A family from Canberra, Australia, flew into Samoa to have a feel of the culture and the way of life of the locals.
And so far, they have loved their family trip, learning as much as they can. Stacey is in Samoa with her husband, daughter, and 10-year-old son.
They wanted a more interactive destination rather than just a typical getaway resort, which Samoa offered.
Their cultural experience started from the moment they set foot on the Faleolo International Airport on their way to their accommodation.
“We noticed coming from the airport, the graves in their yards and that was such a difference for us. To see something like that, to see that the family stays with that person forever shows how much family means to Samoan people,” Stacey said.
“When you look around, it is obvious what means the most to Samoans because for an island this size, there is a church every block or two and they are massive, so you see how much religion means to them and it is a very physical way to show. Just the drive from the airport to our hotel, right away we got to know what is important.”
Stacey her son is fascinated by the way of living in Samoa and it has helped them understand the culture and to also try and adapt to a foreign country.
“Sometimes in North America we go somewhere and we expect everyone to speak English or they want the cultural aspect but the hotel room has to be perfect. Here to see the life in the fale (Samoan hut) you think different.
“We are staying in a great, nice, modern hotel, but just to understand and for me a refresher, but also for the kids, that it is a privilege that we are able to afford to travel around like that. It is important to see that there are different lifestyles and opportunities,” Stacey said.
Mackenzie added: “It is different; we travel a lot so I don’t expect places to be like back home. It is exciting to go and see different places and not where it looks the same.”
On Samoa’s tourist development, Stacey said: “To us it appears tourism is one of their biggest industries so you really have to work with that, but you are exposed to different cultures. It is impressive seeing the kids running around in the nature, kids in Canada they play their sport but they are tied to their electronics so I understand that struggle.
“For us we are very much seeking out to talk to people and this cultural village needs to be supported as much as possible because it really gave us a great start to the culture. To see the work on the crafts and the understanding of it so as to know what you buy at the markets is important.”
Stacey said there needs to be more visible street signs to help tourists.
Mackenzie, who would consider living in an open fale, said: “You don’t have all these furniture. It’s not like glamour but it is just a different way of living, some people live like that, which is interesting to see on a daily basis. I can imagine it now after seeing it before I probably couldn’t.”
One of the highlights of their sightseeing for both of them is the To Sua Ocean Trench.