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Two nutheads in search for a particular beach ended up in fail. Although a successful one, for we found something better! After several busrides across Tutuila Julian and I started to walk down a path that supposedly would lead us to the best snorkel spot on the island. The only people we met carried iron pipes or chains, for dogs apparently, which got us a bit worried. Grabbed a couple of rocks each and continued on, until we fourty minutes later reached an old big house. We knocked on the door to ask for direction and out came a tiny old lady who seemed utterly surpriced to see us. "OH darlings, don't go there! They have put up a gate and you might not get out if you go through." She looked at our snorkel gear and must have noticed our disappointment as she flung out "I have a better idea! Why don't you go down to my private beach? Just walk through this palmtree plantation and you will find it."
So we did and found the most lovely little spot. Cracked open some coconuts and snorkelled for too long, soon realized that the last bus was about to return to Pago Pago. Therefor we ran up the plantation and once again thanked the lady. She made us hop on her son's truck for him to take us to the bus stop, but we were yet too late. We felt like two absolute nutheads! However another man helped us out, let us get on to his truck and drove more than an hour for no other reason than being kind. As we flew through the island on the back of the truck I couln't keep myself from smiling at how general kindness makes people feel, both giving and taking. More of that!
Left main island Tutuila before I knew it, for Aunu'u. Located outside the eastern point of Tutuila Aunu'u stand as the smallest populated island of American Samoa, with around 470 people. Julian, Dennis and I were lucky to be invited as friends by Hobo who has family on the Island, as required when visiting. We crossed over in a small boat together with some locals returning from the morning market in Pago Pago.
A rough old house tattered by a tsunami in 2009 got to be our current home. Bamboo mats on the cement floor made our beds, open window frames our ocean view. Simple as life! From this little shack we explore the island by foot: walking through thick bush to reach the edge of a waterfilled crater, many hidden lagunes and untouched beaches. Hobo proudly showed off his pearls of beauty, repeatedly pointing out what a special occasion this was. For his family to let us, three palangis, on their land ment acceptance and trust.
Fishing on a coral reef next to a stranded wreck followed by beer and peanut butter toast in the sunset. Laughed to myself about the weird but wonderful bubbel I live in, here with a random collection of personalities in paradise Pacific. Cheers.
I woke up in a sunlit room somewhere outside Pago Pago. Gradually from a deep sleep, by the conversation of a bunch of people sittning on the floor next to my bed. The bunch that I was fortunate to call family for the week. Hobo and Tura opened up their home for us, the three random explorers with nowhere else to stay. So it was and there we were, all ready to experience normal life in American Samoa.
Starting with preparing the umu lunch as usual on a Sunday. Step by step I learned how to husk, crack open and grate the coconut, to further squeeze out the cream through coconut fiber. This was poured over taro leaf bundels to be cooked on hot rocks making polusami. Taro root, green banana and breadfruit was put on the hot rocks too, before layering it all with big leafs. After an hour in this natural kind of oven the umu was ready to be served. Earthy flavours, yuuuuum!
We spent the afternoon in a natural pool right next to the house. Had some more umu. Played card games until the candles burnt out.
One good kind of normal If you'd ask me.