Saturday, February 19, 2011

Grand Samoan Adventure Grand Finale: Prologue

The job search is going OK, I guess. I've had three interviews and two of them are still possibilities, and I can I honestly say that I'd like to work for either one. And not just because they might be reading this. On the other hand, I've been looking since December and I'm still not employed. Today I went to a job fair at Carowinds (the same amusement park from this entry on my trip home). I stood in line forever¹, mostly standing between a teenager with multiple lip piercings and a group that was very, very concerned that the drug test might be today.

So anyway, back to last November...

*LOST-style flashback*

I decided somewhere in the last two weeks, since that this was my last, and possibly best chance to visit an island in the region that I had never been to, that I should, you know, go. Fiji and New Zealand were out of my budget and schedule, so it had to be either Ofu, a beautiful little island that's a part of the Territory over in the Manu'a group with a nice little beach resort, or the big island of Savai'i in Independent Samoa. Since this trip was to be so abrupt and everyone else was going to be working, I'd be going on this adventure by myself.

The problem with Savai'i was that it was relatively far. I had to fly to Samoa, take a taxi to the ferry wharf, then take a 90 minute ferry to the island. And that's just to get there.

The problem with Ofu was ASG. There used to be direct flights to Ofu, but then, at probably the worst time imaginable, ASG ruled that the airstrip in Ofu was too small to be safely used, but didn't give them any funds to expand it.² So then the only way to get there was to fly to the island of Ta'u, also in the Manu'a group, and then overpay for a small ferry to Ofu. And then get back that same way. One of my friends told me that while riding that ferry, it started to sink and they all had to bail the water out.

So, it seemed like either way I'd be flying to one island and then taking a ferry to the island that I actually wanted to go to. For a while I also considered just flying to Ta'u and staying there, although there's not much to do there besides hike by yourself and there isn't much to see other than Saua, the spot where Polynesian people are said to have originated from. Also, there's no place to stay there. Though it would have been fitting to wrap up this blog with a visit to the island where the book that this blog got its title from took place.

Finally someone explained to me that Ofu was good for relaxing and navel-gazing, but that Savai'i was the place to go for an adventure. I made my decision.

I'd like to see Ofu someday...

¹ Just like any other trip to an amusement park, amirite?
² By "worst time possible," I mean that the supply boat was dry-docked for longterm repairs that were made longer by ASG's attempts to destroy the company fixing them, and that was done when there were still months left before they would be finished. For a while there Ofu was being resupplied by airdrops.
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