My Trip to Samoa

"Few men who come to the islands leave them; they grow grey where they alighted; the palm shades and the trade-wind fans them till they die, perhaps cherishing to the last the fancy of a visit home, which is rarely made, more rarely enjoyed, and yet more rarely repeated. No part of the world exerts the same attractive power upon the visitor ..." So begins Chapter I of Robert Louis Stevenson's "In the South Seas" and his name has been forever linked with Samoa where he spent the last few years of his life and where he died and was buried on the 3rd of December 1894 on Mt Vaea.
I did leave the islands several times and I returned several times. And I shall fly back to Samoa later this year to assist a local business in setting up their accounting system and training them in the use of the MYOB computerised accounting package. I shall be in Samoa for several weeks, staying either at Vaiala Beach Cottages or the Princess Tui Inn which is an excellent bed & breakfast next door. The last time I lived and worked in Samoa was in 1978 so it'll be a journey back in time.
They tell me that McDonald's and television have come to Samoa since I was there last when contentment on the island appeared to reign supreme. But I believe the people have resisted the economic temptation of increased industrialisation and still turn a healthy and happy face upon the rest of the world.
Samoa is situated 13-14 S latitude and 171-172 W longitude. The country comprises the two large islands of Upolu and Savaii, and eight small islands only two of which are inhabited. The capital Apia, and Faleolo International Airport are located on the island of Upolu. The islands are volcanic and dominated by rugged mountain ranges. Coral reefs surround much of the islands.
Samoa experiences hot humid conditions most of the year. The average temperatures range between 21 C - 32 C, with warmer months coinciding with the wet season from December to April. Year-round humidity averages 80%. The country is prone to cyclones during November to April. The country's population is just over 161,000. Apia's population is about 34,000. Samoan and English are joint official languages. English is widely spoken in both Government and commerce.

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