Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Samoa on DVD

The quest to learn more about Samoa continues to grow as our departure date nears. Each bit of information is like a piece of a picture puzzle, but without the box top photo to let you know what the end result will be. Hoping to visualize Samoa is probably impossible. As a foreign exchange student once asked about his year in the United States said, "It is not like the movies. You have to go there to find out". I am sure he is correct, but be that as it may, our curiosity drives us to fill our ignorant void.

Samoa is usually a section of travelogues about the South Pacific. At least, they offer a comparison of Samoa to the other parts of Polynesia. What comes across to me is Samoa lacks the spectacular postcard scenery, posh hotels, or the hedonistic life style, like Tahiti (French Polynesia). No Western powers fought battles over Samoa, no epic novels or sea sagas written about it (Treasure Island, the exception), no strategic minerals are found there. Its most valuable export is its own people. If anything it was given its independence from New Zealand because it continued to drain their treasury. What Samoa does seem to have is the Samoan Way of Life. Samoans are said to be the most Polynesian people of Polynesia.

The Globe Trekker travel DVD, "Tahiti and Samoa", is fun to watch and available in many libraries. The recently released New Zealand made DVD, "Samoan Wedding", is actually about Samoans who have spent their life in New Zealand. A fun comedy with Polynesian actors, but hardly what the islands of Samoa are like. There are many travel books on the South Pacific. If you want to learn more about Samoa, check out the links on this blog of Samoan Peace Corps Volunteer Journals, and other related Samoan topics.

After all of our DVD watching, book reading, and blogging, I guess the only way to learn about Samoa is to go there.

Get back to the real world, Nick. Boxes still need to be packed, a house to move out of, a condo to move into, a son to graduate, guests to house, legal papers to sign, and over two months before departure.

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