- Suvarov Atoll -
Suvarow - the spelling varies a
lot! - is a small atoll in the North Central Cook Islands that
has three regular inhabitants for part of the year outside cyclone season:
Baker (Papa Jianni's son), and Toto (Papa Jianni's grandson). This trio
a warm welcome for the yachts that stray through the area on their East
to West treks.
That's it. Othewise it's just peace
and quiet in a perfect harmonious South Pacific atoll.
Chrissi wanted to become a permanent
but Jack was in a hurry to pick up mail in Pago Pago.
Baker seems to fall in love with
a lot of the female visitors.
Chrissi and Baker dancing at the dinner party.
here for Chrissi's TEXT about Suvarov
- Pago Pago, American Samoa -
This sad scene - the collected harbor
grundge, the decaying "pier," and the apparently
broken dream embodied in this neglected boat - was adjacent to Pago
Pago's "Customs Dock" for arriving yachts.
It's an accurate image of the neglected public infrastructure and the
absence of public spirit in American Samoa.
The most dense accumulation of plastic
bags ever seen anywhere in any harbor.
A crumbling infrastructure that seems to say, "Screw you. Take
care of your own welfare or well-being."
A hospital that hasn't funds enough for even a store of normal medicines
("we don't care").
Ubiquitous yellow ribbons along every meter of roadway proclaiming support
for "our boys,"
boys who were among the very first to be sent to Iraq as cannon fodder
in that American adventure.
American Samoa gave me (Jack) the
heebeejeebies and I couldn't wait to leave.
It reflected quite clearly so much of what is hypocritical and crass
in the America today.
(Is it really "traditional" or a "family
value" to not care about anyone else?)
A high-profile funeral honored a recently
deceased local VIP.
Talofa - hello, welcome - to the
Golden Arches in Samoa,
where everyone has a chance at the "good things" in modern
(Yes, we tried it yet again, and we got stomach
pains once again too!)
Click here for
Chrissi's TEXT about Samoa
- Samoa -
independent and formerly known as Western Samoa
After just an overnight sail away
from Pago Pago, you arrive in Apia, Samoa -
a hugely welcome breath of fresh air!
Life here is lived very much in
the traditional mode -
large extended families in villages consisting of gardens and manicured
and open-sided falles (dwellings) like these below for family
Just a short walk from Apia's commercial
harbor we came across an inviting
protected lagoon for a nice swim. Chrissi says HI!
Fire dancing is a favorite fun thing
from Samoa's history.
Robert Louis Stevenson loved Samoa
and spent the last years of his life here.
The Samoans are very proud of that fact and his home is preserved as
they refer to him as Tusitala - the teller of tales. Some of his later
retell old Polynesian tales and offer keen insights into the
real and often bloody traditions from the times before the missionaries.
The missionaries by the way, whatever
their role historically, have an inordinate amount of power
in today's Samoa. There are churches everywhere and of many denominations.
Their crippling system of tithes ensures poverty
for the many and extreme wealth
for the churches, a wealth they are currently using to extend their
political power everywhere in the world.
Click here for Chrissi's
TEXT about Samoa