Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tisa's Tatoo Festival

This weekend was Tisa’s Tatoo Festival, described as “the most completely unique tradition on the planet.” It was held at Tisa's Barefoot Bar, a South Pacific institution, located on a beautiful beach in Alega, on the eastern side of our fair island. All sorts of tattoo artists were on hand ready to lend their skills to those willing to become walking art canvasses. There were plenty of good times to be had—food, drinks, playing in the ocean, music, entertainment, and all around merriment.

Julia, me & Naomi:

Here's the beach:

Everett playing on the rope swing:
The stage was really cool:

The power cord in the water...not so cool:

Getting their groove on:

LTM, Naomi & Barbara:

Inside the bar:
Flags hanging from the ceiling:
Drunk Clif made an appearance...which was awesome!
Candyman & Tisa:

Tisa doing a traditional dance to close out day 1 of Tatoo Fest:

Maps & Such...

American Samoa is often referred to as the heart of Polynesia. Here's a map of Oceania so you can understand where we are in relation to the rest of the islands in the South Pacific:

Here's a map of the islands of Am Sam (minus the Swains & Rose Atol):

This one shows how far away from stuff we are:

This map shows where we fall in relation to the International Date Line:

And finally, here is the flag of American Samoa:

A House Full of Puppies

As I've mentioned before, there are alot of wild and roaming dogs that live in and around Lion's Park. A few weeks ago yet another one of those dogs was pregnant and had a litter of puppies. The mom had been coming around my house whenever I would take Suka & Meli out for several days and a couple of times I saw a little white puff following at her heel. Then, one day as I was taking the girls out to go potty one last time before I headed off to work, I saw mom with one of her pups. As I approached them the puppy ran right up to me--he was super friendly. In the picture to the left, he was the one with the brown patch over his eye. I picked him up and I could hear his brother yelping from behind the fence. You see, there is a fence that runs along the outer edge of our street and there are several holes in that fence that the wild/roaming dogs go in and out of. Alot of times the pregnant mom dogs go back behind the fence and dig out dens to have their puppies in. I found the other pup and was able to guide him along the fence to the hole. Once out, I was able to scoop him up too. Then it was back to my house to feed them and keep them safe until I could contact the humane society and see if we could get these guys fixed up and adopted out because the last thing we need in Lion's Park are more wild dogs. They had some skin issues, but nothing that couldn't be fixed and I gave them both baths (they were covered in fleas). For a couple of days I had 4...yes, 4...puppies in my house.

I couldn't believe how big my girls looked compared to the little ones.
Here's Suka playing with one of the puppies...

I called him Piglett:

I called him Patch:

As sweet as they were, there was no way I could keep them. The two that I have are plenty! So Cheryl came to get them and took them home to get all fixed up and ready to be adopted out. If you live in American Samoa and are looking for a good pet, these two pups are super friendly and are in need of a good home.

Marsik is Gone...

Michael Marsik recently left the Rock for good and returned to Hawaii. But before he went, we had a little send off for him. Good food, good friends, and of course some awesome T-shirts! Following his lead, we all got shirts that said simply "Marsik". Good times.
Here's LTM & Marsik:

Siri hearts Marsik:
Jeremy & Naomi:

LTM getting her wine on:
Barbara, Marsik & me:
April (after coloring her hair with highlighters...yes, I said highlighters) & Marsik:
Amity, Doug, Jer & Naomi:
We (heart) Marsik!!!

Evergreen Store Fire

A month or so ago as we were about ready to head home for the day, we got word that traffic was backed up for miles. Given that there is only one road, it made for a pretty long commute. For a good portion of the drive, there was a girl walking along side the road who was either keeping pace with my car, or actually moving further ahead...that's how slow it was.

The reason for the gridlock was a store in Nuuuli had caught fire and burned to the ground. As you got closer, you could start to see and smell the smoke. The fire started several hours earlier, but it was still burning. In fact, even the next day as we drove back past the store on our way into work, we could see the debris continue to smolder. Turns out, it was arson, and I've been assigned the case to prosecute. We'll see how that goes...

Sunset on Lima Street

Sunset on the street where I live...nuff said.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thanks Boys...

I've been pretty stressed out lately. I got several trials dumped in my lap that were no where near being ready to be tried...discovery had been removed from the office, I had no contact info for essential witnesses, no preparation had been done, key evidence was missing, and my primary officer kept standing me up. After finally getting a continuance from the judge, the stress in my body hit a tipping point and I got a major migraine.

What I discovered was that the best medicine for my stress was a couple of friendly voices from home. There's nothing like reconnecting with good friends to lift your spirits and put whatever stresses this island has to throw at you into perspective. I had a smile on my face for the rest of the night.

Dan & Darin, thanks for the chat...xoxo

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We Have Wheels!!!

2000 Chrysler Seabring Convertible

Purchase Price...$5,000.00

Getting it checked out before we bought it...$65 carton of cigarettes

Parts needed to fix the lemon (6 spark plugs, 2 motor mounts, 12 lifters, a new battery, and other random parts)...$1,200.00

Labor for overhauling engine...$1,500.00

Stress over not having a working car for 5 months...some grey hairs and the beginnings of an ulcer

Finally getting to drive our convertible to work along the ocean...PRICELESS.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Camping at the Fales in Vatia

Last weekend (Columbus Day Weekend), a group of us decided to go camping at the fales in Vatia. Vatia is located on the north side of the island and to get there you have to drive over a pretty steep pass. The view from the top is amazing.

This is a view of Pago Harbor on the way up the pass:

Below is a view of our beach from the top of the pass:

Our beach:

The puppies at play:

Here's the campground (the next 2 pictures were stolen from Ned's blog because I forgot to take pics of the fales):
Here are the Bromo's fale all decked out in mosquito netting:

There is a fresh-water shower where you can rinse off after playing in the ocean:

LTM & Ned stuck in the sand:

Emily hanging out in one of the fales:

Folks spent the day hanging out in the fales and snorkeling and swimming at the beach. Some of the boys played football with a few of the local Samoan kids, and another group drove down the road to go diving. When it started to get dark, we BBQ'd up some food and headed down to the beach for a bonfire. The weather was beautiful and it was fun night on the beach.

Marsik (out like a light) & Chase hanging on the beach:

Dance party 2008...Pirate Chris & April:

Tending to the fire:
Pirate Chris firejumping:

Pu, all tucked in for the night:

The next day, everyone was exhausted and spent some time on the beach soaking up the sun before we all piled in our cars and headed home:

Even Suka & Meli had their fill of fun for the weekend and settled in for the drive home: