Paul, W8AEF will be active from Samoa in CQ WW DX SSB Contest 25 - 26 October 2014 as 5W0EF.
He will be in SO Category.
QSL via home call.
Samoa: Previously known as Western Samoa
Officially named the Independent State of Samoa gained its independence from New Zealand in 1962.
Samoa is an Oceanic country that encompasses the western part of the Samoa Islands.There are 2 main islands, Upolu and Sava’l. Sava’l, which are thelargest of the Samoan islands.The capital city of Apia and The Faleolo Airport, is located on Upolu.
At one time the Samoans, Fijians and Tongans were the superpowers of the Polynesian Islands. In the late 1700s the Europeans began to arrive, they were predominately whalers and traders.
The missionaries had the most profound effect on the Samoans. They taught the Samoans about one God as opposed to their beliefs in the Gods of heaven, sun, earth and the sea.
In 1899, after many years of civil wars, the Americans and Germans divided the island into 2 sections; the islands to the west became the possession of Germany and to the east the possession of America. Today the eastern islands are known as American Samoa.
At the start of WWI New Zealand captured Western Samoa from the Germans. At the end of the war administrative control was given to New Zealand for the United Nations. In 1962 Western Samoa gained independence and was the first Pacific nation to do so.
There are 3 primary components in the Samoan culture. These components are family, music and faith, not necessarily in that order.
In the family, the elders are held in the greatest esteem, this can be seen quite clearly on Sundays. As with other Pacific Islands the extended family or Aiga live and work together.
Traditionally the culture of Samoa is that of a communal environment. Houses or Fale generally have no walls and therefore open spaced. A Fale may have as many as 20 people sleeping on the floor.
While there is a wide range of religions in Samoa, the majority (almost 80%) is Christian. Recent statistics have shown a decline in the larger denominations and the growth in the smaller ones such as Mormons, Seventh-day-Adventist and the Assemblies of God.
A study has shown that there are no churches that are strictly comprised of one group such as foreign nationals or native-born Western Samoans.
Samoa is made up of 10 islands. Each island is different and each is just as beautiful as the next. The 2 main islands Upolu and Sava’l have rugged volcanic peaks upon which grows a lush rainforest. The valleys are vast and lead to a coastline that is a vision of pure white sand that circles the islands. The vegetation variety includes Banyan trees that top the islands.
Waterfalls cascade down to the rivers and have cut out jagged lines through the valleys and lead to the Pacific Ocean. Sheer cliffs can be found along a coastline that can span for miles.
Going past the beaches and into blue lagoons are the other islands that make up Samoa. Some of these islands have human inhabitants. Yet on other islands the only inhabitants are the wildlife.
Things to do
The markets should definitely be on the go to list on your visit to Samoa. To completely saturate your senses there are produce markets with an array of exotic fresh fruits and vegetables. The flea market will stimulate your appreciation for the local craft and culture with woodcarvings, mats and even sarongs. The fish market, which is best, attended on Sunday mornings from about 6 am. You can find fresh tuna and octopus. However, don’t just stick with what you know try some of the more exotic varieties.
If surfing is your passion, then you will find the 2 main islands are for you. Imagine the beauty of Indonesia and the waves of Hawaii, less the overcrowding of tourists and locals. For every level of surfer there is a spot for you in the clear and warm waters of Samoa.
Every season offers one event or another, you can find jazz and art festivals, swim festivals and the brand new rugby matches. Along with music, arts and sports, there are pageants and the Teuila cultural festival. When booking your travel be sure to find out what event will be going on.
Where to stay
Accommodations are no problem when visiting Samoa. For those who want luxury accommodations there are the upmarket resorts. These resorts offer you poolside service, beautiful beaches and private baths.
Superior standard accommodations are also plentiful and many freshly built. Panoramic views are yours for the asking along with the white beaches and views of the harbor.
Why just visit Samoa, live Samoa by staying in a beach fale. Walls are not included therefore you can sleep under a frond roof listening to the wave’s crash against the shore.
The climate of Samoa is equatorial/monsoonal with the rainy season beginning in November and ending in April. The average temperature is 79 degrees for your highs and 75 degrees for the low temperatures. The average annual rain amount is 117 inches.
Flights to Samoa have become progressively more frequent out of the United States with New Zealand offering the most direct flights.
Once in Samoa, there are Ferries that will take you and your car between the 2 main islands every 2 hours with smaller ferries running in between.
Roads in Samoa are sealed and therefore make driving more of a straightforward method of getting around. Some of the side roads may not be paved and for this a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. A 2-wheel drive high clearance vehicle will also be effective on the unpaved roads except in the rainy season. Car hires in Upolu can go to Sava’l and return. However, car hires cannot make the trip from Sava’l to Upolu. Be sure to fend off any requests to leave your passport with the car hire and carefully inspect the vehicle and read the rental agreement closely.
Colorful wooden seated busses are an adventure that should not be missed. Music will blast your way through your journey and depending on your taste in music, may make you want to dance. Destination signs are permanently placed on the busses.
Samoa is an adventure that you want to go on. The culture, the geography and even the options as to where to stay are different from any other holiday you may take.