Zika virus

The ‘new’ fear and concern for the Rio Olympics

The mosquito that spreads Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis and West Nile Virus.

Zika virus or (Zikia Virus) has headlined in the news (January 2016) and it’s being blamed for spreading Microcephaly, a birth defect occurring in thousands of newborn children particularly in Brazil. Although Zika virus is not a killer, it provokes an emotional reaction because the associated spread of Microcephaly affects our ability to reproduce.

“While zika seems to be spreading in the wild, it is also a registered – patented organism that can be purchased by almost anyone, so why has the issue of patent ownership of the Zika virus not been

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Dengue Fever

A Disease in what should be paradise

The dengue carrying mosquito bites during the day.

Dengue is a relatively new mosquito-borne viral disease endemic to more than 120 countries throughout Latin America, the Pacific and Asia. It is spreading rapidly and you need to be aware as you travel. It is also spreading in the USA.

Nicknamed breakbone fever, dengue can be extremely painful and debilitating flu-like illness that can lead to life-threatening complications such as dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). The disease is caused by four closely related virus serotypes of the genus Flavivirus. Infection provides lifelong immunity against the infecting sterotype but not the other three and there is now some possibility

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Samoan Language

Samoan is a Polynesian language and share common words with other Pacific island groups and it has many loanwords from English and other languages that have been adapted to Samoan.

Learn some Gagana Samoa! by Teine

Days of the week.

Aso Gafua (Monday) Aso Lua (Tuesday) Aso Lulu (Wednesday) Aso Tofi (Thursday) Aso Faraile (Friday) Aso To’ana’i (Saturday) Aso Sa (Sunday)

Months of the year.

Ianuari (January) Fepuari (February) Mati (March) Aperila (April) Me (May) Iuni (June) Iulai (July) Aukuso (August) Setema (September) Oketopa (October) Novema (November) Tesema (December)

Common phrases/questions/slang.

Talofa lava/Malo Hello/Hi

Oa mai oe? How are you?

Oai lau suafa? What’s your name

Fia ai? Are you hungry?

E oso se kafaoga gagei?

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Transport in Samoa

Buses, ferries, hire cars and taxis

Buses By day, buses regularly leave and return to Apia from all parts of Upolu and are the best priced option for sightseeing as long as you don’t mind a lack of legroom, the wooden seats, the sometimes overpowering smell of fuel, occasional animals and the family baggage. Buses will stop almost anywhere and the fare is paid at the destination so have a pocket of coins.

The main bus stop is on the corner of market place and Fugalei Street, while the main bus depot is on the waterfront behind the flea market. A few Samoan Buses are modern, but most are old trucks with a locally made wooden cabin, the seats are

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Shopping in Samoa

Home grown and made

Jewellery and souvenirs at the flea market

Don’t expect to find international designer fashions here, there are none although there are many unique local designs and when it comes to clothing, Samoans like bright colours.

The flea market on the Apia waterfront was burned down recently, but the main market (Fugalie) next to the bus stop on market place is a must visit in Apia. You’ll find a wide range of local produce, clothing and food sections where you can eat as a local.

As well as the shops, there are many wandering vendors offering sarongs and other goods but don’t expect cheap although you can haggle.

There are several supermarkets, some public markets

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See Samoa

Popular places to visit in Samoa

Piula Cave Pool Pack up your picnic basket, swim wear, snorkel, insect repellent and sunscreen for a relaxing day at the seaside. Also known as Fatumea Pool, Piula is a natural freshwater pool by the sea located beneath the historic Methodist Chapel at Piula on the north coast of Upolu island, 26 km east from the capital Apia.

This is a popular swimming hole for locals and visitors, the pools are formed by a natural spring flowing out of a cave into the sea which has been blocked off. Inside the main cave opening on the north side a short submerged tunnel leads to a smaller cave opening on the east side of the

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Samoan People

A modest people

Contestants for the Miss Samoa competition 2014 by Teine

Samoans are typically warm and welcoming, however with modernisation many have been disenfranchised from their identity. Workers wages are low with a high unemployment rate and everyone is expected to support the extended family as well as to give generously to their church.

Prior to the arrival of missionaries Samoa had a complex polytheistic religion, which differentiated between non-human (Atua) and human (Aitu) gods, and which also incorporated elements of ancestor worship. Because there were no outward signs of religion as in other Polynesian cultures, they were commonly mistaken to be godless.

The Samoan religion however contained the seeds of it’s own destruction

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Samoan Money


Officially the West Samoan Tala (WST) is locally just called a tala is the Samoan pronunciation of dollar and seniti (cent) which is available as 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 tala notes with one and two tala coins. Seniti coins are 5, 10, 20 and 50.

You must convert your money before or on arrival as few businesses accept foreign currencies and in use, the tala uses the $ symbol as its prefix.

Sample exchange rates at the time of writing:

1.00 USD = 2.26501 WST 1.00 AUD = 2.35719 WST 1.00 NZD = 1.86182 WST 1.00 EUR = 2.97386 WST

There are branches of the ANZ, Westpac and local banks in the main towns of Samoa which

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Health & Safety

Stay healthy and enjoy your holiday

Sunburn is a significant risk

Medical facilities in Samoa are below world standard and anyone with serious illnesses or injuries are evacuated to New Zealand or Australia.

Health Avoid drinking untreated water and ice to prevent water-borne diseases and don’t swim in fresh water/ rivers as sewage discharges into them.

Travellers’ Diarrhoea This presents a low to moderate risk in urban and resort areas as most hotels and restaurants generally serve reliable food and water. Elsewhere, travelers should observe all food and drink safety precautions.

Amoebiasis (amoebic dysentery) A parasitic infection causing intestinal disease. Transmission occurs by eating food that is contaminated with feces from an infected person or drinking water

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Samoan Cuisine

Drinks & Food

Tap water is not recommended, bottled water and canned drinks are widely available although not always cooled.

Samoan food primarily consists of fish served cooked or raw, pork, chicken, beef, taro and rice while the most common vegetables are potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, egg plant (aubergine), taro leaf, breadfruit and cooking bananas.

Bananas, papaya, oranges, limes and coconut are locally grown fruit, other fruits are imported.

A bunch of 10 small sweet bananas costs about $3.00 as does 5 oranges or a small to medium size papaya which can be bought in the markets or from road side stalls. Pears in a supermarket were priced at $7.50 per pound and also priced per kilo.

Vallima Beer – Samoans

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