Home at last! I've been up for 34 hours now and this blog is the last thing for tonight! Samoa had non-stop rain except for the night that I left. I wouldn't call it gloomy because the greens were so bright and the flowers vivid red, and everyone was friendly. When you stay and work on a small island, you tend to forget how small it really is because it is your entire world. Everything that I did was so critical for work (and school when I went back to the hotel) that I never thought of the island in term of size. But this morning as the airplane flew over Oahu in the pre-dawn hour, I was struck by the sheer immense size of the island! I had never considered Oahu big before but after a week in Pago Pago, everything takes on a new meaning.

American Samoa is not a tourist paradise. The economy depends on the canneries and seafood shipping. It was hot and humid but at least in my area, it was mosquito free. The chickens and dogs really did run free. The dogs can expect a short life since there didn't seem to be any attempts to spay and neuter any of the strays. Dogs that run wild often encounter vehicles that do the same. The chickens tended to stay put near food. To us that live on the mainland, Samoa is in one of the most remote locations possible. To Samoans, it is just the opposite. The islands are in the center of the South Pacific, with easy access to developed nations such as New Zealand and Figi. Trade and business are available from anywhere in the South Pacific/South Asia region. The ice cream on the first flight today was green tea flavored but I didn't see any Japanese tourists on the plane.

It was quite the visit. I may or may not go back next year just depending on how the business develops.