Back home, fall has started and every warm day might be the last until spring. The days are getting shorter. Coats have come out of the closet. Stocking caps and wool socks won’t be far behind.
Here in American Samoa, it’s still shorts and sandals. Last week was the hottest it’s been since we got here. Today we’ve had, I would guess, two or three inches of rain in the last three hours. And the rainy season hasn’t truly begun.
I planted a garden last week. Tomatoes, eggplant, sweet potatoes, basil, and chives. I’ll plant some squash and watermelon seeds once I dig up a big enough patch of the yard. Everything’s off to a great start. My tomato plants were eight inches tall and scrawny when I got them. A week after putting them in bigger pots with some compost, they’re nearly two feet tall and starting to flower. The basil seeds sprouted the day after I planted them and at this rate I’ll be making pesto in a couple of weeks.
Wednesday was the one-year anniversary of the tsunami that devastated much of the island. The governor declared a Day of Remembrance; pretty much everything shut down for the day and most people spent time with their families, visiting the graves of the victims and assessing how much rebuilding still needs to be done in the villages that were hit.
Mary and I weren’t here when the tsunami happened, so it was difficult to decide what to do with our day off. We ended up going to Larson’s Cove with a few friends. I felt a little awkward going and having a good time at a beach on Rememberance Day, but if we wouldn’t have done that we probably would have sat around the house and that’s really no better.
We’ve been here for two months now. So far, it’s been great. The things I don’t like about American Samoa are all fairly minor details- the roads are full of huge potholes, it’s expensive to eat healthy food for every meal, I can only listen to baseball games instead of watching them. Mary and I both get homesick on occasion, but an hour of snorkeling in the coral reef, or seeing the way the light hits Matafao at sunset, reminds us that we’re in a very special place and we intend to live life here to the fullest.
Here are a few pictures I like that I haven’t posted yet:
This is what Mary gets to see every day on her morning commute.
One of our breadfruit trees.
I don’t know how I got this picture without any dogs or chickens in it. There are a great multitude of both around the hospital.
My insurance card- very official.
Some flowers in our yard. I don’t know what they’re called, but they’re pretty.
Another shot from Mary’s commute.