Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rock Concert, Rock Caves

Friday was an exciting day for Tutuila, as Blue Sky (the AT&T equivalent) celebrated it's 10th anniversary! Yes, I'm being sarcastic. This is a pretty pathetic reason to celebrate. But, that being said, there were boat races in the morning and a concert in the evening. We planned on going down to the harbor to watch the boat races, but Gabe went before us and warned that the single road was so backed up with traffic that we couldn't possibly make it in time to actually see a race. So the rest of us hung back at the house and did some research work instead.

We did, however, all get tickets to see the evening rock concert, probably one of the first they've ever had on the island. It's pretty expensive to fly here, so I can't imagine many bands pass through as part of their summer concert series. Nonetheless, Blue Sky landed Lost Coast Sound (a California-based jam band) and Amely (an emo rock band). By any standards (including mine) this was not anything special, but we had a good time anyway.

As a side note, the other big news story on Friday was that a dead whale had washed up near the island. I got the inside scoop from our marine biologist friend, Ben, who was aboard the boat attempting (unsuccessfully) to drag the whale carcass back out to sea. As Ben described it, "Samoan engineering fails again." We were still able to see a piece of the whale when we drove by Saturday morning, but the tide seemed to have carried it out later that day. A little gross, but it provided some more excitement here.

Saturday morning, we began working with our third cohort of kids in Richard's village, near the tuna canneries. We ended up doing the work in the Karayoke bar Richard's dad owns accross from the canneries.

In the afternoon, the girls skipped off to a baby shower, so Gabe and I accompanied Richard, Sharon, and Marie to go swimming. We first went to sliding rock, but we walked a litle further along the rocks than we had been before, to a natural tidal pool. The pool was 7 feet deep and clear blue, great for a cool-down swim. However, the rock formation around the pool is such that every so often, a big wave floods the pool from the top and water rushes through it back to the ocean. The first time this happened, Gabe, Richard, and I would almost certainly have been swept out to sea had it not been for a Samoan couple that grabbed us and held us back. This left us a bit more prepared for the second big surge, but we decided that the tide was still too high for safe swimming. I escaped with only a few more coral cuts to add to my collection.

We then headed down the road to a series of caves/blowholes. The water was much calmer here, and there were already plenty of local villagers playing around and jumping off the rocks. The caves are a series 4 or 5 holes in the rock that have water below that connects out to the ocean. At high tide, the water rushes in underneath and shoots up out of the blowholes, but at low tide, there's plenty of air to swim around. It being low tide, we followed Richard as he dropped down into the deepest hole. We swam around for a while, eventually swiming out into the open ocean to a sandy spot. We all took our turn jumping in off the rocks to a deep hole in the coral.

Last night we went to the movies to see Ice Age 3. If you haven't yet seen it, don't. Stick to the oringinal Ice Age, which is wayyyy better.

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