Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Natural Woman...Fafa Style

This performance was at one of the fashion shows during the Pacific Arts Festival:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ayla Dancing the Ava

Here's a video of one of our friends, Ayla, dancing the Ava, a traditional Samoan dance. Ayla travelled to Japan with a polynesian dance group earlier this year and has recently left the Rock to go back to Peru before she starts college. She's going to be dancing and teaching some of the traditional polynesian dances there to make some money for school. Go Ayla!

Welcome to the Rock

Found this AmSam video on YouTube and thought it was fun:

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The other night I was sitting in my living room when I noticed the dogs were unusually quiet. I found Suka underneath the end table in the corner eating something and when I went to see what she was doing, I saw that there were hundreds and hundreds of these little insects. Some looked like little worms wriggling around, but most looked like ants with white wings that were about twice the length of their bodies. They were swarming all around the table in the corner. I couldn't figure out where they were coming from, so I just got the Raid and started spraying. I must have emptied half the can onto the couch, table, floor and walls when I noticed that there were about 15-20 frogs gathering in my driveway. They were bellowing to each other and when I looked out the window, I noticed that an even bigger swarm of these winged insects were starting to gather around my front door light. In a matter of minutes there were thousands and thousands of them flying around the light. It was like something out of a horror movie. After about an hour, they disapated...to where, I have no idea.

Cut to a few days later, I was having dinner at Dougs when I saw a couple of those things flying around in his house. WTF are they?!? According to Doug, they are termites...it's hatching time right now. Fan-flippin-tastic. I wonder where the THOUSANDS are that I saw at my place a few nights before? At least I don't own the house.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Yesterday a small group of ExPats crowded around a friend's TV in the middle of the South Pacific to watch Barack Obama be elected as the next president of the United States. I have never been so proud...way to go America! The sense of hope and optimism was palpable. Although I wish I could have been in the states just to experience the electric energy that we saw running through the crowds as we watched the coverage on CNN, I am nevertheless thankful that despite being nearly 6000 miles away from home, I was still able to vote in this historic election. I also loved this newspaper clipping that someone sent me back during the build up to the election. Pretty profound...

Here on the Rock, we had our own local elections, the biggest of which was for governor (basically like the president of AmSam). You can only vote if you've lived here for more than 2 years, which rules out most of the ExPats since for the most part we're here on 2 year contracts. On election day there were tents set up all over the island from the various candidates handing out free plates of food. In addition to all the races for representatives to the Fono (legislature), there were four tickets running for governor/lieutennant governor--the incumbant and three challengers. Since you have to get more than 50% of the vote, there will be a run-off in 2 weeks to determine the winner. It's down to Togiola (the current gov.) and Utu. We'll see how that goes.

Eni Faleomavaega just got re-elected to his 11th term as the American Samoan representative to the U.S. Congress. He has been representing the territory in this capacity since 1989, so he's no stranger to the political scene. Here he is on The Colbert Report...awesome.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Everyone Loves A Parade

This year, American Samoa played host to the Miss South Pacific pagent. Contestants from various pacific countries came to our island to participate in the week-long competition. Miss Fiji, Miss Tonga, Miss Samoa, Miss Nuie, Miss American Samoa, Miss Tokelau, Miss Cook Islands, and Miss Aotearoa Pacific all competed for the top honors. Our friend Jeremy got to play host to the beauty contestants as part of his job...not a bad gig, huh? As part of the festivities, there was a parade complete with floats made by the delegations themselves. We went to check it out:

Miss Nuie walked away with the top honors. She's the one in the last float picture just above the boys watching from the sidelines.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Spooky, Scary

If you're in Lions Park (where we live) on Halloween, you can expect swarms of kids to come trick-or-treating at your door. And when I saw swarms of kids, I mean HUNDREDS & HUNDREDS (if not thousands) of kids. They are bussed in from all over the island. Some are in costumes, others are not. Early on you get more of the little kids with their parents, but as the night wears on, you've got fully grown teenagers showing up without any costume on asking for candy or whatever else you've got to give. I was lucky in that we left Lions Park shortly after 6pm to go stock our friend Matt's house with food and supplies (he was having emergency surgery to remove his appendix on Halloween--actual surgery at LBJ...talk about scary!) so I didn't get overwhelmed with the full force of the invasion. But in the 20 minutes it took for me to get my stuff together and get out of the house, I had close to 70 trick-or-treaters and went through at least 1 giant bag of candy. For our Halloween fun, the Harty's threw an awesome pirate party over in Coconut Point. Julia spent the weeks leading up to the party collecting cool pirate paraphernalia and sewing costumes for her whole family. They were fan-flippin-tastic. Some people came as pirates, while others came in all sorts of other costumes. We didn't leave until after 3am and the party was still going when we hit the road. It was a great night.

A pirate fight broke out...even Peter Pan got in on the action:

LTM was Doug's House:

I was LTM: True Hollywood Story:

Aaron as Dirty Doug...wow...just, wow.

Yes, Nate is a douche bag:

Pirate Chris (aka Captain Jack Sparrow) & Samoa Steve (aka Giant Pirate)

The clerks in their rockin' safari suits:

A couple of latino kings:

Where do I even start...

By far, the coolest part of the night was the Tongan fruit bat that our friend Alden brought to the party. It's just a baby, so it can't fly yet. Only in American Samoa would you be able to play with a real live bat at your Halloween party.

As the night went on, we found more and more uses for Samoa Steve's awesome pirate sword. Here he is chopping Doug's cucumber with his sword. Don't ask why Doug has a cucumber in his shorts...long story. Check out Aaron as Dirty Doug doing his weights in the background and watch Jeremy's face after the chop is made...priceless.