Fond memories of our beautiful isles are why Derek John Davies returned to Samoa.
Derek is an exchange student from the James Cook University and he was studying at the National University of Samoa at the beginning of this year.
“This is my second time in Samoa and I studied at National University of Samoa for the first semester. I came back so that I can have a holiday in paradise before celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and to watch my many Samoan friends graduate from N.U.S. Media and Journalism programme,” he told Dear Tourist yesterday.
With just a few months in Samoa, he fell in love with not only the people, but also the country.
“I was here for a short while in the beginning and being in Samoa was something definitely different for me. Since I am such a sociable kind of guy, it was easy for me to connect and make friends here in Samoa.
“Australia is far different from Samoa in so many various areas, back home I would just go to school and then straight back home.
Here in Samoa it is a different learning environment and everyone is enthusiastic and nice, I would have different friends coming to the house almost every day. One of my friends also led me into playing basketball as well when I was here, which was fun.”
The 27-year-old mentioned he has been driving around and seeing some of his favourite sights that were shown to him by his friend, Bianca, on his previous trip.
“I have only been here for four days now; I have been strolling around Apia looking at the market. I was able to have a look at the Piula Cave Pool, where Bianca took me on my last day before I left in the middle of the year,” he said.
He is currently here with a friend, Julia Paschal from Texas, U.S.A. She wanted to see Samoa for herself from all the stories that Derek told her about his experience.
One thing that they really appreciate about Samoa is not just their friends who are kind to them; it is everybody who they come across also show kindness.
“We have had a warm welcome from both the friends I have made here previously and with every new Samoan we meet. The people are always smiling and inviting. We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay and wish we could stay longer,” he added.
They are both looking forward to this upcoming Sunday where they will have a big feast at one of their friend’s house.
“Before we leave, we have a big Sunday feast at a friend’s house and we are going to eat as much palusami as we can,” said Derek.