15 Jul Samoa – why it’s good for my family
It’s coming up on six months since we moved back home to Samoa.I present to you a random list of some Stuff I Love About Samoa. There’s lots more good stuff, but here’s five.
1. My kids’ schools. I like them. No, they aren’t perfect but the advantages are outweighing the negatives. So far anyway. Big and Little Daughter are at a church school that has strict standards and rules for everything from the color of their shoes to how they braid their hair to how many times the students pray and read scriptures. Some of the rules are stupid (according to me.) But bearable. The daughters chose the school, I didnt. They wanted to go to the same school as most of their friends from church and I’m happy to see them settling in so quickly. The students and teachers are kind and friendly. Okay, so the girls complain that “everyone knows youre our mum, its annoying. They think youre rich which is so silly because Dad pays for everything cos youre so poor…” But, otherwise their transition has been painless. Its a joy for me to see my daughter come home buzzed that, “Im not the biggest girl in my class anymore. In NZ I was kind of a giant and the girls were always talking about diets and how much they weigh. Here, I fit right in and girls arent talking about their weight or their figure. Here, its more important if you’re good at schoolwork, then people look up to you and want to be your friend.” I like that. A lot. I also like it that when I go to visit their school – nobody is casually blasting the F-word up and down the corridor.
2. Driving. I can drive everywhere and anywhere here without getting lost or having a panic attack. I drive to town, to beaches, schools and to church. I see police and smile – because I actually have a drivers license for Samoa.
3. Dining out. There’s some fabulous restaurants and cafe’s here. Very reasonable prices too, for delicious dishes made with an array of local organic produce and fresh seafood. In NZ we were pitiful recluses that only ate out at the mall (since that’s the only place I could drive to…) Here we can take the Fab5 for excellent fish’n’chips at Amanaki or great Chinese food at Tang Cheng’s Restaurant. I like the lentil burgers and Thai noodle Salad at Krush Café, the oka with fried taro at Paddles Restaurant, the blue cheese pizza at Giordanno’s, the sasalapa smoothie at Pacific Jewell Cafe, the Lefaga Bay Cockles at Scalini’s, the fa’alifu kalo (taro in coconut cream) from the front of Siaosi’s Shop, and the German buns from Myna’s. (Just to name a few!)
4. Date Night. In the six months we’ve been back, me and the Hot Man have been out dancing four times (compare with the ZERO dance dates in 2013…2012…etc) I recommend Ace of Clubs and Club X for great dancing music and they’re air conditioned and non-smoking.
We meet up with friends for drinks and fab convo – while the children hang out/swim/play. We go to movies at Apollo Cinema (Only $14 tala for a ticket which is about $8 NZD.) We have sashimi and pok’e at Amanaki. We go walking and running on the seawall or up the Palisi mountain in the early morning (and I try not to say too many bad words in my mind about my personal trainer…) Because the Hot Man is the boss at work here, we have more flexibility with weekends and the afternoons, so unlike in NZ, we are able to socialize more and spend more time together. A definite plus.
5. The Outdoors. I can’t believe I’m saying this. *shudder* Yes, I have an aversion to the wide open spaces outside my house. And yes, the thought of the beach makes my skin crawl. But, the outdoors is playing a huge part in my family’s life here so I’m slowly beginning to appreciate certain things. Tropical weather means the Hot Man and Little Son swim and do triathlons and the Hot Man can do serious bike and running training for the next Ironman event. The beach has become bearable. Especially when you go with friends who have children. It takes half an hour to get to Maninoa and you can be reclining in a beach chair while your children swim on golden sand and warm (shallow) water, pretty much all to themselves. The bathrooms are clean and the open fale’s have power outlets for my laptop and for charging my phone battery. #Essentials.
What do YOU like about living/visiting Samoa?