A day in the life of a Web Ambassador . . . it’s sad, really!
I’ve done a lot of things in my life. It has been rich with experiences as I’ve pushed on every door that would open – and some would say jemmied or knocked down others that weren’t designed to be opened!
Here are a few snapshots of life in Samoa recently – for some of us, anyway. Please enjoy them . . .
This is yours truly with Urs – a newfound mate of mine. Here, I’m telling the world that “This dude is OK!” Urs is smiling sweetly telling me something like – “Awwww come off it – you’re just buttering me up!” and I am! Well who wouldn’t when the guy has the
best only sailing catamaran in Samoa?
Urs attended a SWAP Trade Meeting at Aggie Grey’s Lagoon Resort recently where we explained what we are doing. He kindly offered to assist with our understanding of the finer arts of
Vailima sailing in Samoa.
He’s originally from Switzerland, and has been in Samoa for coming up to two decades. His advice “It takes a L-O-N-G time to get to know Samoa!”
For an entrepreneur just starting out here, don’t I know that? This sort of thing is not for the faint hearted, I tell you!
My advice to anyone intending to relocate here and set up any business is the same. “It takes a L-O-N-G time to get to know Samoa!”
Urs and his assistant Ian are onto a good thing living in Samoa.
I’ve run a fishing trip and boat hire business myself in Coromandel years ago, so I know what Urs is up to. Like many of us here, he has a great lifestyle but not a big profit-making business. On a good year he pays the bills.
2009 was a bad year for my mate. The Tsunami and Survivor Series.
When Aggie Grey’s undertook to give their entire Resort to the film crew of Survivor Samoa last year, they took over the entire Resort and security took the entire resort into virtual lock-down. Good night, game over for Urs.
That little episode took a four month chunk out of Urs’ highly seasonal business. I would imagine that there would have been a few sparks flying behind the scenes over that decision but I guess business is business anywhere you go on the planet.
We are sure to be working with Urs to develop and build his business – both product range AND turnover – in due course.
Joe and I appear to be on the same page, sort-of. He says he’s half way through my book Lipstick on a Pig and agrees with most of what I say. I like that!
Joe is a legend here for pioneering the first real quality resort and lost his wife at the time of the Tsunami. He has been rebuilding the resort, investing what seems like a few gazillion Tala into a new wharf, bar area, a lovely walkway up from the sea and new spas, sauna and so on.
Taking the opportunity to take stock, and rebuild, Sinalei opened its doors at Easter 2010. It is fantastic to see people now frequenting his establishment, especially after seeing it vacant for so long.
Our team has to experience the sights and visit the places of interest first hand – of course. After a hard day of meeting people, filming, photographing and chatting to all and sundry, it is only natural that we should partake in the complementary chilled Lemon Grass Tea and cold towel, is it not?
Another day at the “office” comes to an end! Thank you Joe. BAck to work everyone! Oh, this IS our job! Bother what would we do if we had a holiday from a holiday?
This is a shot of the man at work – a rural village with children. On a cruise somewhere for something, somewhere, the SWAP team will pause for a photo, and a chat; and an explanation of two; and another photo and make a friend and and and . . .
This sort of life has been Ben’s for a while. Shoot all day and cut and splice all night (or so he tells us). At the end of the day the SWAP team will have something of interest. Hopefully a DVD and YouTube clip or two.
We stuck Ben in front of a camera once. It turned out an unmitigated disaster. He looked bedazzled, like a possum in the headlights of a car. He turned beetroot, ran out of words and repeated something like Ommmmmm several times and then said turn that thing off or give it to me.
All agreed he’s much better behind a camera than in front of one.
Our lasting memories of Ben will always be watching his tail end with trouser belt an inch or two above his knees as he gets in that perfect angle for that perfect shot – while we all wait for the master at work to get that ultra perfect footage.
Here he is hanging off the back of a boat filming some other SWAP Ambassadors at work!
But with shots like this beauty, why not?
This little fella loved the camera. Not a word of English but kids everywhere are the same – curious, fun, innocent . . . you name it, the’d make you cry. The parents of this little one have nothing. Actually that’s not quite right. they are “borrowing” a house and have some mats and a pot or two.
They have a machete and a stick and can dig taro and cut bananas when somebody lets them do so.
They are dispossessed people who got evicted from their village for butchering the Pastor’s cow (so the gossip goes).
Taking other people’s cows is not good. Taking the Pastor’s cows is ultra not good.
Getting evicted from your village cuts you off from family support and access to any plantation. Not good!
Strong recommendation: Buy beef in small quantities at the supermarket instead!
This is how to get the perfect shot – stick your man on a rock high above Fagaloa Bay, get into position to frame him in the mountain in the background and GOTCHA!
Go Kylie – show us Samoa through the lens.
Mate is one of those pieces of magic.
He’s a new member of the team – a potential tour guide – currently joining us on many of our trips and adventures – sort of like a tour guide in training.
Mate and his wife Iva don’t have a lot. Whatever Mate brings home each day will feed some dozen or so people – that’s real pressure when you are miles away from your family, which he is!
Mate enjoyed a day on the boat recently and pinched himself black and blue sailing on a Palagi boat taking photographs of his home country from an angle he’d never seen before.
His understanding of the SWAP project, philosophies and modus operandii is exemplary. Palagi who spend a few days in Mate’s company will love every minute of it.
Mate’s take on it all – “I’m so grateful for the blessing that you guys have brought to me and my family!” Humility that brings tears to one’s eyes.
His family here are surviving in Paradise – just!
The SWAP team wants to share authentic Samoan life experiences with the world. Mate and his family will be direct recipients of blessing when business picks up.
All of us at work then – as they say – in paradise