Guest Sharon Johnson and her husband were on Volendam for the trans-Pacific voyage to Sydney and the circumnavigation of Australia for 55 days. Enjoy this post and photos from their call at American Samoa.
When the Volendam docked in American Samoa we took a tour called “A Taste of Samoan Village Life” which included some great photo opportunities at “Flower Pot Rocks”, the scenic coastline of Samoa and an up close and personal experience with Samoan culture. We rode in buses island style, lots of wooden benches and open air. There is only one main road around the island. The island is divided into districts and each district has a different chief. As we drove to Aoloau Village, we noticed tombstones in the front yards. Important members of the family or chiefs were buried there. The land can’t be sold as it is owned by Samoan families. Even the National Park is leasing the land from the Samoans. – Sharon and Al Johnson
Overlooking the Port of Pago Pago, America Samoa.
Al at Flower Pot Rock at low tide.
Flower Pot Rock.
The large Fales or meeting houses are open air so that the trade winds can blow through them since they aren’t air conditioned.
One of the many Fales we saw. In the old days they would have been made of woven banana leaf thatch.
One of the beaches along the American Samoa coastline.
Our last stop was at a Aoloau Village (a recreation of a Samoan Village) where we visited several small fales where they showed us how coca beans were made into a delicious drink which the Samoans drink morning, noon and night. There were several Samoans making baskets. The Samoan men did a demonstration of how Samoans make a fire to cook their food over hot stones covered with banana leaves. The men do all the cooking in Samoa so that the women do not burn their hands removing the food as the stones get very hot. We all then had a chance to sample spinach, banana, breadfruit, tuna fish in coconut milk and chicken. It was all very delicious.
Next they demonstrated how they climb trees with their bare feet to get a coconut. The coconut was dropped and was very quickly husked. They then cracked the coconut in half and grated all the coconut out of the nut. The fibrous grating was then strained and milk poured out of the squeezed material into a cup. Last of all we experienced a special dance show by men who looked like American football players. The number one sports in American Samoa are Rugby (a rougher form of football) and American football.
Squeezing the coconut milk out of the nut.
Samoans at the cultural center with pieces of banana for us to dip into the coconut milk. Note the Island buses in the background.
Samoan men dancing.
Village Princess doing a farewell dance for us.
The Samoan dancers and me.