Monday, August 8, 2022

Travel the World - Samoa

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world. By the end of 2021, I'd virtually traveled to 145 countries and plan to complete my journey to all 195 countries by visiting the last 50 this year.

This week's country is...


Samoa is located in the Pacific Ocean South of the equator. Samoa is located in Oceania. It belongs to the Polynesian islands. The group of islands lie halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. 

Samoa shares maritime borders with American Samoa, New Zealand, Tonga, and Wallis and Futuna (part of France).

Samoa consists of two main islands called Savaìi and Upolu and several smaller islands and islets.

Samoa is a place where piglets roam freely, where everyone smiles and waves as you pass by and where island time is the only time. It is a country full of the most welcoming people, gorgeous palm tree-lined beaches and incredible nature.

The total land area of Samoa is smaller than the U.S. state of Rhode Island

Apia, the capital city of Samoa, is the only city in the country. It is located in the island of Upolu.

The two main islands are volcanic. There are still active volcanoes on Savaìi island. There you can also see old lava fields and blowholes.

Significantly more Samoans live outside Samoa than in their home country, mainly in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. It’s estimated that 195,000 people live on Samoa, while over 300,000 Samoans live abroad.

Money sent home by Samoans living abroad is a large source of income for Samoans on the island.

Samoa is known for its many magical waterfalls and pools such as the scenic Togitogiga Waterfalls.

There's year-round sunshine in Samoa. It's a tropical country with consistently fabulous weather.

Samoa is right next to the International Date Line, which goes between American Samoa, and Samoa. This means that if you fly to American Samoa (its closest neighbor) from Samoa – 78 miles (30 minutes) away – you will actually go back in time 24 hours.

Samoa skipped a day in 2011 across the International Date Line. Since then, Samoa is one of the first countries to welcome the New Year - together with Kiribati and Tonga.

About sixty percent of the country is forested.

In Samoa, you can swim with turtles and watch dolphins frolicking in clear lagoon waters. Savaìi island is known for its huge colony of green sea turtles.

Coral reefs surround the islands and these are home to some 900 fish species and over 200 varieties of coral.

Samoa's only native mammals are flying foxes, which are endangered, and other species of smaller bats. Rats, wild cattle, and pigs have been introduced. Among the smaller animals found in Samoa are several species of lizards, two snakes of the boa family, centipedes and millipedes, scorpions, spiders, and a wide variety of insects.

84% of the 37 species and subspecies of Samoa’s terrestrial birds are found nowhere else in the world. Some examples of these birds include the Samoan tooth-billed pigeon, Samoan wood rail, Samoan ground-dove, etc.

The highest peak is Mount Silisili, also called Mauga Silisili with a height of 6096 feet.

There are many waterfalls and waterholes on the islands. To Sua is a 98 feet-deep waterhole is one of the most popular attractions in Upolu.

The Samoan coastline is 250 miles long.

Lalomanu Beach is the most popular beach in Samoa with its leaning palms, beautiful white sand and views of Samoa’s smaller outer islands.

Fa 'a Samoa - The Samoan Way - is the traditional code of behavior and governance that is the backbone of Samoan Society, even in modern times. At its heart is the extended family. The more hands to carry the load, the easier life will be. The bigger the family is, the more powerful it is. Everyday life is not about "you", it is about "us", even if it means sharing your house with the extended family. There is no "I", only "we".

Samoans eat a mixture of local and imported foods. Local staples include fish, lobster, crab, chicken, and pork; lettuce and cabbage; root vegetables such as talo, ta'amu, and yams; tree crops such as breadfruit and coconut; and local beverages such as coffee and cocoa. Imported foods include rice, canned meat and fish, butter, jam, honey, flour, sugar, bread, tea, and carbonated beverages.

Many families drink beverages such as tea throughout the day but have a single main meal together in the evening.

Traditional Samoan houses, known as fales, do not have walls. In their simplest form, a fale is a wooden platform with poles supporting a thatched roof, surrounded by woven blinds for privacy.

The Immaculate Conception of Mary Cathedral is in the centre of Apia, the capital city. It opened in 2014 quite impressive inside and out. 

Samoan families wake up early and begin the day with a prayer, followed by preparation for their work or school day.

Cooperation and consensus are common principles that influence interactions with others. Many will socialize with their family and friends on a regular basis, particularly on Sundays after attending church services.

Samoans are typically friendly and warm people who offer smiles to those they meet. 

Over 99% of the population over 15 years can read and write, however, many young people are without work. About one third of all Samoans between the ages of 15 and 24 years are unemployed. 

Fire dances are popular in Samoa. Samoan traditional dances are siva and sasa

Music, dance, tattooing, and oral literature are significant art forms in Samoa. 

The main agricultural products of Samoa are fish and coconuts. 

The word tattoo is believed to originate from Samoa. Dating back centuries, the Samoan “tatau” is regarded as a right of passage for many Samoans. The male tattoo, known as pe’a, covers the body from waist to the knees and represents the journeys of ancestors from Asia to Polynesia.

There are a lot of stray dogs in Samoa. To most of the people in Samoa, dogs aren’t seen or treated as pets. Most of the dogs are stray dogs and they are very territorial and can get quite aggressive. They usually come out after dark and roam in packs, so be on guard if you go out after dark, especially in the more rural areas.

Kilikiti, an adapted form of cricket, is Samoa’s national sport. The game was brought to Samoa by English missionaries and seafarers in the 19th century and features two teams of batters, bowlers and fielders, but has different bats, balls, a scoring system and bigger stumps.

Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson, most noted for Treasure Island (1881) and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), lived in Samoa from 1890 to his death in 1894. His home is now a museum.

In the Samoan culture, respect for elders and service to family is very important. Samoans also take religious worship seriously. Sundays are reserved for worship. Stores are closed on Sundays and families spend this time together worshiping and sharing a meal.

Samoa’s diversified light manufactures include beer, cigarettes, coconut products (mainly creams and oils), corned beef, soap, paint, soft drinks and juices, and handicrafts. Most are produced for local markets. 

About two-fifths of Samoan roadways are paved, including many coastal highways and the major streets of Apia. There are no railways.

Respect, known in Samoan as ‘fa’aaloalo is highly valued. The importance of fa’aaloalo is evident in a number of ways. For example, youth are expected to defer to elders and those of higher status. 

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Samoa... Everyone in Samoa is expected to wear white on Sundays.

Just look at the rich detail of the embossing:

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Embossing Folders: Altenew Organic Linen 3D and Whimsical Bouquet 3D (I swiped an Ink on 3 Shark Tooth White ink pad across the embossed pieces to give a bit of a shine to the raised areas)

Paper: Accent Opaque 120# White CS

Dies: Birch Press Big Hello and Unity Scallops & Rectangles

Embellishments: Studio Katia Icy Sparkle Crystals


Barb said...

WOWZA--this is beautiful I love all of the layers and the embossing folders you picked are perfect!

JD/ Jill said...

Your card is just amazing. I love reading about the different country's on your blog. I must play catch up and read some more. This must take so much time and research to do. It's so very nicly done.

kiwimeskreations said...

What an amazing card Jeanette - love all the texture!!
Your descriptions of Samoa remind me of Tonga, where on the roads you dodge pigs, potholes and people, in that order!! Which is easy as you cannot drive fast on the bulk of their roads.