Each Friday evening there is a market in Pago Pago (the capital of A.S. and pronounced Pongo Pongo), we are told that on the first Friday of the month it's a bit bigger than most so we headed out. On this particular evening we also heard they were also having a lantern floating, at which time I got excited at the thought of all those beautiful lanterns floating off into the Pacific sky...... nope. The floating was done on the water and was underwhelming but noteworthy none the less. Each lantern was fastened atop a styrofoam block which caused me to panic and desperately seek out someone to assure me that they would not be allowed to disperse into open water. I was told each one would be collected and disposed of properly, so we obtained one ourselves even though the use of styrofoam in any manner perturbs me (for those of you who don't already know, Dad is a bit of a tree hugger). We were instructed to write the name of a lost loved one and/or a prayer on the lantern after which it would be lit and set afloat.
While the intentions of this event were great, let's just say things weren't thought through all that well. Once released from the short dock, a rather strong breeze took the lanterns straight for shore as the unsecured candles shifted and set fire to the lanterns and styrofoam blocks below. The aroma of burning plastic and styrofoam soon covered the entire crowd and we decided to head for the market area located up wind. I did manage to capture a somewhat pleasant image.
The market was smaller than we are accustomed to in Western NY, but certainly contained more exotic foods. In greatest abundance you could find taro root and leaves, bananas, coconuts, coco, bread fruit and an assortment of prepared food.
I bought a few coconuts to drink and had a heck of a time getting a straw from the local women's stock. The coconuts were thirst quenching, but taste a little different than those in the stores back home or off the trees in the Caribbean.
We had octopus in coconut milk again.... I promise it tastes better than it looks!!
TIP FOR FUTURE A.S. RESIDENTS: Get on the "dissociates" Google group mailing list ASAP. This is a great group of off-islanders who help out other newcomers. Unfortunately you have to be invited to the group and therefore must know someone on it, but if you're reading this blog you do!
NOAH NEWS: Noah tried taro root and didn't hate it (it's kind of like a potato).
The Jaskowiak Family
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