Things to miss about Samoa

Mama dog doing her thing in the South Pacific Ocean

Since we have changed our internet provider it has become amazingly difficult to make blog posts.  Our new plan limits our megabyte usage to 500mb/month.  When you check your email, it is roughly 2mb.  Try and count how many times you check your email a month.

Too close!

I bet it is more than you realize.  Anyway, we usually do not have extra megabytes to upload pictures and stories for you all to read.  This month is no different.  However, our camera has died so, there is a limited selection of old pictures that I can post to try and illustrate what is going on now.

My private beach.

Things we will miss about Samoa.  First is our dog.  Mamma dog.  She is outside our house every morning, and every evening when I get home from work.  When we go for walks, so does she.  She follows us around so much that everyone thinks she is our dog from America.

Strange looking fish.

Sometimes we walk over to Sinalei, which is a super fancy beach resort.  They have a very strict no children allowed under 12 policy.  So, it is a pretty quiet well-kept place.  Mamma dog is even allowed into the resort.  She’ll come sit under the table while we have some food or just drinks.

BRAINS!!! …or coral.

The hotel staff see her from far away and come running over to chase her out.  As they get closer the see which dog it is, ask another co-worker about it, and decide it is ok.  Since we have already seen them coming over, they have to come all the way and ask if we need anything.  They don’t get too close though as they are scared that they will get bitten.

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.

She has never bitten a palagi.  I do not think I can say the same for Samoan people.    Mamma dog also likes to come swimming with us.  If we are just going down to the swimming hole, she takes a dip too.  If we go full our snorkeling she is right there in the water with us.  We will miss mamma dog.


We have discussed bringing her home with us, but have reached the conclusion that while her life would be much better in many ways living with us, she would lose her freedom.  In Samoa she rules a full square mile.  There is no such thing as a collar, and she can chase pigs, birds, and cows to her hearts content.  We cannot offer any of that back home.


We will miss family transportation.  You never know how you are going to get from A to B.  Sometimes it is the family van.  It is build to sit 12 normal sized people.  Somehow we always manage to get closer to 20 people in, and they are NOT small.  I like it best when the van doesn’t show up.  This means it is pick-up truck time.  Sun, rain, night, day… it doesn’t matter.  We will have the same 20 people smashed into the bed of a pick-up truck.  Don’t think about an F-350, think about a little V6 ½ ton.  Being in the truck gives me a healthy dose of schadenfreude.  Samoan people like it warm to hot all the time.  Being in the truck in the early morning can be a bit chilly to say the least.  This is my favorite time of the day.  I sit all the way in the back, where it is the windiest.  I wear only my shorts and tank-top and enjoy the chill.  Everyone else is wrapped up in sweatshirts, tarps, jackets, and anything else they can find.  I just tell them it is “palagi power”.


The vehicles are used until they break.  This goes for all consumable parts as well.  Yesterday, we had a tire literally explode.  It was a sound I will not forget.  Once we got it off and I could take a good look at it I was amazed.  It had ripped a perfectly straight line from the outer rim all the way to the inner rim, and 4 other rips around the tire.  The steel bands were showing around the entire tire.  I have never seen a tire that worn down.  I will miss ridiculous things like this.


We will miss fruit and vegetables.  Everything grows here, year round, and grows to gigantic proportions.  Also, things that grow are cheap.  We bought a massive basket of papayas for $15 tala.  There were 15 – 20 papayas in the basket. Incase your wondering $15 tala is about $6.50 USD.  We never really have to go shopping.  There is an endless amount of food growing all around our house.  Fresh mint tea is a constant.  There are fruits of all varieties.  However, we will miss Misiluki bananas the most.  They are the small lady finger bananas.  They are the common ones eaten here, and are much sweeter than the typical bananas in the states, which are not sweet at all in comparison.  Of course soursop, rombutan, star fruit, and nonu will be missed as well.  I do not think it is possible to get nonu in the states… oh well.

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5 Responses to Things to miss about Samoa

  1. thecandle2 says:

    Very nice Dave. Even I got used to Mama dog when I was out there. I hope somebody in Samoa will treat her as well as you and Karen. She will miss you guys as well!

  2. Tasi says:

    Thank you for all your hard work in Samoa. Enjoy your re-entrance back into American life.


    • Sally says:

      Will anyone feed Mama dog after you leave?

      • ntikaren says:

        We will leave a bag of dog food here for her. Once that bag is finished I cannot say. Typically dogs will be fed scraps/bones from dinner. Enough so they live, but they are extremely thin. In the wider scope of our extended Samoan host family, who live on our small road, there are a total of 16 dogs. I see no way she will get the care/attention we have provided for her. She will return to being just another dag in the pack.

      • Sally says:

        Aww, poor dog! I think you should bring her home with you! It sounds like she is so attached to you guys. She’d probably be much happier with you!

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