03/01/2020 Ahhh last words, what more could we ask for? Apia, Samoa

What more could we ask for? Or, what more could Kathy ask for? What Kathy wanted was some food she could recognize. Breakfast did not start out that way. While coffee is easily recognizable from country to country, pancakes, not so much. Our “pancakes” today consisted of round fried dough that was cold and had no maple syrup. In our world, we call them plain donut holes. Dave described them as a cross between a plain cake donut and a bagel. Fresh coconut, pineapple, and some very ripe bananas were also part of Kathy’s breakfast. Dave did eat some fried eggs over easy and swabbed up the runny yolk with a slice of toast. Kathy pushed her plate away after the display and nursed several cups of coffee in hopes of calming down her churning stomach!!

Then, it was off to the beautiful church we had visited previously in the week. We enjoyed our hour-long mass, which lasted from 09:30 to 11:00 am. Not a person in the congregation fidgeted or looked at their watch, unlike in the US. Lots of dedicated parishioners surrounded us and the church was packed. It was interesting. Instead of going up and standing in line to receive the eucharist, we walked up, knelt on a kneeler with several others, and then the eucharistic minister gave us communion. We watched before approaching to make sure we knew what we were doing. Upon leaving the church, we were approached…accosted…intercepted…whatever you want to call it, by a fellow church goer who wanted to sell us a tour. (We will be going out for a full day tour on Tuesday to all the hot spots and to get the low down on the community!) Then, during a walk around town, Kathy promptly spied a McDonald’s and, with pleading eyes, begged Dave to let her enter and order some fast food. He acquiesced and Kathy gobbled up a Big Mac, fries, and a strawberry shake…. sweet bliss! Big Macs taste the same the world over!! Dave tried to order some chicken tenders. He was denied the 6-piece tenders and the 8-piece tenders, as they only had the 10-piece nuggets available. It was frigidly cold in the restaurant and it was SO nice. While walking, Kathy commented that she is jealous of the 21 inches of snow that fell in Western NY. Dave and Kathy then walked around town, sweat dripping off them towards the end, and finally collapsed for a catnap in their air-conditioned room.

An afternoon swim in the rain in the pool was a unique experience and we had fun just playing around. Another walk, and then Dave made mac and cheese for dinner. We again appreciated a sense of familiarity. Kathy made a not-so-feral cat happy by sharing some of her mac and cheese with him. The cat looked adoringly at her and wandered around her feet. All the while Kathy is thinking: don’t let him on your lap — he has fleas. Kill joy that she can be!!! Fleas, though, could be more of a kill joy so probably a good decision. Dave spoke with a man who is from Pennsylvania, but currently living in American Samoa. He had worked as a lifeguard for the National Park Service at Cape Hatteras for about 8 or 9 years. Dave discussed all the parks he had worked for and the man pronounced Dave a legend and wanted to buy him a beer. Kathy loves him, but “legend” might be a stretch!! Dave, however, believes he is a “Legend in his own mind.”

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