New Zealand couple touched by Samoans’ sincerity

By Yumi Epati Tala’ave ,

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TOUCHED BY SAMOANS’ SINCERITY: Paran Jung, Hak Jun Lee with son Joseph Lee at Taumeasina Island Resort.

TOUCHED BY SAMOANS’ SINCERITY: Paran Jung, Hak Jun Lee with son Joseph Lee at Taumeasina Island Resort. (Photo: Yumi Epati Tala’ave)

Visiting New Zealand-based couple Hak Jun Lee and Paran Jung have been touched by their hotel’s customer service and the sincerity of ordinary Samoans at places they visited.

Flying into Samoa with their son Joseph for a short vacation, the couple told the Samoa Observer in an interview that they have been impressed with the customer service at the Taumeasina Island Resort. 

They said the resort had amazing staff, good food and the guests including themselves were well taken care of. The handicraft that the resort staff weaved for their son also meant a lot to them.

“My son loves those handmade handicrafts and we are happy that the activity team got to make it for him,” the couple, who are originally from Korea, said.

The quietness of the place and the ability of visitors to relax unlike other tourist destinations also appealed to the couple.

“One of our friends recommend that we come to Samoa to spend the holidays because it is more natural and quiet compared to the other Islands,” the couple added. 

They said a friend — who visited Samoa a couple of months ago — recommended that they visit the island. 

However, the journey to Samoa hasn’t been without its challenges, with the couple critical of Samoa Airways’ service.

“There is one thing I would complain about, it’s Samoa Airways, our flight coming in Samoa was initially delayed 12 hours, and two hours delayed at the airport.

“And it just killed our one-day holiday, we got an email last night and our flight today supposed to leave at 6pm, but now leave at midnight. Samoa Airway changes our flight again. The flight is very late. I don’t understand the issue,” they said.

Despite the delay, the couple intend to enjoy their last few hours before flying back to New Zealand. 

The sincerity of ordinary Samoans also touched the couple, after they visited the To Sua Trench and were advised they needed to pay a parking fee.  

“Yesterday when we were on our way to To Sua, people were walking and waving at us. And that was really welcoming of them to do such a thing.

“And as we stopped at the car park, we realized we didn’t have coins, although we needed it to pay for the car park. One lady was standing there and she offered us coins without any obligation.

“We never experience this before on vacation we had in the previous years, but good to know that the people of Samoa are well respected and welcoming,” the couple added. 

The couple and their son have vowed to return for a longer vacation.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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