I had SUCH a cool weekend! Saturday I went fishing with Longoleo and Neta. We left around 9 in morning and were gone for more than a few hours. We drove through the national park and soaked in the awesome views of the rain forest on one side and the ocean on the other. With Neta, Madeline and I went “women fishing.” This entails going along the shore during low tide, climbing the rocks, and getting all of the snails and clams off of the rock. This isn’t an easy process. You take a giant knife, almost like a machete, and chip them off the rocks while you have giant waves crash against you. You also have to deal with the other critters you find while doing this. Besides the endless amount of crab and jumping tiny fish, I almost stepped on an eel. Gross. We also went looking for sea cucumbers to eat. What you do is you grab them off the ocean floor and slice them open with a machete, if the stringy things in the middle are long and clear, then you take them home to cook, but if they’re still reddish pink and full of jelly, you throw them back in. The cucumbers will grow themselves back together and we can go back next week to check their progress. Unfortunately, none of them were ready, so we couldn’t try them. Once we got the clams and snails off the rocks, we went back to the shore to sit and relax, We were sitting in maybe a foot or two of water on a boulders and Neta said it was time for us to become real Samoans so she pulled out the snails and clams, took two, smashed their shells off with a rock, handed them to us and said, “Eat.” Madeline and I just stared at each other, grabbed the snails first and then the clams and ate them. Right there. No cooking, no salt, no Tabasco sauce. Straight from the ocean. It was insane. Surprisingly, they really weren’t that bad. If given the choice, if I go out there this coming weekend, I’m sure I would eat some more.
Here are some photos I took along the way while sitting in the back of Leo’s pick up. Look at this scenery.
There are tons of hermit crabs on the beach. Here’s a guy that I almost stepped on. His shell made him look like a dinosaur.
Here’s a pic of some of the fishies we caught. We used a pole and actually cooked them before we ate them, so not nearly as exciting as the snails and clams.
After we got done fishing, we all hopped back in the truck to make our way out of the park. Leo wanted to stop at one place real quick to check for some fish he might be able to catch with his net before we went home. When we stopped Neta pointed out a really cool bird that had just landed in a hollowed out part of a tree. Leo saw the bird and made a comment that its feathers make really good bait for fish. I heard this and didn’t think anything of it, but then Leo was like, “let’s catch it.” My first assumption was that he was going to shoot it, and then get some of its feathers, but considering I haven’t seen a gun since I’ve been here, I didn’t think that would happen. Next thing I know, Leo grabs a t-shirt from the back of the truck, takes off his flip-flops, and proceeds to climb the tree. The bird was maybe 15-20 feet up, so it was not an easy feat. Leo climbs up this tree and goes up to the bird, who I’m sure didn’t see him coming. Once Leo reached where the bird was, he yells back, “There’s babies!” So I thought this would mean he would just let the bird go and come back down, but no, he uses his t-shirt to grab the bird straight out of its nest and then he climbs back down the tree. With the bird squawking like crazy, he brings it over to the truck, tell Neta something in Samoan and then Neta started plucking some of its feathers. I was shocked, Madeline was horrified. After getting over the initial shock, I decided I wanted to try it. So I plucked a feather from a bird for the first time ever and it was alive. Crazy. After we had how much Leo said we needed, we let the bird go and it flew away. Just like that. Honestly so ridiculous. Here are some pictures of this adventure so I can prove to you that I didn’t make it up.
The rest of the weekend went pretty uneventfully. Sunday was church and lesson planning. I made homemade peanut butter cookies for my students because ALL of them got 100% on their spelling test. I’m so proud of these tiny humans! I feel like I’m starting to get used to everything and get into a schedule. I can now do work from about 7-4:30ish and not have to worry about anything once I get home, which is SO nice. I also like the fact that Palagi keeps me company inside my room once the kids leave. He isn’t allowed inside my classroom during the day, but once 2:30 rolls around, he comes on in. Here he is. Look at this little monster, adorable right (in a stray dog type of way)?
The weather here has been super windy, everyone says we’re getting gusts from Hurricane Isaac. I have no idea how true that is, but either way, I’m sending positive vibes to Florida and the coastal US right now. Still loving this new place I call home. Love.