After our stay on the southern side of the island we headed north to a hotel 10 minutes outside of Apia. This hotel was close to the compound Dad was visiting and as a bonus, the food here was great and much cheaper.
The missionary compound we visited is on its way to being completely self sustainable. Everything they grow is edible, they have a fish farm, pig farm and use the pig and human waste to produce methane gas. It is a surprisingly self sufficient gas production method and they hope to use it to generate electricity in the near future. For now they use it for stoves and ovens.
Our hosts were very gracious and we had a lot to eat! Noah loved looking at the pigs and running around with the chickens and cats... and of course he won over the hearts of our hosts.
Notice the woven mats hanging on the fale in the picture with Noah holding the fan. Those drop down to the ground like shingles or louvers and are used to block the elements. Many people in Samoa still live in open fales (the traditional way).
Before we departed W.S. we stopped at the market in Apia to look around. It is bigger, but very similar to ours in A.S.
From the airport we traveled by shuttle to the resort on the southern portion of the Island. Western Samoa has better roads and less dogs than A.S., they also have more large animals. As we were traveling the driver had to stop as a family of horse ran into the road. Many people here still use horses for transportation. They also have cattle in W.S., something I wish we had here but our Island just isn't big enough.
Our resort was on the smaller side when compared to those in the Caribbean, but beautiful none the less. We spent our days at the beach and in the pool relaxing. We ate a little conservatively as the food priced outrageously at this resort, and of rather poor quality too.
This side of Island was hit by the tsunami in 2009 and therefore the reef here was desolated. I went snorkeling once and it was as if a bulldozer had leveled the entire reef. There were few fish, but the only notable things I saw would could put you in the hospital; a Devil's Scorpionfish (venomous spines on it's back) and a large cone snail (venomous harpoons). Needless to say I wasn't too interested in finding more of these species and headed to shore.
A highlight of our trip was a little day trip we took to the To Sua ocean trench. This is one of two large sink holes which are connected to the ocean through caves. Unfortunately I didn't learn that I could have made the swim through the cave to the ocean until after we went. From what I'm told you don't even have to hold your breath for 30 seconds... oh well maybe next time.
From the trench pictured above, I did swim through to the smaller of the two which only fills with water during storms.
One more post tomorrow....
Last week we took a trip to Western Samoa, part vacation and part work. We stayed at a beach resort for most of the week in celebration of our 10 year wedding anniversary. After that we headed to a small missionary compound where they operate in a very sustainable manner. Dad was there to look at their use of human and pig waste to produce usable gas along with a few other interesting sustainable projects.
It was Mom and Noah's first trip on a small plane, it wasn't as scary as Mom thought and Noah was excited to be on the planes he watches fly overhead.
Only time for a quick post, more to come this week...
The Jaskowiak Family
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