Pacific Paradise “burns the calories”

How many diets have we all tried, and failed … or at least not reached our goals with? I have been on this sort of bandwagon since I had my last child! He’s now 22, and it got a bit embarrassing when he told me one day I was heavier than he was for his latest rugby weigh-in!!!

Well, what do you say when you return from Samoa after 18 months in the hot tropical Pacific Paradise, and you are 26kgs lighter! Praise God, was my first reaction!

But really, it was so effortless – no diets to follow, no feelings of guilt after discarding a chocolate wrapper!!!

You Ask … How did you do it?

I simply lived rough in Samoa on 5 acres of plantation where we literally lived off the land. If there were no paw paws to pick for breakfast, you made do with bananas. And if the bananas were still green, you made do with coconuts. Our staple diet consisted of rice and home grown vegetables (beans, tomatoes and sweetcorn) and stir fried chicken meals (the equivalent of $NZ4.50 per kilo) over a single gas burner for most of the time I was there.

No power for eight months – and sometimes no gas as well! Kerosene lantern for light at night (or your trusty Nokia mobile if you had remembered to charge it in the car the last time you went out!

In fact, for three months over the end of last year, we had no running water either! Which is hard work when you rely on three showers a day just to keep cool and bacterial infections at bay!

Now this wasn’t what I was expecting from Samoa when I left in February 2011 to join my husband in helping to rebuild tourism after the devastating 2009 tsunami. But after 18 months of not getting the promised contracts with the Samoan Tourism Authority, and having to revert to being local subsistence farmers just like the locals down our road, we started to enjoy Samoa in a completely new light.

This is a third world country outside of the main townships and you learn to appreciate what it is like to sometimes go without food, go without home comforts, like walls on your houses, and see the criminal abuse of the people by many of the churches in this “country founded upon God”.

Too much for one blog post, but later I will expand on some of this, as I start to regroup back in New Zealand. Manuia le aso!