It’s not all work for Chever Voltmer of Washington D.C.
In Samoa for just over a week, she is here on a diplomacy mission that focuses on a lot of marine issues and the blue economy.
Chever is somewhat of a serious diver and she wasted no time when she arrived, last Saturday. She was straight in to four dives around Fagaloa Bay, saying that the deepest she dived that day was 28 metres.
“That was for fun, I dive a lot and when I got here, I went to Fagaloa bay straight away,” she said.
“I saw a lot of sea turtles and then yesterday, I can’t remember the name of the dive site, I think it was Black Sand beach -- absolutely beautiful and I did two dives there. Today is my rest day so I’m just prepping for meetings.”
Having never dived more than two metres, we ask Chever how the ocean wildlife was down there, at 28 metres.
“It’s beautiful. You guys should take care of it -- you’re so lucky. All my four dives were on coral reef and I saw a lot of turtles, angel fish, and other wildlife -- it was a very nice dive.”
Chever is a self pronounced water baby, finding herself more at home in the ocean, but she had some nice things to say about ‘land life’ in Samoa, too.
“Again, it’s beautiful, I love the birds. I was also impressed at how beautiful the plants are and how nicely people landscape their properties and how they take care of things.
“We drove all over the island yesterday, we went to the south side of the island so looking at the island and watching how people take care of things, it was absolutely wonderful.”
Having never been to any other Pacific Island besides Hawaii, there were some things that took her by surprise.
“What I was surprised at was how strong the culture is,” she said.
“Everybody was going to church yesterday (Sunday), all in their hats and the church bells were ringing, it was very nice.
“Besides the fact that you have absolutely beautiful landscape and people go to church a lot, I would say the art work, just looking around, it’s beautiful. The style of it is so cool -- it’s very unique.”
The Tanoa Tusitala Hotel was a good choice for her and she was taking full advantage of the facilities.
“It’s very nice here, no complaints -- what is there to complain about?,” as she gestures around to the hotel gardens.
Chever appreciates the traditional architecture around the Tanoa, as well as its tropical gardens. She told Dear Tourist that she will most likely come back, but if she could, she’d just make one small suggestion so that other first time tourists like her could have a better experience.
“One thing I noticed when we went to the Black Sands beach yesterday, which was absolutely beautiful, was that there was no signage,” she said.
“It’s very hard to find and you have to know where it is to really find it, I mean, I was with the dive guy and luckily he knew where to go.
“If you were just a tourist and wanted to go around, I think you might have a hard time finding the most beautiful spots.
“They said that they filmed quite a few movies there and TV shows, and I kept thinking, well, how can there not be a sign? Anywhere else in the world, there would have been a sign.”