Ofu and Olosega are two separate islands connected by a small bridge. We arrived at the western side of Ofu and took a 10 minute drive to the bridge on the eastern side where we crossed to Olosega and our accommodations.
We stayed in a four bedroom house in the middle of a small Village on Olosega. Just to give you an idea of the populations; Tau (the biggest island) has around 250 people on it, Ofu and Olosega combined have roughly the same... probably a little less. There are really only two stores on Ofu/Olosega and the house we stayed in was directly behind one of them... directly.... you can touch both buildings at the same time.
My room was very simple, just a bed and an air conditioner. I dropped of my stuff and went for a walk, which turned out to be the most relaxing walk of my entire time in the South Pacific. There was a beach directly behind the house and the calm water and amazing scenery made it so tranquil.
I just sat on that beach and was perfectly content. I headed back when it started getting dark and was surprised to find dinner was prepared for us. Just to back up a little, prior to the trip I was warned by everyone that there is very little to eat in Manu'a and what you can get in the stores is very expensive. As a result, more than half of my suitcase was food enough for the whole trip. No meals were supposed to be included in any of our stays, but because we helped out at the port with moving some of the shipment we were treated to a feast which included lobsters and a skip-jack (fish) caught just off the shore. I did briefly note the a lack of soap and raw meat strewn about the kitchen as I passed through, but dinner looked great.
The foil contained the skip-jack pictured on the right and there were pork chops under that gravy. By the time I ate the lobster and pork I only had room for the delicacy bits of the fish... the eye and the cheek, but those are the best parts anyway. At this point things were going great and I was feeling optimistic about he trip.
That positive attitude was gradually crushed into misery. After dinner I got washed up for bed, this was a little tricky with no sink in the bathroom but I managed. Then I jumped in my extremely firm bed with a pillow that felt almost as if it were filled with sand. "Eh.... who needs a pillow" I thought and tossed it aside. As I tried to drift uncomfortably to sleep I was suddenly drawn back to consciousness by a horrendous ripping sound, it as if someone was pulling out a roll of duct tape in front of a loud speaker. I couldn't see anything in the narrow alley next to my room (which help amplify the sound) and figured that the store owners where just unpacking something and it'll all be over soon. An hour later I was getting dressed to head out and confront the repetitive tearing. A crew of store employees were wrapping up meals in styrofoam boxes with plastic wrap, BIG rolls of plastic wrap, like the kind to wrap furniture. They look at my bleary eyed face and asked "Is that keeping you up?" to which I replied "Yes, are you almost done?", the response was "No" and they went back to work. End of conversation. Super
I went back to my room, accepted defeat and read for the next hour when the noise stopped and I drifted off.
One hour later... Sharp pains in my stomach, a flash back to the kitchen condition. Not good. As I attempted to throw some shorts on and run for the single shared bathroom, I discovered a second reason for my sweaty feeling... no A/C because the power was out!! I made my way through the dark praying nobody was in the bathroom and regretting what was about to happen in complete darkness.
THIS PORTION OF THE STORY HAS BEEN REMOVED FOR THE READERS SAKE
...so all in all, I slept about one hour.
In the morning we packed up and then got word that the boat which we were supposed to catch at 2PM was not leaving a 10AM. The rest of the time in Ofu/Olosega was spent rushing to get our work done, but I did squeeze in a couple minutes to take a few pictures and play with my camera. The picture directly below (HDR) was taken on the beach which achieved top ten status, I am disappointed that this was all the time I had to spend there.
The stay in Ofu/Olosega was brief, but certainly memorable. At 10AM we headed to the wharf to catch our much smaller ride back to Tau.... more to come.
The Jaskowiak Family
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