Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yet Another Update!

Let's see, where did I leave off?

Sunday, July 19th, Continued

Go snorkeling while at Two-Dollar Beach.

Monday, July 20th

Take a vacation from your vacation and relax for a day while Adam is at work. Visit the Star Mound Site and try to figure out what it's supposed to be without being allowed to go on the big viewing platform, because it's apparently decaying.

Tuesday, July 21st

Visit the Turtle and Shark Site, because it's easily one of the most beautiful places on the island and has lots of waves crashing dramatically into lava cliffs, and that makes for good picture-taking.

Get hit by a giant wave while standing up there and then immediately see a shark. Catch it on shaky still camera mpeg video.

Drive all the way down past Leone to That Place that Adam Likes to Take Pictures From.

Wednesday, July 22nd

Drive down to the East End to take the ferry to Aunu'u. Teach Mom how to pronounce Aunu'u correctly (OW-nu-ooh). Discover that the ferry is just a handful of small boats over extremely choppy waters that don't give out life jackets. Go anyway.

"You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought."

Briefly look at the one village on the island and then begin hiking on the closer loop of the figure-8 trail on the island. Check out the entire lake of quicksand.

Throw rocks in that light brown area and watch them do a weird sandy splash thing. Drop one a thicker spot and watch appear to do nothing at first, then sink down into a bubbly dent in the sand.

Keep following the trail and get a great view of this cool outcropping and more dramatic waves crashing into it.

Also take a look at this, uh, unique tree right on the same beach where you can watch that from.

Decide that this is as good a time as any to end this entry and go to bed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Update!

Okay, now that all of that fun stuff like not working, having my parents here, and getting off of the island for the first time since I got here eight months ago is over, I can get back to blogging! Horray!

With my first guests on the island, and with my first string of more than three days off in a row, I made a startling discovery: There isn't really that much to do here. Especially if your guests aren't completely obsessed with hiking.

But I asked around a lot, borrowed some travel guides, and even browsed through my pictures on my laptop, and was able to scrape together enough for a satisfying seven days on The Rock¹ and 1.5 days in Indie Samoa². Yeah, that's totally what I was doing the entire time I wasn't updating much, and never, ever playing computer games. Nope, nope.

I must also give credit to my awesome girlfriend who came over and helped with completely spearheaded a massive cleanup of The Nest.³ During said cleanup, she taught me important things, like how my water pitcher-filter had been put together wrong (basically making it an ordinary pitcher for the two months that I had owned it), and how my stovetop OPENS UP for easy cleaning!


So anyway, I managed to scrape together nearly everything there was to do on the island, and I think they had a pretty good time. And I got to take some pictures with Mom's camera and transfer them to this laptop, so you get to actually see where we went, and I get to pad out this entry with them.

Friday, July 17th
Go on a driving tour of the entire island, directed by the pastor of Adam's church while Adam is working. See first fautasi race and dancing fafafines at Blue Sky's 10th Anniversary festival.

Including a tour of the National Park and the spectacular views it has to offer:

Buffet dinner of Samoan food at the Tradwinds Hotel. Enjoy oka until you learn that it's raw fish. Take in a show of fiafia dancers while you eat your taro chips.

Saturday, July 18th

Lunch at L&L Hawaiian BBQ. Hike up to the WWII-era cannons, which happen to offer some spectacular views (More pictures of these and others when I get around to them on my Facebook albums).

Realx at Maliu Mai Resort with some cold beverages and enjoy the view.

Sunday, July 19th

Go to church, meet everyone there and have lunch with them and taste the exotic menu at a strange place called "Carl's Jr." Relax at Two-Dollar Beach. Discover an eel that the local kids say is poisonous but probably isn't.

Get tired and go to bed. Write more later.

¹ American Samoa, not the wrestler who happens to be half Samoan. I'm going to dedicate and entire entry to explaining nicknames given by locals.

² "The Independent State of Samoa.™" I guess I'll have to include nicknames that I made up as well.

³ My apartment. It can get a bit messy.