Gwendolyn Pona Tuaitanu has been crowned the new Miss Samoa USA 2008.
The 23-year-old daughter of Vaililo Fuimaono and Mani Tuaitanu, also won the Best Sarong and Best traditional wear.
She overcame eight other contestants for the title and the opportunity to compete in the upcoming Miss Teuila Pageant, in Apia, during the Teuila Festival.
Sponsored by Serenicare, Salt Lake City, Utah, Ms Tuaitanu hails from Faala, Iva, Sale’imoa, Uafato, Nu’uuli and Manu’a.
She is a graduate of Copper Hills High School, Utah and is currently studying Microbiology at Utah Valley State College.
She is the eldest of five children, three brothers and one other sister.
First runner up was 22-year-old Miss Kiwi Construction, Chantel Burgess, of Laie. The daughter of Tracey and Glenn Burgess also won the Best Interview, Best Evening Wear, Best Talent and Miss Photogenic.
Second runner up went to Miss Le Lalelei O Samoa, Florence Carroll of Oregon, daughter of Uluaipoumalo Te’o and Daniel T. Carroll.
The youngest contestant, 18-year-old Sailau Schwenke of Draper Utah took top Internet Voting honours and finished third runner up.
She is the daughter of Reg Schwenke and the late Elizabeth “Nana” Lefagaoali’i Ho Ching.
Source: Samoa Observer, 28 July 2008 / Photo: Samoa Tourism Authority18 July, 2008 permalink
Amazing how a lovely group of people from all around Australia and New Zealand are able to come together, harmonise with each other and become an organised choir within a short period of time!
Singing in Samoa is actually about a group of Australians and New Zealanders who travel to Samoa on holidy and at the same time celebrating cultural diversity through singing. It's one of those experiences where you would hop off the plane, into the warmth of the tropics, greeted by singing and dancing and then eventually immerse yourself in the host destination's culture.
Participants need not be experienced singers, but a love and passion for music does the job. These are the words by Jennifer Richardson, the organiser of Singabout Tours. Whilst in Samoa, they have sung in various gatherings in churches including the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa at Saleapaga. In addition, they have been able to partake in cultural activities such as cultural singing, weaving hats and ganging up with the locals. They have also acquired the services of well known song writer and vocal organiser, Tony Backhouse.
Their ground handler, Mark Bertwhistle from Berties Tours is very much looking forward to turning this into an annual event. The previous year saw 48 participants and was a huge success. The group wrapped up their Samoan holiday with an afternoon at STA grounds whereby they were warmly greeted by Samoa Tourism Authority and Executives of Samoa Hotel Association.17 July, 2008 permalink
Sitting on 7.5 acres of land, the new Methodist owned hotel has added yet another 30 Rooms to the current compilation. The project, according to the spokesperson of the Methodist Church, has only completed its first phase with the second one to begin construction in the near future. It will include another 40 Bedrooms, Conference Room, Restaurant, Laundry Area and Kitchen. Built by local contractors Ricky Wong Enterprises, it has yet to be given a name but has boosted state of the art facilities.
It is located only 5 - 10 minutes drive from Central Apia and a stones throw away from the Faleata Sports Complex, where the South Pacific Games took place last year, and the 18 Hole Golf Course. Visitors and future occupants of this lovely hotel can expect the luxury of fully furnished double Bedrooms with private bathrooms and balcony. This will be the ideal accommodation for holiday makers who also happen to be golf fanatics. Of Course Government was also present at the opening with Hon. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi delivering the Keynote address and Hon. Deputy Prime Misa Telefoni Retzlaff cutting the ribbon.16 July, 2008 permalink
A new inbound tour operator is now set up in Samoa. Owned and operated by the former Manager Marketing & Promotions for the Samoa Tourism Authority, Mr Sala Pio Tagiilima, My Samoa Tours caters for the growing needs of both international travelers and the trade, especially those related to travel into Samoa. Therefore, its services that are offered include:
According to Sala, "the main aim of My Samoa Tours is to become the top one-stop value for money travel provider in Samoa, and to better assist all potential travelers and actual travelers to Samoa to obtain the right information and meet their expectations for enriching holiday experiences".