A proposal, lightning bolt and surfing in Paradise

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi 27 January 2018, 12:00AM

A couple found themselves in a bizarre event that can either be described as a divine sign of approval by the forces of nature or just a pure freak accident.

Adrian and his fiancée Sophie will have an interesting story to tell their guests at their wedding sometime in the near future.

“I’m from Sydney and I’m here with my fiancée that I got engaged to here in Samoa,” said Adrian. 

 “Yeah and then she got struck by lightning the next day.” 

Dear Tourist had so many questions. Of course we enquired after his fiancée’s safety first before we ventured on to ask the burning question.

What was it like?

 “It was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed in my life,” he said.

The couple was swimming in one of the lagoons near Le Vasa Resort when a lightning bolt struck.

“She was swimming in the water, in the shallows while I was standing on the beach and she was just floating and then there was a big flash of white and she screamed. Thunder just went ‘crack’ right above us. Yeah it was scary she’s lucky to be alive.”

When we asked what kind of medical treatment she received after the freak accident, Adrian replied: “Yep, We went to the hospital.” Two Panadols and plenty of rest was the medical recommendation they received.

“She’s doing alright, she felt it in her heart, her arm and her foot, but she’s got no scars or broken bones or anything , she was just sore for a couple of days so she just had some Panadol and had a rest. She’s doing much better now; certainly she has a much different outlook on life.”

Adrian and fiancée Kelly are here for a volunteering holiday where they are helping out at Matareva Resort with their hospitality experience and indulging in a favourite past time of surfing. Dear Tourist meets him as he is in Apia renewing his visa to stay for another six weeks.

“I’ve just got out of immigration to renew my visa so we can stay here for another 6 weeks and we’ll be staying here till the end of February.

“So we’re generally just helping out Matareva with the bar and restaurant. We actually got the day off to come into town.

“The waves here are really good. There are not many I’ve seen but they are quality waves and no one is out there because no one surfs. Salani and coconuts are probably the best that I’ve surfed up.”

While Adrian recommends Samoa as a holiday destination, as an experienced surfer he cautions that the waves in Samoa are perhaps best left to the professionals as the coral reefs are something to be wary of.

“There are a few other spots that I haven’t tried. I’d definitely recommend for people to come here for holidays because it is paradise, but not for surfing, unless they are experienced.

“I think it’s an untouched gem still, Samoa needs to get their name out more to promote themselves as a tourist destination because it is beautiful and it’s so close to Australia we should be getting a lot more Australian tourists out here because I mean, Bali is getting a bit done now Australia needs somewhere close to home where they can pop over in a couple of hours.”

Adrian was with his friend, Ignacio, from Chile, another keen surfer, who came here on a holiday and then decided to stay longer to volunteer at Matareva Resort.

“I was on holiday and now I am helping out, volunteering at the Matareva Resort. I am also working out in a community farm and living there,” said Ignacio. 

“What’s my background in farming? Well I worked in a winery in Australia so that’s my background,” he laughed.

“My first impression is that it is beautiful, the only problem I think is the rubbish but that’s the only one. But everything else is just beautiful. The people are nice and you have good waves here.”

Adrian said in the remaining six weeks he plans to coordinate a surfing competition at Matareva Resort to drum up some local interest in the sport and that he would love to teach surfing while he is here.

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi 27 January 2018, 12:00AM

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