Posted tagged ‘2003’

Barefoot in Samoa

May 1, 2013

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samoaAS Fishermen (Ofu)

Barefoot in Samoa

It’s Sunday morning and Patty is out walking while I sit here with a fan blowing on me so hard that I couldn’t hear a 747 if it was screaming toward me about to crash. Speaking of airplane crashes. the trip over here was the most grueling experience I’ve suffered in a long time. To start with, I left my friend Joe at SeaTac airport with Patty’s car and an empty tank of gas – sorry Joe. Then I went through the full body search and boarded an airplane with a graduating high-school class on their way to a Hawaiian adventure. They had a great time all the way over- about 5 hours. I was seated right in the middle of them in a seat that my ex-son-in-law Dutch designed when he worked for Boeing straight out of college- for midgets with no legs.

In Honolulu I had a 5 hour layover where I again went through a customs inspection and then boarded another aircraft in the same seat but this time the plane was loaded with Samoans. I mean LOADED. When one of the Samoan mamas got up to use the restroom, the “Fasten Seat Belts” sign would go on and the pilot would explain we had unexpected turbulence. All the Samoans seemed to know one another and were very friendly and likeable.

Anyway, after 5 hours in a fetal position promising God to change my ways if He’d get me out of this, we flew in through a tropical thunderstorm to Pago Pago (pronounced Pongo Pongo- go figure). There were lightning flashes and clouds whizzing by like a Twilight Zone episode. Finally we bounced and careened our way onto the runway and then they wouldn’t let us off the aircraft because it was raining too hard. They thought they’d get us umbrellas but then they realized the wind was blowing so hard that an umbrella would turn you into Mary Poppins so they let us off without them.

Then I had to go through customs again in case I’d managed to pick up any contraband between Honolulu and Pago Pago. It seemed like the entire island had turned out for my arrival. Patty says it’s the major event every
week when the plane comes in. Patty had brought a friend to the airport to catch the flight I had come in on but we’d broken the plane so he was stuck for a day or two until they could fix it. Had debris in the engines that they had picked up during the landing (I’m not kidding). I guess I shouldn’t complain, Patty says on her flight over, a guy in the seat behind her died and they had to return to the terminal in Honolulu to let him off. They were stuck on the taxi-way for several hours.

OK- I’d gotten this far and my e-mail went away and now it has miraculously reappeared. Patty’s computer does stuff that I never intended. I’ll be typing along and some bizarre word will appear or I’ll find myself typing in the middle of the previous paragraph. Then I’ll get kicked off-line. The dial-up is at 28 bytes per min – not 28 kb /sec. It’s like I have a Ferrari on a dirt road.

Now it’s Monday and Patty has gone to work. They are very happy with her and want her to stay on. I think she might if it weren’t for Sam and Gabe, she really misses the grandkids.They’re having an Inter Island Conference
here in a couple of weeks, Virgin Islands, Marianas, Palau, Guam, Marshall’s, etc. Patty’s boss says they’ll probably try to recruit Patty to help them. He thinks she could go from island to island on a continuous basis training their tax people. Apparently, they all have their own tax codes and they all have significant problems that they need to rectify. Patty’s boss says, if she’ll stay, he’ll find me a job too. I guess I could sharpen their pencils.

We’re going to a neighboring island this weekend that is supposed to be nothing but a beach and a palm tree and some cabins that some retired Navy dude built. You have to fly in. We’ll spend the weekend snorkeling and
drinking coronas on the beach. At least, that’s the plan. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Well, Patty left me a honey-do list so I’d better get busy. TTYL

Barefoot Jack

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