Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I sat down and tried to tell her what I wanted. She chuckled, stated that I must have gotten this hair cut off island, and grabbed her electric shears. I grabbed the sides of the chair and held my breath. I had a vision of her turning the blades on me a shaving all my hair off. yikes. She didn't. Thank goodness. She was very fast - her usage of a comb and electric shear is a sight to see. She did use scissors at one point, but I think it was for my benefit because she might have sensed that using electric shears the entire time is not my usual m.o.
When she was done cutting, Muumuu began to style my hair. This is were the real fun began. First, she got a huge pile of mouse in her hand and flopped it on my hair. I did not have much hair left, so she struggled a bit in getting it all in. However, it seemed that the first pile was not enough, so she created a another huge pile of mouse and somehow blended it into my hair. She gave me what she called "The Executive" which was the professional court look. Not too bad. I thought that I was done, but as a finishing touch, she sprayed a half can of hair spray into my hair. The total bill was only $10 - a reasonable price for Samoa. I did enjoy my time with Muumuu, and will most likely go back, but do miss Tammy.
By the way, the next morning after my haircut, I woke up and my hair had not moved - still had "The Executive" ready for another day. I think I have to wash my pillow now.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Instead, I went to to brunch with my friends Sharon and Jonas at Deluxe Cafe - while Deluxe is no Luna in DC or Nookies in Chicago, it is not bad for Samoa. I ordered Apple Juice and I got this strange looking beverage that looked like Coke, with a cherry and ice in it. It tasted like Apple Juice, but with an extra something. We never figured out the extra kick, but we determined it was probably not that harmful. We spend close to three hours at Deluxe and I felt really refreshed after brunch - the magic of brunch. I came home and even cleaned the house. Cleaning is a bit of an uphill struggle because once a good wind comes along, it blows more junk into the house. oh well, at least I got brunch today. yum. And it finally stopped raining!
Friday, September 22, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
My motivation for outdoor activity was a large shrub next to my driveway - actually it was more like IN my driveway. I could not pull in or out without driving my car through it. I bought a pair of sheers. I am told most Samoans use a machete to trim the shrubs, but I thought that was a bit too butch for me. I enjoyed myself so much that I attempted to tackle the backyard as well. I was able to clear my a patio area out. At first I thought I had some large tropical plant in my back yard, but upon further review, I think it is just a really, really big weed that has turned into a plant. I am a little nervous that Little Shop of Horrors will replay in my back yard and this large weed will come after me. I think I will just stay indoors.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
I think she is running for Congress, or something like that. It was hard to figure out in a moving vehicle, even going 20 mph.
Monday, September 11, 2006
A good time had by all - however, a word of caution - San Miguel Beer - while the pride of the Philippines - is not something you should drink in a large quantity (or even in moderate quantity) for it does not provide a smooth day after. However, it is necessary to drink many bottles, because for some reason San Miguel tastes better after a number of bottles. Hmmm.
So, we decided to find our own beach, thank you very much. We drove to the Western part of the island. While the island is relatively small - something like 25 miles long - it still feels long because the roads are really windy and everyone goes 20 - 30 mph. We drove for about 45 minutes and found a nice stretch of beach. We found the closest house and rang the bell and asked permission to swim. It was granted. yeah. The beach was nice, but the water was a little shallow and soon low tide arrived. I wasn't too upset about the depth of the water after last weekend's adventure. The kiddie pool is fine with me.
A picture of our beach - a little cloudy due to the moisture on the camera - oops!
After awhile, we decided to keep driving west. We went through a number of neat villages, which felt very different from the big city of Pago Pago. We also went pretty far up on the island and then back down - I was glad I was not driving. Due to the geography of Tutuila, the main road (or any road for that matter) circles the island. At one point, the road simply ends in a village. We snapped some photos and head backed home.
The end of the road, or I guess the start of it...
The actual end of the road.
We stopped at another village and chatted with some locals. Everyone is soo friendly. Near home the Colletti's bought me ice cream. Chocolate Chip - it was great and only fifty cents. sweet.
Friday, September 08, 2006
For example, I am adjusting to the wild dogs. We have a bunch of random dogs all over the island. For the most part they leave you alone. I walked to the store one day and had about seven dogs follow me to the store and then back home. When I got back home, they just camped out on my front lawn. I now have a guard dog that walks around my property. He is useful, but he also barks at me, so I think he is more worried about the house then me. oh well.
Overall, I am enjoying the experience, but today was a tough one. I finally got DSL at home - sweet. However, my laptop still runs on Windows ME - yeah, old. So, the my friends at BlueSky (the Internet provider) could not hook up my computer. If a computer could laugh, it would have laughed at me today when I attempted to hook it up to a DSL line. My co-clerk saved the day - he brought Windows XP and I was able to upgrade and get the Internet working. yeah.
While I thought the DSL hook up was my crisis for the day - the powers that be had other ideas for me. In the afternoon, one of the court assistants called us and told us that something happened to my car. My car that I just got two weeks ago. It appear that some kid decided it would be fun to try to get mangoes out of the tree by using a rock. It seems his aim is not that good and instead of hitting the tree - he hit the front windshield of my car.
Fortunately, a number of kids stayed around and told us who did it. I called the cops. They took a "report" - I use quotes because calling it a report insults real reports (that line is for my trial team) - anyway, he took my name, and information. I told him that I had the name of the kid who did it and the name of his parents and the village where he lives. The cop was non-pulsed. He asked me if I wanted to press charges. I said yes, he seemed annoyed. He quickly left and told me that I could get the police report in about two weeks for the insurance company. However, I have learned that using the name of the Chief Justice (my boss) can be very helpful in working with the Samoan bureaucracy. Our office manger told the officer that I worked for the Chief Justice. The officer finally showed some emotion - he told me that the report would be ready by Wednesday.
I next called my insurance company. I decided to get full insurance and I am glad that I did! At first the insurance company seemed unfazed by my situation. They told me that I could not get it fixed until the police report came back and I got an estimate from a number of auto places. My voice went up an octave. They told me to come over to the office (which was across the street). Which I did. I tried to keep it in check - counting to 10 and breathing helped. Anyway, I filled out the forms and my claims agent looked at the car. He informed me the car was drivable - regardless of the smashed windshield and pieces of glass. By this time I was calming down and realized that I was in Samoa and just had to roll with the punches. The next punch was that of course my windshield glass was not kept on island and it might take about three weeks to get to me. good times. Looks like I will be driving with a shattered windshield for awhile. I drove home and even with the potholes, the windshield didn't move or shatter further. Sean and I taped it up with some packing tape - McGyver style. I guess it is good thing that we only drive 20 mph. No worries mother - I will be safe.
My insurance should cover all the damage - minus the $250 deductible. However, I am going to call the parents next week and see if I can get that covered. Perhaps a trip to small claims court....I'll keep you posted
Never dull in American Samoa - I really hope my stay in Samoa is not as action packed as the first two weeks. yikes.
Did I mention that the speed limit is 20 mph. I did not think cars could go that slow, but they do. I still have not gotten the car to 40 mph. I am looking for an open stretch of road, but I don't think I am going to find it. Two major reasons exist for the slow speed - one is the curvy road - and the other are the potholes that could swallow small children. It is a bumpy ride. However, a large part of the main road into town (Pago Pago) has been newly paved, and it is smooth. The slow speed does create helpful drivers - many people stop on the main road and let you turn onto it - now that is amazing.
It is exactly seven miles from home to work and it takes about 25 minutes, depending on traffic. Sean (my co-clerk) and I commute together and the ride is breathtaking - it always gets me going in the morning.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
The main island of American Samoa and my home