Bush knives, drunks, dogs and ditches.

I’m excited about moving our family to New Zealand. We’ve been living here for 15 years and change is good. But I am worried about the danger. The killers. The robbers. The child abductors. The drunk drivers. The boy racers. The drug dealers. The teacher-stabbers. The school bullies. The over-abundance of fast food options…

Then this morning I went for my usual ‘run’ ( it doesn’t feel completely honest to NOT put the word in speech marks since I do more walking and puffing then actual running.) There’s a group of us women who train at the Faleata Sports complex at 5:30am. This morning while on my 40 minute workout –
· I passed two men walking along the road with bush knives ( machetes for the westerners among us)
· I screamed and threw stones at three bloodthirsty dogs who ran and attacked us
· I walked down an entire section of road with dead streetlights. We couldn’t see a damn thing. Including the cavernous open ditch smack bang in the middle of the sidewalk with no cover.
· I tiptoed past a partially naked man asleep/passed out in a taxi parked under a tree. With all the windows down. Reeking of alcohol.
· I held my nose and scurried past a dead decomposing dog that was lying in the middle of the street. ( I confess I could not feel sorry for it since I had just finished screaming at the attack dogs. Instead I thought – aha, one down…how many more to go?!)

I wonder, will I encounter these things when I go live in New Zealand? Can people carry machetes on a public street without getting arrested? Can dogs run wild and bite people and then NOT get destroyed and their owners NOT get arrested by police? Can drunks pass out on the roadside? Can dogs get run over and then left to rot?

Maybe Samoa isn’t as safe as I think it is and maybe New Zealand isn’t as dangerous as I think it might be.

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