Canadian ecologist awed by Savaii

By Anetone Sagaga 02 April 2024, 10:00PM

For visiting Canadian aquatic ecologist Greg Hill and his partner Farah, their best experience has been the trip to Savaii which they feel is a track not often travelled and that is why it was special.

This is their first ever visit to Samoa and having spent 12 days in the most remote areas, they caught the interisland ferry and headed for three in Savaii which according to Mr. Hill was the best decision they have ever made.

“Every place that we’ve been to on this island is very genuine and friendly. Feels like people in the community here at birth are taught to say hello and smile, and from where I'm from, it's different,” he said.

“When we experience these types of presentation, it seems like Samoa stands out of many places we’ve been to where it is very 'touristy' and overcrowded.”

Mr. Hill acknowledged that Samoa’s marine life was abundant and full of treasures which to his profession is a healthy sign and described it as “unbelievable.”

“The sea turtles and giant clams which we had the absolute pleasure of witnessing in person is something that I’ve never been able to experience in my entire career as an aquatic ecologist” stated the 40-year-old.

He added that the plethora of fish species on the island caught his interest and made him wonder how the Samoan community should be proud of the bounty of the sea.

After spending six months working on a site in the northern parts of New Zealand, where he focused mainly on structural and functional interrelationships of organisms and how they are affected by the biotic environment.

“My partner and I decided to take a long holiday before we head back to Canada, island hopping after New Zealand to Australia, Samoa and land in Fiji before we head back home.”

Mr. Hill said Samoa’s marine life is so exquisite that he plans to revisit it soon, pinning Savaii as one of the most beautiful places they have been.

During their tour, Mr. Hill was able to participate in the demonstration of making an “umu”. His partner and he were also welcomed traditionally through an 'ava ceremony that was displayed by the Samoa Tourism Authority crew.

“The plates that were made out of coconut leaves intrigued me more as they are sustainable to the environment and also as a hunter back home, it brings us back to the basics of living.”

Overall the aquatic ecologist has stated Samoa has been an absolutely beautiful place and that he plans on visiting again.

By Anetone Sagaga 02 April 2024, 10:00PM
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