In Apia, there are approximately 6-7 elevators. Yesterday, I was thrown back into reality of how a simple thing as operating an elevator is still a foreign experience for our own people, an elderly lady entered the parking entrance of the Government building in Apia and was going to level 1, Eira and I had to get off at ground level (our inability to walk up 1 flight of stairs…is something else) but as we stepped off the elevator this lady became very scared and started to shake visibly, Eira held onto the door from closing and the lady asked with a tear in her eye how she was supposed to get to level 1. We had pressed the button for her and asked her if she would like us to take her. Thankfully, we led her out until she found the office she was searching for.
If you are ever in Samoa and you wonder why there is a guy working inside the elevator to press the buttons – its because of incidents like this. Our people are not stupid, our people are not unable to learn simple processes like this – fact (a) we don’t have many multiple level buildings (b) stairs is still the most commonly used access points for multiple level buildings (c) if you haven’t been overseas in which elevators are almost in every building this experience is usually a rare kind for our people.
Its sometimes the simplest things that I’ve taken for granted all my life, is the strongest reality check of where I am now and how greatful I am.
Just a thought…