“It is good to be back.”
That’s what Tupa’i Sabine told the Samoa Observer yesterday at the Millenia Hotel in Apia.
The 60-year-old grandmother and mother has not been back in Samoa for close to 40 years and she could not contain her excitement at the chance to come home.
She is equally excited to see the many changes and show her grandchildren where she was raised.
Tupa’i moved to Australia in 1971. Her last trip to Samoa was in 1980, before her grandchildren were born.
Tupa’i is from the villages of Satupa’itea and Sasina. She still remembers when the current police station was simply a courthouse.
Asked how Samoa is today compared to her previous visit, Tupai said it was very different.
She says there are a lot of new buildings and road ways now compared to when she was last here, but luckily her niece who lives in Samoa and works as a lawyer in Apia, has taken the time to show her and her family from Australia around Samoa.
“My niece has been our tour guide since we arrived two days ago; she has been really helpful because I have been lost. I do not know which way to go.”
Tupa’i said it was not just the buildings that had changed in her 30 plus year absence, but also the value of her parents and the culture has drastically changed as well.
During her childhood, her parents always managed life on their own and they did not have the support of family members in Australia or New Zealand.
“They would work on plantations to give us good education and send us overseas for more education. Therefore, so we could get good jobs.
“Compared to these days, we have families that just always call us to send money and everything. But when our parents were alive they never bothered to ask for help.”
The way of life in Samoa is very different from the one her family has accustomed to in Australia, saying that it is busier and larger compared to Samoa.
“I do not mind that I want my grandchildren to experience where we come from and how our ancestors lived.”
Tupai is excited to show her grandkids around where she grew up and attended school and introduce them to some of her family living here.