Day 71 of Traveling the World, Pago Pago, American Samoa. April 12, 2018.

Pago Pago, pronounced Pahngo Pahngo, is hot and tropical. An American territory since 1900, its harbor was used as an American naval base. It is located halfway between Hawai’i and New Zealand. It was 85 degrees with 100 percent humidity! We walked through the village and a little beyond, which took about an hour. McDonald’s is the only American chain restaurant here, and it was jammed with passengers trying to get free WiFi. Sadly, with about 100 people trying, it overloaded their system, and no pages would load.

It is funny that we thought there would be “American” items here. Its culture is far more a part of the South Pacific islands than it is the US. Family is all-important, with each ruled by a “matai,” or chief. Families own property that start at the apex of the mountains and widens like a pie wedge to the beach. With just two or three exceptions, families own all the beaches, and you must ask permission to use them! Dress is very casual, but men wear long tribal wraps (skirts), as do the women. Women wear flowers in their hair to denote their availability…a flower over the left ear if taken, right ear if willing, and somewhere in the top and middle if unsure!

The harbor has pretty areas with trees and grass. The coconuts falling from trees kill more people than sharks do in the South Pacific! Across the bay from our ship is a large tuna canning plant, with a statue of Charlie the Tuna. We were told that the local fishermen go out 1,000 miles to catch tuna for the processing plant. The last photo is of a local church opposite the harbor….Pentecostalist, I believe.