Why did the chicken cross the road? Better yet – How did the chicken cross the road? Really, you don’t know? Then I’ll get back to that in a minute!

Yesterday was my first day in Samoa having arrived in Apia at 5am in the morning from a 20 hour journey. I can’t complain as it wasn’t an uncomfortable journey, just a bit longer than I am used to. Yet, arriving under the cover of night, it still hadn’t hit me how far I had traveled; even with the Samoan folk band serenading us with traditional Samoan songs at the airport as we went through customs and collected our luggage, nor when I was greeted with a lei and ushered into the hotel van to take me to my temporary accommodation.  But it was when, as we were driving along, the sun began to rise and the sky began to lighten into a soft light blue and pink, and from the brush of trees that lined the narrow two lane, two way road from the airport into town, out peaked the vast blue ocean, its silvery blue waves a mirror to the morning sky and a testament to a new day calling life to the sleepy island.

I watched as people awoke from their fale, having slept under the cover of stars, the beauty of the homes that lined the beach, painted in multiple hues with neatly manicured lawns. I saw as sleepy children in their neatly pressed uniforms waited outside for the local bus to take them to school, some with the family dog guarding them until they were collected and safely on their way. I listened to roosters’ crow their morning alarms, and saw wild boars graze by the road side along with mother hens and their little chicks. Such life and beauty welcomed me to this new island, this new home for the next four months, and I watched attentively and breathed it all in. It was hard to imagine that just a year ago, a massive tsunami destroyed this beautiful shoreline, and I completely admired the country’s ability to rebuild and work to get back on its feet.

And then I witnessed the funniest thing – a little hen jump onto the back of a dog to catch a ride to the other side of the road. Well now, we know chickens want to get to the other side (answer to the above question for those of you who didn’t know), but what an amazing use of resources! More power to the chicken! And with that I start off my adventure in Samoa. I look forward to working with the team at the South Pacific Business Development, meeting borrowers out in the field and witnessing microfinance in action, taking in so much of Samoan life and culture, and hopefully to see more nifty wildlife resourcefulness. Talofa Lava Samoa!

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Tamara Crawford is a Kiva Fellow working with the South Pacific Business Development located in Apia, Samoa. So far she enjoys eating breadfruit and chicken stewed in taro leaves, and is hoping that the poor little resourceful hen didn’t become her lunch afterall.

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