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Published: November 10th 2012
Pago Pago America Samoa
Talofa- from Pago Pago. Pronounced Pango Pango. The "G" is pronounced with the "N" sound as well. November 9th, 2012is a rainy day on the island. Our ship arrived early in the morning to many waves from happy smiles from the locals with energetic music that made you want to dance. I found America Samoa a conflicted island with much potential. The inhabitants are either Catholic or Mormon LDS. But yet hold their island heritage and belief of their gods in their hearts. They can only marry with permission from their local chief. They wish for higher education but only have a community college with a 2 year Associate Degree. And with very limited enrollment. They praise their island to be pristine, but there is garbage every where. They don't have a very good way of collecting garbage and the winds carry so the streets are littered. Dogs run in wild packs, but are friendly. They are also a very modest people. All the passengers received a letter asking ladies not to wear shorts our clothes that expose their legs. Bare shoulders are fine, but not legs and bare legs on men are fine. Also the locals were very happy to point out the is nothing poisonous on the island. We went on a tour that show cased a small local village. Every one was extremely kind and welcoming, and eager to share how they live. A very proud people. The men danced some of their local dances. Facial expressions and chants are just as important as the dance moves. They pound their chests and stomp their feet, where the ladies dance with grace like a hula. They joked that that is how they swat the mosquitos. Which are plentiful. They burn banana leaves to keep them at bay. Which actually smell nice. Now the drive...the drive was something to be desired. The highest speed limit on the island is 35 miles per hour. The vehicles, well on our tickets it stated, "The busses which you will travel in are the best on the island". Yikes! They are old converted pick up trucks with bench seats, outfitted for twenty people. And when I say bench seats, I mean wood. My butt is going to be sore for days. When our tour guide bid us farewell, she sang us a local song, very well and a capala, to wish us safe travels. Their was a genuine break in her voice, she wanted us to stay longer. The vendors are willing to deal on their wears. But not too much. They hold value and want compensation. As they should. I am very pleased with my small purchases. They were also very proud to point out they are apart of their franchise wars. The island posses two McDonalds, one Pizza Hut, one KFC and a Carl's Jr. Their churches are a thing of beauty. They church they brought us to would rival any church in Italy. There was a solid wood ceiling that was amazing. Such craftsmanship. I hope to share my photographs when I get to decent wifi. Next stop Suva, Fiji.
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