Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Doggy Paddle/Rooster Fight

A few videos from Markus:

How to NOT walk on the coral reef. Go doggio!

This next one illustrates how inundated we are with chickens. People back home always ask when I am on the phone with them and they hear the cockadoodle-do in the background, "Is that a chicken I hear?" Yes, yes it is. And more than one. I think this video also might illustrate that my husband has too much time on his hands.


I am going to vent my bottled up bottle frustration. We have a problem here in American Samoa (and worldwide of course). Though the local tap water is completely safe, and bottled water expensive, almost everyone drinks bottled water (Fiji water being the water of choice) or bottled Gatorade (don't get me started on that one-everyone thinks it's "healthy" (see Idiocracy for reference). There is (virtually) no recycling on island so these all go in the trash (if we are lucky) or in the streams, oceans or roadside vegetation if we and the planet are not so lucky.

Here is the beach with some great documentation as to this fact:

So if you don't like what you see here, how about you pledge to Break the Bottled Water Habit with New American Dream. It's easy and free and not a request for $ (in fact there are prizes involved so sign up on my page please!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Whack Out

I know, I know, this comic strip is too small and hard to read, but if you click on it, it will enlarge. I couldn't figure out how to make it bigger. That's how I've been feeling a lot lately. Yes, yes , poor me. My life is soooo hard living . . . on a beautiful tropical island with a great set of friends, a great husband and a laid back job.

But here's something I've discovered about myself lately . . . I like change. On the rotation of about 1 1/2 to 2 years something needs to happen! With my amazing wedding in the past and all the planning and activities related to it, I've been struggling to keep sane. I've started a Dinner Club which, so far, has meet with great success. And we have a book club that is resurrecting itself. And there's always a TON of parties/happenings. But I think I just need a change of scenery. I've started counting down the days left on-island (see countdown counter on the right) and we are talking the big "where are we going to move" conversation. We are leaning hard towards Hawaii, but it's all on Markus on this one, so well wishes are welcome for him landing some great job that we can actually survive on in Hawaii.

In the mean time here are a few photos of the many, many parties we have had lately:

First Dinner Club at my house (Thai food). Twenty guests. Waaaay too many, but it was great fun.
Oscar's first (documented) partaking of boxed wine (courtesy Aaron)-or so he says . . .
The best part of Dinner Club-clean up crew! Maybe I had a little too much boxed wine, this photo is a little crooked.Oscar was the second Dinner Club host.
Oscar is Peruvian and hosted a FABULOUS dinner with china, actual wine glasses to drink our wine out of and linen! Of course he's lived here for years so he can accumulate such things. He made us Peruvian dishes.
He also has a great house with an actual dining room!

Our friend Sam had a going away party where we were supposed to dress like Sam, either in a very tight t-shirt with camo khaki shorts or pjs (as he is known as Sleepy Sam taking random naps at any given moment).
Naomi took it the extra mile with her Sam Stubble-apparently he is a scratchy cheek kisser. Matt just looks like Sam that's all there is to it.
Sam is also known for being a little hairy-thus Einstein, dressed up as hairy Sam. This is one for the books because Markus hates dressing up the dog and he did this.

And then there was Oscar's 70's/Toga party. The Italian dressed as a Greek in the kitchen:

Naomi, getting down. What's missing from this picture are her knee high crew socks and Converse sneakers.
The hippies and their hippy baby show up:
There is so much wrong with this picture I don't know where to start:
Jim in his crazy cop helmet and glasses. Very CHIPS.

And then there is Gnocchi night. Apparently this is a tradition in Argentina to have gnocchi on the 29th of the month. Barbara is the hostess with mostest and serves a slew off folks on this night (even though she is indeed not Argentinian, but Italian). This was my first Gnocchi night. We had fresh pasta lasagne, gnocchi, and polenta. All homemade!

Naomi made most of these darlings:
Michael is enjoying some Fresno State vino (only the best at our parties) contributed by SamoanSteve and Barbara bemoans her choice of seasonings at Michael's house (Pizza Hut red pepper flakes).

I made a lot of the pasta that was in this puppy:

Yes, my life is sooo hard with all these great times. Yet still there are times when I feel like I'm going to Whack Out.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Things Are Not Right in Paradise

I know I haven't discussed too much the downsides of American Samoa. Sometimes, it's just too painful for such a beautiful place with great people to harbor such blatant corruption and systemic problems. Today, however, has pushed me to the edge. I am so furious I am at a loss for words so I'll just let it speak for itself:

Without a healthy justice system there can not be a healthy culture.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Wedding: The Other Stuff

Cutting the cake!
Feeding each other.

Can you tell we are all faking this shot? Really the only person that had to sign this was Jim as the officiant (you can read about that here), they made us sign at the clerks office. Joe's doing a good job as the witness though.

Wedding Reception: Guests

I loved having our dinner outside with a view of the mountain.
I think everyone really enjoyed it, too

Michael and Kelly try to think of something witty for the guest book.

Reed and her Pops.
The kids had goodie bags to keep them occupied.

Scarlett seemed to think the party was Number One!

Jessica and David got engaged the day of the wedding, though we didn't find out about it until later. Aaaah!

These guys look like they are really enjoying themselves and their Newcastle.

Wedding: Put on Your Boogie Shoes

I really had fun dancing. We used our laptop and a $75 sound system. We had playlists for everything. Markus got his jazz for cocktail hour and dinner and I got some dancin' music for the evening.

Our guests actually came out and danced with us!

Reed wanted to dance with Markus and Pearl was swinging with her Pops.
I made my sisters dance with me to Sister Sledge's We Are Family

Mia, Chris & Brian's baby, was a party animal and danced the entire party.

Emily had a daddy dance, too.
Leanne and Greg had a good time.

Jodi and Nick got down!

Even my nephew danced with me!

Markus was a good sport and danced with me a lot. Though there was some complaining because he was so sore from the Fourth of July race a few days earlier.