Our next stop after Hilo, Hawaii was Pago Pago, American Samoa. We have a fairly large Samoan community in Unalaska so I was very interested to see part of their homeland. We signed up for a tour along with quite a few of our fellow "Solar Flairs," the Facebook group of people we met prior to the cruise. One of our new friends from Australia, Val, set up this bus tour of part of the island, ending at Tisa's Barefoot Bar on a private beach, including a traditional meal.
Rich and me in Pago Pago
Our busload of tourists
New friends Linda and Roxanne
On the beach at Tisa's
Traditional meal being prepared
The view coming in to Pago Pago (sorry, these are a little out of order!)
View of our ship from the bus tour
Some shots Rich took as we toured the area
A long boat in our bus driver's village.
Back at Tisa's Barefoot Bar
On the beach
I got a pedicure in Honolulu before we left. :)
More shots from around Tisa's
Some of our group
Preparing our meal
We had chicken, pork, fish, octopus, bananas and breadfruit all cooked in an underground pit fire, pineapple, mango, and more.
Then it started raining
Back in town, we walked around awhile before heading back to the ship.
I don't really know what kind of political party these guys belong to, but I like their "People First" motto!
We learned from our tour driver that the culture is very family oriented and families pass down land and houses for generations. There were big pavilions in every village where families and the community gather for important occasions and celebrations. Another interesting cultural tradition is that many Samoans bury their dead in their front yards. We saw lots of homes with gravestones of varying sizes in front. Some have family plots separate from the home but most have tombs in the yard. Unfortunately we were driving past pretty quickly and couldn't get a good photo.
Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and the countryside was beautiful. Some families still maintain a largely subsistence lifestyle and our driver said "you don't have to work if you can fish and farm and get help from your family if you need it." There is a big Starkist Tuna plant which employs a number of people. We drove through the grounds and the smell was somewhat similar to the fish processing plants in Unalaska. :)