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Food Varieties Give Regional Students Better Selection

Western Samoan University of the South Pacific students Rachael Reti and LeiluaAfatia have been friends from high school and that has been handy in a new environment like Fiji. There
23 Feb 2018 11:00
Food Varieties Give Regional Students Better Selection
Best friends Leilua Afatia, left, and Rachael Reti checking out tea varieties at Max-Val-U supermarket, Flagstaff, Suva on February 22, 2018. Photos: Joseva Veibataki

Western Samoan University of the South Pacific students Rachael Reti and LeiluaAfatia have been friends from high school and that has been handy in a new environment like Fiji.

There are about 30 first year USP students from Western Samoa this year.

“We live-in at USP, we don’t usually eat at the university cafeteria. We cook our own meals,” Ms Reti said.

Yesterday the best friends were shopping at Max-Val-U supermarket at Flagstaff for din­ner.

“There is a few of us, today is our turn to cook dinner so we are here to buy our ingredients,” she said.

“With our student allowance, this supermar­ket is good to us and also the chocolates are cheap.

“We have supermarkets like this in Western Samoa but food is so cheap here and the varie­ties are just too good.

“Here there could be more than five types of tea on the shelves.

“Back home there are also some Fijian made food items but they are usually very expensive.

“Here we get to enjoy the noodles, biscuits and tinned stuff – the food here brings home closer to us. And the sun and smiling faces make us no strangers here and we are lucky to be given the opportunity to be attending USP.”

Ms Reti, 20, is the second in a family of six sib­lings and the first to be studying overseas.

“I have some uncles and aunts who have grad­uated from USP so I have been hearing about USP since I was small,” she said.

She is here on a three-year Western Samoa government scholarship and still thinking of what profession to take when she returns home.

The exposure and many opportunities the commerce student learnt during the univer­sity orientation last month has opened up her mind.

“Orientation was helpful as I got to learn other careers I can pursue with my subject combination,” she said.

While she did not disclose what they are going to cook for dinner she said the wide varieties available on the shelves will assist them try out a new recipe.

“We love rice and the varieties of rice avail­able here are just too good,” she said.

Ms Afatia, 19, is the fourth child in a family of seven siblings. Her parents are teachers and she wants to also be a teacher also.

She is on a three-year New Zealand aid schol­arship.

“I guess having my parents as teachers has driven me to want to be one also,” she said.

Like MsReti, she also arrived into the coun­try late last month and was in time for orienta­tion.

“I miss my family, the good thing is that there are many Western Samoans at uni,” she said.

“I am the first from my family to be here and I have to succeed. I will go back home for my Christmas break but will always return until I have successfully completed my three years here.

“My best day of the week is Sunday because it is when I go to the Samoan church at Thurston Street for the service and meet other Samoans.

“I have my best friend with me and that makes studying here not so stressful, other­wise I will be homesick most times.”

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