Sunday, November 23, 2008


So, at last, I have some internet. That isn't mine. And nowhere near where I get to live. But at least I get to update my blog this once.

I just got back from an interesting new church just a few blocks from my apartment that captures all the multiculturalism of American Samoa. And by that, I mean that the services are both in English and Samoan, with a translator repeating everything that the English-speaking pastor says. After the service, I was invited out to lunch, and after lunch I was invited to come back to the pastor's house and use their internet. So I still can't send you any of the awesome pictures that I've taken, but the good news is that my computer is on it's way.

After staying up too late to write that last blog entry, I flew out of Vegas and to Honolulu for an expected layover of two hours, which ended up being about 20 minutes, and then more than an hour. The important thing here is that I had to run across the airport to find quick food on a Sunday, and then stay in a weird little "holding area" for passengers headed to Pago Pago that we couldn't leave once we entered. They ended up having to unexpectedly load a stretcher on the plane in order to fly a medical patient out of American Samoa, (Healthcare on the territory, while free, is rather sucktastic, and people that require treament off-island are shipped out for free, which is largely seen as being the best part). If you understood that, congratulations, you are probably smarter than the average employee of Hawaiian Airlines.

But sitting around that much longer wasn't all bad. I got to talk a little longer with a woman I had met just before the flight from Vegas. It turned out that her husband had recently left her, so she was returning to the island for the first time in about 15 years to live with her family for a few months. She was a very interesting person, even if she didn't quite understand that I wasn't going to be working in TV repair. I also met a nice couple who was going to fly down there for a job interview with the hospital, which could really use him. He also had an offer to work in Guam.
I slept through most of the next stage of my flight. We landed in Pago Pago and the first thing I noticed after the door opened was HOLY CRAP HUMID BLAST. We walked around to the baggage claim, where I got my bags, and awesome new stamp on my passport, and went through customs. The customs officer opened one of my two enormous bags, moved about three items on the top layer of my clothes, asked if I was carrying anything illegal or for business pruposes (no), how long I would be here & what I would be doing (around 3 years, working for KKHJ), looked at me like he didn't believe me, and let me through. I then went out and met Joey, my supervisor, and Twinkle, resident crazy character of the station, and her husband, who drove a truck big enough to carry both of my bags. I'm tired of typing in detail, so I'll get to some of the better parts.

My apartment: Amazing view of the mountains from the front porch (which I have pictures of that you can't see), fully furnised, except for a dresser, which I finally got yesterday (some assembly required), a "split" air conditioning, which means that there is one unit in the front half and another in the bedroom, the latter of which doesn't really work, two nice couches and all of the appliances except a toaster (already took care of that). It also features 8 different ceiling lights, all of which work on their own seperate switch.

After thinking that I would have to get my cell phone "unlocked" in order to make it work in a "forigen country" and discovering the hard way that the only guy on the island who can do this set his business hours to noon to 10 PM, according to a piece of paper stuck on the outside of his apartment door. But then he had scratched this out and changed his opening time to 1 PM, because noon was just too darned early. But later that same day, I discovered that it didn't really need unlocking, which saved me at least $20. Huzzah!

In other news, I still can't quite grasp the idea that I actually live on freaking tropical island in the South Pacific.

Next time: Where I work, who I work with, and the awesome projects coming to a TV not-so-near you.

EDIT: The link to the more-or-less complete history of the territory in the previous post said that women and commoners are not allowed to vote here. This is total BS and I have no idea where they got that from. Perhaps it has something to do with the Senate side of the territorial congress, where the Senators are picked by the tribal elders. But that's not even close to what that article said.
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