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Published: November 8th 2018
Dateline: November 5, 2018, Pago, Pago, American Samoa (Territory of the USA)
Tsunami’s, Dogs and SPAM
Today is Pago Pago, American Samoa. So… Pago Pago is pronounced, Pango, Pango with a short a.
We arrive to pouring rain and 82 degrees, but with hopes, once again, of a sunny day. The harbor is absolutely beautiful but there is a tremendous wind coming off the mountains that keeps pushing us away from the dock. The ship is listing to starboard as the wind hits us broadside. We get in the elevator which is at a slant. Passengers in the elevator are saying they want out. But really, its true, we are heeled over some but… more fun than a problem. We exit on Deck 11 to our cabin and everyone is laughing as we walk drunkenly down the long corridor.
We have docked with cargo containers all around us. Today we are headed out to see some of the island. There is one road basically. You can go left or right for a number of miles but that is it. You can’t go around the island. Pago Pago sits right on the islands edge along the ocean with
reefs protecting it.
After meeting Tau our tour guide and boarding our bus (think old school bus, wooden seats, round low ceiling and no AC 😉). We head for the Ocean Center. This is an amazing complex and has state of the art projection equipment. There is a huge ball suspended in the middle of the room and projected on it is the world…oceans, continents and weather. We see 4 films about the ocean, environment, climate and the underwater exploration. Loved it.
Back onto our school bus, we head out of town to the Tsunami Memorial to the 8 people who died in the 2012 Tsunami that originated with an earthquake in Chile. There are still ship wrecks in the bay. This is a beautiful spot but you can see that since it is so low lying it could be deadly in a Tsunami.
As we travel along we see the Community College of American Samoa and dogs. Lots of Samoan Dogs. Jean has to steel herself as most of the dogs need help of some kind… sores, scratching, many just had pups and one person reported seeing a dog with a broken leg. They seem to
belong to everyone and no one. They were so docile and would come up and want to be petted. Hands wash, petting is important.
We stop at Flower Pot Rocks. These are tall rocks just off the shore with flowers growing out of the tops of them. At low tide you can swim around them.
Family is extremely important to the Samoans, in fact so important that when a family member dies they are buried in the yard of their homes. Samoans own their property and family, dead or alive, live there for generations. Outside most houses, there will be a family gathering place with something like a large, open patio cover for festivities or cooking or just sleeping if it is hot.
The men here wear lava lava’s, long pieces of fabric that wrap like a skirt. Some of the men on the ship have started wearing them (maybe 2 LOL).
After leaving Tau and our group we head into town to get a little free WIFI at (of course) at McDonalds. We spot a sign showing what’s for breakfast and have to smile. Do you like SPAM? Spam, scrambled eggs and rice? Or Spam
and Portuguese Sausage 😉 McDonalds is the place for you.
Everyone her has been so warm and inviting with easy smiles and very gracious, we hate to leave.
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