When you leave Samoa by air, the last thing you see before you enter the plane is this sign. Sadly for me, it was what I saw on Thursday. My assignment completed, it was time for me to say farewell and fly to Sydney.
It's been very tough saying goodbye. My time in Samoa has been incredible and I've been so fortunate to have worked with, and otherwise meet, so many wonderful people. Not to mention how beautiful a country Samoa is.
I know Sydney has its own beauty but at the moment, I'm having to work harder to find it. It smells funny, it feels far too busy, there is a cacophony of noises that are both familiar and strange and no one smiles as they walk down the street.
On the flipside, I've already had some amazing food; simple food that we too often take for granted. Incredible cheeses, good Chinese cuisine and, my highlight thus far, fresh strawberries.
Other than sheer exhaustion (sensory overload!) my main problem thus far would be accepting the reality of my situation. I keep referring to things, places and people in Samoa in an inclusive way. Next week our paddling club will start regular training nights (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 5pm if anyone's interested). We commence an interesting project at work this week.
In spite of the change of location, I'm hoping that it will continue to make some sense to talk about Samoa in such a way. I'll still be in touch with friends and I'll definitely be requesting the latest news and gossip that's doing the rounds of Apia.
If nothing else, I certainly have many more things I want to say about Samoa and my time there on this blog. And having taken close to six thousand photos, I'm sure I can find a few more to put online.