I had to laugh when I read this story because it illustrates once again, that sometimes our people (Samoans) just don’t get it. For the record, I love my people and I think that for the most part we do our best outside of the islands to stay clear of the headlines because we are rarely in the news for doing good things. We tend to make the news for all the wrong reasons and this is one of them.
Ordinarily I would be inclined to brush this under the rug and save my people another black eye but in this case its hard to deny that these squatters are wrong. It’s one thing to take over a faleo’o (Samoan shack) in the middle of the mountains or down by the seashore, but to take over someone’s property in New Zealand and insist that you are being mistreated by the owners who are now out thousands of dollars is absolutely asinine.
Yes, the owners made a mistake by not asking the original couple for a bond and a lease agreement (the equivalent of renters insurance and a rental contract here in the United States), but you can’t blame them for putting their trust in their pastor and members of their congregation. Additionally, the squatters, people whom I am almost 100% have been taught fa’aaloalo (respect), lotomaualalo (humility) and all the other elements of fa’a Samoa (the Samoan way) are undeniably in the wrong.
Anyone out there ever walk up to a house or apartment, move your things in and declare yourself owner of the house without ever paying a single penny for your lodging? On top of that were you allowed to trash the place and mistreat the owner? Sounds more like the antics of a biker gang, not an old lady and her band of freeloaders.
If I had the chance to speak to these people as their pastor or just as a friend I would be happy to say the following:
- Squatters are dumb
- Pay to play
- No dough? Hit the road!
- Squatters are dumb
I’ve also learned a few things from this story:
- I’m glad I don’t own rental properties
- Even old ladies have a mean streak
- Some people (squatters) are really dumb