daughters arrived Monday, Dec.
20. Taking the kids around
Tutuilla, it is so much fun to
hear Heather say, "This all seems
so unreal." Or Steph will say,
"What did I see?" Here, you will
see things, but not be sure what
you just saw. It's fun to have
others around. Everybody can rub
their eyes together, and then
just shake their head.
been to lots of church
gatherings. I played guitar and
we sang as a family for the
church service. There was a deaf
boy there. Terry signed the
service for him. It was such a
been swimming and snorkeling
every day. We have gone to a
different reef area every day
since the kids got here. They
are getting a nice burn, even
with 40-power sun block. This
sun is vicious, especially this
time of year. In past years I'd
use my wet suit so I could
briefly jump in the river on
Christmas. Here, you go swimming
to try and cool off.
we got up at 6 AM it was our
Chinese New Year. Our friends in
Taiwan were some of the earliest
people to welcome 2000. At 6PM
we watched live New Year
celebrations at Disney World,
D.C. and Times Square. 6 hours
later (6 AM EST), Samoa
celebrated its New Year with an
incredible fireworks display,
parades, honking horns. There
was an all night televised
rally at the Tafuna Stadium, very
near our house. Groups (and the
crowd) singing, dancing,
preachers, the governor and other
dignitaries kept things hopping
all night. Samoans know how to
bring in the New Year, even if we
were about the last people to let
loose of 1999. It was quite a
called to wish my parents a Happy
New Year. I also wanted to ask
Dad some questions about a book,
When Gauley Ran Blood, they had
given me for Christmas. (For a
related web site click
told me the author, Rock Foster
had stopped by to visit. The book
begins in Summersville, WV but
follows some the main character
into the Shenandoah Valley. This
is a "must read" for West
Virginia history buffs, Civil War
enthusiasts, or anybody that just
enjoys an exciting historical
has it that Nancy (I previously
mentioned her 1000 mile kayak
trip) is joining the Pacific
Horizons School staff. Coming
from the Arctic Circle, she
admits she still has some
adjustments to make. She told of
going to one of the local schools
and being told she might want to
go into the gym. She asked if it
was locked. The response was,
"Locked? There are no doors.
There are no walls." Many public
structures are built in the
traditional open fale
help Nancy and others unfamiliar
with the island, I tried to come
up with a Jeopardy game format.
Why don't you give a
question/ (answer) Walls.
Response: What does a
traditional fale not have? Got
it? The answers are below.
1. In your ear.
2. Banging of oxygen tanks
hanging in trees.
3. Road-toad pancakes.
4. Cracked windshields.
5. Ace Hardware towards
6. Shoe Tree at Nuu'uli.
7. Big Signs: "AMUSEMENT."
8. 82 degrees fahrenheit.
9. 400 inches.
10. Pua and hibiscus behind the
11. Charley the Tuna at Pago
12. If your teeth rattle when you
Where do you keep quarters for
the aiga bus?
2. How do you know when it is
time for village prayer? (Also a
warning to not drive through the
3. What became of many of the
toads introduced to the island to
control the mosquito population?
(Incidentally, the toads didn't
eat the mosquitoes, so now the
Samoans have a mosquitoes AND
toads as a nuisance.)
4. What do you usually get if you
make a habit of parking
underneath coconut trees?
5. Where can you find emory
boards (manicure stuff) on
6. Where can you find greeting
cards on island?
7. How do you know where to find
slot machines? (What did you
think it was?)
8. What is a cold snap in
9. What is the annual rainfall in
10. What do men, women and
children often wear?
11. Who makes your Starkist
12. How do you know when your
auto sound system is
Tausaga Fou! (Happy New