Friday, January 27, 2012

Last Place in the World

Greetings from the westernmost place on Earth...American Samoa. It has been a long trip back to Samoa, since I left on Sunday, and although I leave in just a few short hours back to Samoa on a half hour flight, I won't arrive until Saturday. This is do to many factors...The first getting to Samoa is much harder than a year ago when there was a nonstop flight from Los Angeles. I had to take four flights to get to the mainland, and 4 flights to get back to Samoa. On Sunday while I was waiting for my flight in Salt Lake City, Utah (I never realized how beautiful those mountains is a perfect view right outside the airport.) my plane broke. It had maintenance issues and while we awaited a new part, many of us were scrambling around to figure out our connecting flights. Most people were just heading to other Hawaiian islands, which is easy as there are many flights out a day, and I think I was the only exception. "You know there aren't many flights to PaGo PaGo" the airline attendant told me as I chuckled with the hard emphasis on the G's. The next flight was not until Thursday, so I would have to wait it out in Honolulu until then (what a hard task!).
Hawaii was full of adventure. I packed so much into those four days that I made it really worthwhile. I went to the USS Arizona, scuba dove a ship wreck, went to the zoo to visit the lion from Denver (and hang out with goats in the petting zoo), sunrise hike up Diamond Head, and a trip to Sea Life Park (where I got to see the only wholphin in the world-Mom was a dolphin and Dad was a Killer whale which made a gigantic dolphin weighing 900 pounds.), and hung out with my cousin who for geographical reasons, I barely ever see. I also continued on my quest to eat America and eat everything I can possibly....which was so delicious!
Thursday came, and upon arriving at the airport, I was thrilled to see so many happy Samoan faces. (Not to say that Hawaii isn't full of them as well!) I got myself adopted into a family, and when no one was sitting next to me on my flight, a little girl name Katie decided best friends sit together. Katie talked to me the entire trip, quizzing me on my Samoan and telling me about EVERYTHING! It was really cute how the father was always waiting for me to catch up so we can do everything together, even going through customs.
Thursday night, I recieved my last treat of airconditioning and hot water in a hotel in Tutuila (American Samoa), and today, Friday, I travel back to Western Samoa.
As you probably know, while I was away Samoa decided to skip a day (Dec. 29th) and go into the future by moving the international date line. Fridays are good days to skip as you go directly into the weekend. I am glad I can follow their advice and go straight into Saturday.
It will be nice to be back in Apia, and I am really looking forward to the next year.
Let the adventures begin!


  1. is Pago Pago like Samoa? or is it like Hawaii on a smaller scale? I think I would like to take an adventure to Samoa but have the American things like cable tv, American fast foods if I need it, fast(broadband cable)internet, hot water and air conditioning but have access to the Samoan experiences you've been experiencing .....

    Char Briggs, Caldwell ID, USA

  2. Pago Pago is a weird mix between Samoa and America. There is a strong American influence, but deep inside they hold their Samoan roots. There is plenty of fast food, fast internet, hot water, and air conditioning there....
    But Samoa has that too...Resorts and some hotels have all that, and I feel like more. The only difference is in Western Samoa, you have to pay for your internet. There is only one McDonalds here...but there is plenty of food you can get quickly. People have BBQ stands set up around the island (which is much different than American BBQ).
    Although I liked visiting PagoPago, I feel like Samoa has a lot more to offer because of not having as strong a Western influence....
    I don't know if what I am typing is making sense...

  3. Thanks Lillian for answering me. I was wondering how it might be in Pago Pago. We actually met 3 students from American Samoa attending Idaho State up here and their English was very American. They didn't have any accents and they told me that they were born and raised in Pago Pago. Two of them were up here for football scholarships and the gal is a nursing student. I have heard that in your Samoa they speak with a British accent. These students from Pago Pago spoke like they grew up here in Idaho but they told me coming up here for college was the first time they've ever been away from Pago Pago. I so want to come visit your Samoa because it sounds more like a tropical place that is unspoiled by Western standards. The students also told me that even they like to go to the other Samoa for vacation because it is cleaner, the folks are nicer, and they actually have a tourism industry whereas the U.S. Samoa is too much like living in Hawaii's outer villages ....thank you for your blog! I love reading it