Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pago Pago American Samoa, Sept. 12

We left Suwarrow on September 1 headed for Pago Pago, American Samoa – an unexpected destination- to look for new batteries, a doctor, prescription refills, and, according to legend, Wal-mart, Costco, a stinky, polluted anchorage, and rude natives. Less than 450 miles away, should be an easy three days with favorable winds forecast, and not really out of the way to Tonga.

Day One of the passage was as advertised. Day Two, definitely harder. Day Three the winds died, the rain came, and the autopilot stopped working. What rain it was – soaking, pouring – like the Northwest on many Labor Days, only about 20 degrees warmer. Stuck on the wheel, it was time for the Gore-Tex, the fleece, hot liquids, and hard two hour watches through the night. The winds and seas kicked in overnight and when we finally saw the magnificent island out of the fog, huge breakers were spraying 100 feet of water up onto the cliffs. The pass was fine and we made it in safely into the magnificently situated but filthy harbor of Pago Pago.

The water is the color of orange pekoe tea, littered with plastic everywhere. Starkist and Chicken of the Sea both have big tuna canneries here right on the water that create an incredible stench when the conditions are wrong. There is a container port and big ships coming in and out. Other than that, the harbor – which is the capital of the territory - is a string of little villages with not much in them except a handful of small businesses and government offices. It’s easy to get anywhere on the colorful little buses or by walking. And it rains a lot.

We have been here almost a week. Other than the awful conditions in the anchorage, we have found American Samoa to be a delight. From our first contact the people have been friendly, gone out of their way to be helpful, and extended invitations. There is a smile on everyone’s face and interest in who we are and sharing Samoa with us. There is a warehouse store by the airport, but it isn’t a Costco or a Wal-Mart. It is easy to get things done here (English is everyone’s second language) and it is easy to go places by walking or on the colorful little buses. They use the US dollar and the US Postal Service, there are English language newspapers and NPR radio news. Prices are reasonable. Palangi (white people) are here as government workers, to do business, or to live the tropical life but there is virtually no tourism.

We accomplished many of our errands including fixing the autopilot and visits to the LBJ Tropical Medical Center, which is the only place to get treatment or medicines. Locals pay $100 to have a baby, $150 for C-Sections. Non-residents pay $600 and $1500 respectively, courtesy of Uncle Sam. Such a deal, no wonder the birth rate is high. We were honored guests at a church on Sunday where we got to hear four choirs sing, have visited the museum, hung out at the Yacht Club, eaten some good meals off the boat. There is a lot still on the fun to-do list – touring the island, seeing mountains and rainforest in the National Park right above the harbor, the marine sanctuary, going to a traditional Samoan feast, and a tour of the tuna cannery.


Blogger Justin said...

These things can without much of a stretch spare you more than $150 every week. You can put $75 every month towards obligation and open an investment account and spare $75 every month towards the up front installment on your new home. There are other simple approaches to cut costs with the goal that you can spare cash for paying off bills and for an initial installment on your new Dallas land as well. Auto Title Loans Chicago

1:23 AM  
Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

michael kors outlet clearance
louis vuitton handbags
michael kors handbags
longchamp outlet
michael kors bags
kate spade outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
nike air max uk
cheap toms
coach outlet
adidas stan smith
gucci outlet
michael kors outlet online
coach outlet online
toms outlet
coach outlet clearance
adidas originals
asics running shoes
adidas running shoes
ralph lauren
christian louboutin wedges
giuseppe zanotti outlet
michael kors purses
adidas wings
kobe 10
replica rolex watches
louis vuitton outlet online
jordan retro 11
replica watches
retro 11
toms wedges
michael kors outlet clearance
jordan 3 powder blue
true religion jeans
jordan retro 8
air jordan shoes
oakley vault
michael kors outlet clearance
nike uk
louis vuitton bags

7:18 PM  
Blogger Paulo said...

Trailer credits are turning out to be progressively prominent as the manufactured homes innovation propels in this way expanding the solace of these homes on wheels. The manufactured houses should sit in land that can be given by the distinctive governments or can be acquired by the trailer proprietor. auto title loans chicago

1:50 AM  
Blogger Paulo said...

With respect to vehicle credits or home advances after liquidation, another fundamental thing to consider is the store. For the individuals who have adequate assets to put down on a vehicle or a property, then getting a credit supplier won't be an issue in any capacity. Payday Loans

3:49 AM  
Blogger Paulo said...

Sadly the quick ascent of the business implied that woefully focused on frameworks and work force prompt to quality failures which brought about a few vast clients leaving for contenders. Furthermore, two administration colleagues left the organization and began a contending business. Auto Title Loans Chicago

8:27 PM  
Blogger Paulo said...

You might be in an ideal situation to apply for an unsecured credit extension that could be founded on your expressed wage versus an out and out advance application prepare. At times that is vital to regardless of whether you get the cash you require and the endorsement you need. cash advance san-diego

10:27 AM  
Blogger Paulo said...

Not the same as conventional bank advances, awful credit business advances ought not request idealize financial assessments. Indeed, on the off chance that you are told no by a customary monetary organization and need to get a grip of cash promptly, terrible credit business advances ought to be an awesome decision. Check Cashing

1:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home