Cocoa - While cocoa trees aren't as common as some of the previously discussed foods, they can still be found all over the island. The cocoa bean are separated form the fruit and dried/roasted in the sun. You can then buy the pure cocoa end product at any sore around the island. The locals make a coffee like drink from it, but most commonly they make "koko" rice which is basically the original Coco Krispie's. The cocoa pods are orange-ish and the seeds are covered with a white sweet layer that is removed before drying.
After removing the shell and the white coating, the cocoa beans are roasted/fermented in the sun, ground and sold in very hard lumps. The picture on the left below is a very typical scene at the local store check out. They cost about $4 each and are the purest chocolate you can get! You just have to take the cocoa lumps home and grind it up, we use a blender or a cheese grater, and add it to smoothies, ice cream, coffee, etc.
Jackfruit - These are much less common and I have never actually seen them growing, but you can buy them occasionally. Jackfruit looks like a big breadfruit, but hey are sweeter and taste almost like banana/pineapple. There are lots of big seeds to eat around and it is all VERY sticky, so plan for everything it touches to be sticky.
Two weeks ago we were supposed to take a direct hit from Cyclone Amos. We had our water, candles, flashlights etc. ready to go, the windows were boarded up and we waited.... and waited... and nothing happened. By some stroke of luck the storm went north of us and we experienced very mild storm conditions, speaking with respect to our location, we have had regular, unnamed storms that were worse. Overall the island had some isolated power outages and downed trees, pretty lucky.
Three weeks ago was Flag Day, this is the biggest annual celebration on the island with weeks of preparation for the week long festivities. Outrigger canoes races occur all week prior to Flag Day and there are festival tents with food and wares from American Samoa and Western Samoa. Unfortunately this year it rained all week, but there was a break in the clouds and we made it to the stadium for part of the Flag Day ceremonies.
A few previous posts have mentioned Fatu ma Futi, and this has become our go to beach. It is relatively calm and clean and it is closer than the rest. You are not permitted to visit this beach on Sundays, but we make every effort to get there on Saturdays. Noah is getting more proficient in the water and can manage deeper water in his floaties.
TIPS FOR FUTURE A.S. RESIDENTS: You can check local classifieds at http://samoanews.com/
The Jaskowiak Family
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