Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

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Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

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Why I love Samoa. SJ Dodgson. MJoTA v5n1 p0529

Picture above, taken in New Zealand by my father Dr MCH Dodgson. My mother Dr HP Dodgson was in the hospital giving birth to my youngest brother who is now the writer and gentleman, Charles Heathfield Dodgson. And the princess-wife of the Fijian physician shown was also in the hospital giving birth to a son. The Fijian physician was also a prince of Fiji. Australian lawyer Patrick Dodgson became serious some years later.

Samoa is calling me. I can't stop thinking about this small country in the Pacific Ocean.

I have be
en to Samoa only once, and I remember the smell, the warm embrace of the air, I remember sunshine and smiles. I was 6, and it was during the epic voyage on the Southern Cross from Liverpool to Wellington Harbor in New Zealand.

I now understand why we stopped by Samoa. It was a British colony, governed by the Prime Minister if New Zealand until 1962. Gosh! In the collapse of the British Empire New Zealand lost a colony too!

Ah, I love Samoa! So will you when you read this from Wikipedia:

"Effective 7 Sep 2009, the government has changed the driving orientation for motorists and Samoans now drive on the left side of the road. This brings Samoa into line with many other countries in the region. Samoa is the first country in recent years, and the first country in the 21st century, to switch to driving on the left.[29]

At the end of 29 Dec 2011, Samoa jumped forward by one day, omitting 30 December from the local calendar, when the nation moved to the west of the International Date Line.[30] This is anticipated to help the nation boost its economy by doing business with Australia and New Zealand. Before this change, Samoa was 21 hours behind Sydney, but the change means they are now three hours ahead. The previous timezone was agreed on 4 July 1892, to work in line with American traders based in California."

These 2 stories delight me no end.

I was born and grew up in countries that drove on the left, which is the way the British drive. Since I always lived in Britain or its colonies, I drove on the left and was taught to "look to the right, look to the left, and look to the right again".

Then I moved to the largest of its former colonies, America who were jolly well not about to drive on the same side of the road as its mother country. I managed to not get myself run over, and for more than 30 years have been driving on the right. Because Americans drive on the right, so do Germans. So do Nigerians, and I have to find out why.

And then we have Samoa. For how many years have they resisted driving on the left under British rule, under New Zealand rule? They became independent in 1962, all those years ago. And then in 2009, nearly 50 years later, Samoans decided they no longer wanted to drive the American way, which is also the European way, but they wanted to drive on the left. Love it.

And what about becoming the first in the world to greet the morning sun, and not the last?

Samoa has my attention. They think for themselves and they are moving ahead. I know my brother Patrick Dodgson, the quiet and efficient Australian legal writer of laws, has been sent by the Australian Government several times to Samoa. Australia and Samoa are great friends. Wonderful.

Samoa is a small democracy in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The people look African with a mix of Asian. They call themselves Polynesians, native islanders with a small mix of European, quite small. They are the same peoples as the Maoris, when I was little in New Zealand we were told that the Maoris sailed, paddled, floated on boats from Polynesia to New Zealand, which they called The Land of the Long White Cloud.

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The Independent State of Samoa was the first independent Polynesian nation, which was then called Western Samoa, on January 1, 1962.

Samoa had been a German colony, then a British colony.

Eastern Samoa is a different country, also called American Samoa. They are 100 miles and 24 hours apart.

Robert Louis Stevenson loved Samoa too.

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