S: American Samoa 2010-2011
FC: American Samoa 2010 - 2011
1: We spent a fantastic year in American Samoa. This is the beautiful, enormous harbor in Pago Pago. At one time, the entire U.S. fleet could fit inside the harbor | And here the harbor opens up to the Pacific Ocean. It was a strange feeling the first few days on Tutuila to see soooo much water around.
2: We fixed up the house we'd been given, and went as local as we could. Breadfruit grew in our backyard....yum! | Loving the popsicle on the way home from school!
4: The lagoon at Lion's Park was just down the street . . . | and we spent many hours there.
5: Yes, it's an octopus on display in the front yard. | Our bus stop, Genrietta's 10th birthday cake, at the house, and our van.
6: In the water
7: Cowrie snail, sea urchin, sea anemone with fish, humpnose unicorn fish, and us!
10: The longer we spent in the ocean, the more we learned to see.
12: ALL different colors, shapes, and sizes.
20: The village of Fagotogo, where I worked as a law clerk at the High Court, | sits on the harbor.
22: Culture and business at the harbor. | Yachters stop in and wait for hurricane season to pass. | The harbor's waters are cleaner now...but not clean enough. | Fishing and tuna processing are still big business.
23: The culture is very different. | The society centers around family, religion, and food.
24: More churches per capita than imaginable.
26: Let's eat! The traditional festive meal is called "Umu," and consists of pulasami, taro root, and meat. Lots of preparation!
27: Tisa's Umu is an island favorite.
29: Once a year, on a certain full-moon night, pololo worms swim out of the reef to breed. We braved the ocean at 2:00 a.m. to collect these. | Collecting pololo is hugely popular, and the worms are prized. We cooked ours as recommended by the locals....in scrambled eggs.
30: Papaya, tuna, carry-out from Louise's, and | pig on a stick, naturally!
32: Matafau and Rainmaker!
33: Hiking was the best way to see local flora and fauna, as well as the best views.
34: While we loved hiking, we weren't always welcome. We got chased away from one area.
36: Nu'uli water falls - a series of falls, one more beautiful than the next. The fresh water is home to fish, crawfish, and eels.
38: We also made it over to independent Samoa several times. Overall, Samoa was cleaner, poorer, and more "Samoan" than American Samoa. We traveled through some pretty, untouched areas.
40: Diving Savaii was fantastic; the water was so still and clear. | The International Date Line was still west of Samoa....we were looking into a new day. | Time to stop and sip some coconut. | Again, many beautiful churches.
42: Back on Tutuila, everyday life was mixed with either a touch of paradise . . . or the bizarre.
43: By bizarre, these things come to mind: burying the dead in your front yard; our neighbor's pet flying fox; and micro rain storms. Just another day on the island.
44: What fond memories!
54: The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, and before we knew it
55: our year in American Samoa was over.