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Life in AMerican Samoa
Posted on 01/13/2003 8:13:24 PM PST by Blunderfromdownunder
I am moving to American Samoa next week and was wondering whether any of you friendly freepers have lived there and know what its like. I have read up on the net as well as various books but would like to hear from anyone who can supply me with the view of life in Am.Sam. as an ex-pat.
TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: americansamoa; archaeology; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; lifestyle; pacificislands; polynesia
To: Blunderfromdownunder; Naked Lunch
posted on 01/13/2003 8:15:43 PM PST
My Aunt and uncle spent a number of years in Suva Fiji and maybe some in Vanuatu. Perhaps their insights would be useful. If you think so, I'll see if I can share their email address with you.
posted on 01/13/2003 8:21:40 PM PST
(3RD FREEPCARD FINISHED)
I never been there, but it looks like a nice place if you like isolation, tunafish, bananas and coconuts.
You might want to take an umbrella along,
looks like you'll be arriving in the middle of the typhoon season.American Samoa
posted on 01/13/2003 8:36:09 PM PST
by Willie Green
(Go Pat Go!!!)
Hi, and thanks for your reply. I have been to Fiji afew times to so I know roughly what kind of conditions I can look forward to on a Pacific Island, but Am. Sam is likely going to be a little different because 1)its not touristy 2)its alot smaller and 3)Its an American territory. For that reason I would assume its more like Guam or somewhere in micronesa,a s opposed to Fiji or Vanuatu.
If you do get over to Vanuatu help the good folks at Kazaa pack up for the move to the next island.
posted on 01/13/2003 8:47:09 PM PST
by nunya bidness
(Your ad here!)
posted on 01/13/2003 8:49:49 PM PST
Am sure you're right.
Guess I'd keep tabs on the USGS quake newsletter.
Tidal waves are likely to be an increasing problem in the whole region.
We shall see.
IN any case, have a blessed trip and stay.
posted on 01/13/2003 8:57:05 PM PST
(3RD FREEPCARD FINISHED)
What an opportunity! Samoans are a wonderful, caring, and
giving people who have a very rich and at times rigid culture.
I recommend you extend yourself (as much as possible) to
the Samoans you meet by offering your friendship, respect
and when appropriate, gifts (family elders). Samoans
are known to take people in immediately who have done
as I have written. You might also be warned that Samoans
were more "war like" than other polynesian
cultures in the past. It is best to have them on
your side in a pinch. Once you're "in" the family,
they will always watch your back.
Enjoy your trip! Hope you have a great time!
You must try a traditional little dish they serve over there. It consists of a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow, melted between two graham crackers. Very tasty.
I would contact the people at Aggie Grey's. Even though they are on Western Samoa, I am sure they can give you information on American Samoa. Great hotel and great people!
I've lived there. It's not quite what you expect. Imagine a country totally dependent upon handouts from the American Government to survive. Whenever a new governor or Speaker of the Fono takes over, he appoints all of his friends and relatives to all the Government Positions. Of course, all of the relatives of the former Speaker are all still there, so you have several people doing the work of one. A lot of patronage- of the governmental and the commercial variety. But still, a wonderful place where the people can be quite friendly and loving too. Here's a list of To Dos:
1. Buy the Lonely Planet Guide to Samoa, published by your folks down under. The best guide. Read the section on manners and protocol. Contrary to popular opinion, there is a lot of protocol and strict behavior codes in Samoa.
2. DOnt expect the people to laugh at anything more sophisticated than slapstick humor.
3. If you're an atheist, for heaven's sake don't tell anyone. Even agnostics will get pressured till they break down and express a preference for a single religion, at which time everyone will breathe a sigh of relief.
4. Never throw a party featuring a food buffet or a no host bar. The first 3 people down the line will pull out plastic bags, throw all the food in the bag, and then happily go home.
5. Never let someone live with you "for a short time until they get on their feet." You'll be supporting them until you go home.
6. Overlook pilfering. Its going to happen, and its considered not dishonest, but "sharing."
I'll write more when I have time.
To: Naked Lunch
7. Bring some of that medicine for body lice (scabies) cause you're going to catch it sooner or later. You'll most likely catch it in some hotel or "western style" home.
8. The cleanest, freshest, coolest place to stay in is someone's fale. These native houses take full consideration of the environment into their planning design- unlike western brick houses which are stuffy, hot, and insect filled. Take a mosquito net- they sell them at Ikea.
To: Naked Lunch
I met a Samoan family newly immigrated to the U.S. several years ago. Their son skipped a few classes at school, and the parents were mystified why the school didn't send someone to haul him to class every morning. They said that "at home" the government always does that.
I found the family to be very friendly and capable, but extremely dependent. The father was from one part of Samoa, the mother from the other half, I can't remember which was which, now. The dad was a bantam, dark and edgy, but friendly and anxious to be helpful. The mom was tall, very calm, actually very beautiful. They said they'd been dreaming of moving to the U.S. for many years.
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