Samoa’s beauty is a picture that’s worth more than a thousand words.
This is David Lea’s description of Samoa while showing the Dear Tourist team a sunset photograph he took at the Saletoga Sands Resort.
“That is something very important because people want to go and see the beauty of the island as well and take pictures because pictures speak a thousand words,” he said.
David was in the country with his wife, Pauline, for their nephew’s wedding.
The couple from the South of Hamilton, New Zealand, has been married for 34 years and where they come from is no different from Samoa’s scenic view.
“We’re from the rural area, it’s a farming community and it’s a beautiful country side, and very natural,” David shared.
“This is our first time here, and it’s better than anything we’ve ever seen.”
Pauline shared the same sentiments, describing Samoa as vibrant
“For me, everything has been so vibrant, the plants, sunshine, yeah, everything is lovely,” she said.
When asked if Samoa should develop to draw in tourist dollars, they both disagreed stating their reasons.
“Samoa should maintain its natural scenery and how it is, this is so beautiful, and I can’t imagine anything more natural than this,” Pauline said.
David added: “You can’t recreate nature and nature’s beauty is worth a thousand words. I’ve seen Samoa’s beauty through the sunsets; sunrise and people want to come to places like this because of the beauty in nature.
“And also people come to a place like this to relax, we come to admire nature’s beauty. You are cutting yourself from the TV, mobile phone communications, and it is one the Pacific countries that’s not commercialized, which is good.”
Pauline also gave her description of Samoa’s lush environment.
“It’s like you’re right outside your backdoor. Like getting out of a plane at the airport and driving down here, everywhere is beautiful, everywhere is natural, and it’s stunning, elegant.”
David also took time to speak on Samoa’s humid weather.
“The weather is seasonal and rainy season here comes and goes, it’s part of being on an island, you can have everything in one day and it’s no different to any other country in the world.”
Their nephew’s wedding is also the celebration of two worlds colliding – Samoa and New Zealand – which they both agreed had their own cultural rituals.
“I think to me, the biggest thing to me is the Samoan culture, the local villages involved in this resort and I think that brings the environment alive, especially when there are no foreigners to do the job, and this allows you to experience the Samoan culture, language. And the people, it’s not just the island; it’s the people as well.”
Pauline agreed: “They’re so welcoming and friendly.
“When Samoans come over to Auckland to work, we can learn from that too, especially on how they live their lives every day, a life of serving others, it’s natural and someone came here to our room and gave me a Bible and that’s really a lesson for us.”
The couple both agreed that local Samoan dishes are perfect, noting tuna as their favourite.
“After the 2009 tsunami, the corals are starting to come back and what we want to do is promote coming back here,” Pauline said.
David shared: “I’ve snorkelled here, I see fishes, corals coming back and the efforts putting into coral regeneration, it will benefit the country, not just the resort.”
Curious to know the secret to their marriage, the jovial couple didn’t hesitate for a second to share with us the key.
“Don’t break the trust, the moment you do, there’ll be consequences,” David said with a smile.
The jovial Pauline said: “Communication, being open with each other on everything and we also developed a prayerful life in the middle of our marriage. That’s a secret too.”
They have been to Fiji and Rarotonga, but somehow, Samoa is engraved in their hearts as their home away from home.
“Fiji and Rarotonga have their own benefits, but nothing has matched this.”
Don’t count them out Samoa.