Dad had to take a work trip to the outer three islands of American Samoa; Tau, Ofu and Olosega, which are collectively called Manu'a. There is flight there once a day... when the plane works that is, and it seems to be not working a rather alarming amount of the time. I was able to catch a functioning plane on Monday which non-functioning the day before, a fact that lead me to be mentally prepared for an emergency water landing the whole flight... did you know that sitting in the back of a plane increases you chance of survival? I do...
So anyway, on Monday I flew into Tau which is the larger of the three islands and the furthest east. From the airport we went straight to the wharf on the other side of the island to catch a boat.
The drive around the island took about 10 minutes, the road runs along the coast line. The coast on Tau is rather bleak, not many beaches and very little reef.
Upon arrival at the wharf, where we have a company "office", I was greeted with a nice little snack of freshly caught and fried mackerel and "vaisalo" (warm coconut cream with tapioca). I ate and waited for the boat to be loaded. On this trip I had the fortune of a big boat, which travels to the islands occasionally to haul food, fuel and other materials.
The Tau coastline west of the wharf was rock/cliff and from here you can see Ofu and Olosega in the distance.
After a few hours of preparation we headed out, the ride took about an hour and a half and I enjoyed sitting on the bow taking it all in. I was unaware, until this trip, that flying fish are plentiful in these parts, as the ship passed schools of flying fish would leap out of the water and "fly" for surprisingly amount of time and distance.
Getting to Ofu/Olosega pretty much took the whole day, which was a little disappointing because I was hoping to get a jump on work to allow some free time on the island. I was excited to see these two islands, the beach on Ofu is touted as one of the top ten in the world by who ever it is that decides those things. I must say these two islands did not disappoint, the whole place has an amazing calming effect and the vibe of a permanent vacation. They are everything you imagine when you think of a distant tropical island and made me wish our island was more like them! Villages and roads that are sand covered, calm waters, less dogs, and spectacular views.
Upon our arrival we had to wait while the boat was unloaded, we assisted some local folks with their arriving goods and headed to our accommodations. There is one hotel on the island with a standard set up, however; we stayed in a shared house, with shared facilities in the middle of a Village and 5 feet from one of the only stores on the island. A fact that would take my moments of calm enjoyment and crush them.... more to come on the trip soon.
NOAH NEWS: Noah has begun the final phase a teething, getting his 2 yr molars. A process which is sure to be long and emotionally charged. Besides that he is still a giant ball of pure energy. He is learning a couple new words a day and I am always surprised when he repeats something after telling him just once. Now is definitely the time for Mom and Dad to watch their language!
TIPS FOR FUTURE A.S. RESIDENTS: If you want to use your smart phone when you get here, make sure you have it unlocked by the carrier before you arrive and you need a SIM card port.
The Jaskowiak Family
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