Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More of that Vacation We Took More than a Month Ago!

Thursday, July 23rd

Eat a giant lunch at Hong Kong Palace, then head on over to wait for the commuter flight to The Independent State of Samoa™.

For about seven hours.

Yeah. We were already leaving a day later than we wanted to due to booking issues, and then our flight was delayed by three hours. Then a bit more time. Then there seemed to be a holdup for no apparent reason. At least we weren't wishing that we had spent the day seeing the island, as it was pouring down rain the entire time. Heavily enough to cause at least one of our delays, actually.

So FINALLY we got to board our plane, which was now headed for the much farther away Faleolo Airport, because Fagali'i, the airport where we were originally supposed to arrive, doesn't have lights.

Arrive in Samoa somewhere around 10, still without having eaten dinner. Hire a taxi to the hotel and ride with a fascinating guy who works for Starkist and is absolutely certain that they aren't leaving American Samoa anytime soon, which is awesome. Learn that in a rush to get us out of there 15 minutes earlier, the airline won't bring the checked bags until tomorrow. Learn that we put everything in our carry-on bags, but that our new friend is down to whatever he has in his carry-on bag in the trunk.

Which the bellhop took out with our bags when we arrived at the hotel. Which we didn't notice until the taxi was long gone. With absolutely no way to contact him. Oh well.

Leave his bags at the front desk and check into our awesome bungalow. Order room service for dinner because everything else closes at eleven. Dad's facial expression really says a lot here. Kind of a tired, excited, and relieved face all at once.

Or maybe I'm just posting this because it's one of the only pictures we took the entire day.

Thursday, July 24th

Wake up and see what our bungalow looks like from the outside.

Take a cab to Vailima, Robert Louis Stevenson's old place. Convince the cab driver who must really be having a hard time finding passengers that he does not need to wait for you there all day. Stand on the front porch and take a classic cheesy waving shot.

Decide that it's better to stop and go to bed now rather than in the middle of the tour.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Really Cool Story that No One Knows About, but You Will After you Read this Post with a Legnthy Title!

Well, I was totally going to keep on blogging about that awesome vacation I had over a month ago, but breaking news events tend to derail everything that I'm doing, and tonight some political figure of some sort appears to have passed away.

So as promised, I won't go more than a week without posting something, so I present to you the tragic tale of (kinda-sorta relatively) nearby Howland Island, which went from a tiny abandoned speck, to a poop-mining center, to a fledgling colony, to the center of an international tragedy, to the target of little-known follow-up attacks the day after Pearl Harbor, to a base hosting around 1,000 Marines, and then back to an abandoned speck. Really quite an interesting read for something I just happened to look at because I saw it on a map in the office.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Still Updating!

I'll tell you what, nothing seems to derail my bloging habits like a multi-part entry. Or is that entries? Or...yeah, let's just get back to it.

We left off on the nearby min-island of Aunu'u, with that wild-looking tree.

Wednesday, July 22nd, Continued

From that tree, take a fairly intense hike through the jungle to a really big tree at the top of the mountain.

Meet a nice local man who lets you take a shortcut through a giant, mostly water-covered, taro plantation.

This is just a little less than half of it.

End up in the back of the village, where no white people are ever seen. Meet a small Samoan boy who points at your dad and exclaims "Palangi!" with awe, like it's the first one he's ever seen. Because it just might be.

Ride another "ferry" back to the main island. Deal with some jerk from Parks and Recreation who can't give you a ticket for parking in the space he considers reserved for him, so he double-parks you in.

Forget about that and go to the umu feast at Tisa's Barefoot Bar.

Enjoy free entertainment while you eat.

Finish another fun-filled day on the Rock with a nice 45-minuite drive back to my apartment.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Let's start something!

All right, I've been a bit lax on the blogging lately because I've been working on the script for an episode of a new local miniseries. Perhaps I'll post the screenplay, but what I'd really like to post is video of the finished product.

Anyhow, I'm going to start something new on this blog. As you may have noticed, sometimes I'm just too busy to make a real post. From now on, when I don't get the chance to blog for just over a week, I'm going to post a link to something interesting/entertaining, preferably something about the Samoas.

So as high school football season begins (which you can now hear on V103 FM, by the way), I don't think there's anything more appropriate than this article on football and poverty in American Samoa. I'll admit that I haven't yet had the chance to read the whole thing. Includes a video for those of you with off-island Internet connections, or like a whole hour to wait for a 7-minute video to load.