local friends, unfortunately this didn’t happen. 

“Well my aunt brought me here for my birthday, I’m 16 and I thought I could meet some Samoan friends who I met when they came over to New Zealand, but they live over the other side of town so it’s a bit hard to get there,” Stephen said. 

While celebrations call for champagne and beers, Stephen opted to take in as much of Samoa’s beauty and create memories of his first visit here.

“Samoa is nice with warm weather and it’s relaxing,” he said. 

“I’ve been to the To Sua Ocean Trench, waterfalls and it was amazing. We had a little bit of local food during the tour, I had tropical fruits and all that and it was quite good. 

“Samoan people are friendly, accommodation is also good, laid back and relaxing.

“My best memory of Samoa is probably swimming at the To Sua Trench.”

Stephen said there’s not much difference between Samoans in New Zealand and the locals here, except those in New Zealand speak English more. 

“As a Maori, I also find similarities in Samoan culture and the Maori culture,” he added. 

On marketing the island as a tourist destination, Stephen said Samoa needs to advertise about attraction sites in other newspapers overseas. 

“I’ve been to Rarotonga. Samoa and Rarotonga each have their own places to visit and attraction sites, but I prefer Samoa.” 

Stephen left Samoa’s shores yesterday. 

He says he will definitely return.

Samoa’s beauty has left him thirsting for more. 

By Ivamere Nataro 26 January 2018, 12:00AM

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