Samoa views 3

A week in Samoa has passed and I have managed to find a little house to rent on the edge of the Apia catchment area, just short of the top of the island of Upolu; the area is called Tiapapata, and it’s about 15 minutes drive down the hill to the centre of Apia. There are remnant patches of primary rain forest, with some giant trees left standing after the cyclones of the nineties. Away from Apia, there are far fewer Indian Mynas and dogs to spoil the environmental accoustics, resulting in a dawn chorus around the house which includes several endemic species, and especially exciting, the peculiar calls of a solitary giant honey-eater (mao).

Yesterday afternoon I went wimax signal hunting in the hills behind Apia with local ISP techies, Steve Brown and several bits of WIMAX equipment, and discovered the limitations of wimax equipment and, in particular, shitty Alvarion “modems”. I would personally have opted for Navini equipment (recently bought by Cisco), and throw in some decent hi-gain antennas for good measure. I do admit that working with a 30 metre canopy is a far cry from what I’m used to in Namibia!

I’ve been at several meetings this week – with Samoan ministry officials, communication industry players and the media. Last night I was invited to attend a feedback session with Australian TV and Radio personalities at the Aggie Grey Hotel, and we were asked to provide inputs on how they could have more impact on their viewers and listeners in the Pacific. Entertaining event, and the sashimi was first class:-)

Here are a couple of “wish you were here” views from Samoa!

The house on the edge of the escarpment.

A view of the catchment area. Great birding, with tropic birds and terns flying over the canopy!

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