Day 313, Year 1: A Trip to Ace Hardware
Date: Saturday, August 26, 2006
Weather: First Sunny, Then Squally
Location: Pago Pago Harbor, Tutuila Island, American Samoa

Mark started his morning returning the rental truck we have had for the past two days. It was to be returned by 9 am, but he got an extension so that he could take Brian of Thistledown to the Post Office to pick up packages from home. The PO here doesn’t open until 9:00. Brian actually had ten packages-everything from bottles of his favorite hot sauce from his mom to a new radio receiver, a new stereo, and on and on. Some of his electronic equipment was destroyed by salt water, so he ordered as soon as he arrived here, had everything sent to his mom, who then forwarded it all here to him. Since American Samoa is part of the US Postal System, we can receive Express Mail within a few days. Very convenient. Mark brought Brian back to his boat so that he could play with all the new toys, and then Mark picked me up. We dinghied to shore and then I walked the three to four blocks to the bus station. I tried really, really hard to put weight on my healing leg, but I just could not make myself do it.

We took the bus out to the Ace Hardware on the western end of the island. It is a very big hardware store, but unfortunately they didn’t have the propane fitting we were after. They do, however, have all of the exact same things you would find in an Ace Hardware store in the US. I had to walk from the bus stop across the road to the parking lot, across the parking lot, and then into the store. I made it about half way through and then parked myself on a bench outside. When Mark was finished shopping, we walked back across the parking lot and road to the bus stop. I still have to crawl up the bus steps, but I am not hopping down them. We rode back toward town and got off again at the True Value Hardware store. They didn’t have the propane fittings, but they at least had small propane canisters that we can use with our grill until we find the fitting we need. Again, when Mark was finished shopping, we got back on the bus and rode to the bus station near the docks. There is no “station” per se, just a place where all of the busses pull in to end or begin their next run. I made the trek back to the dock, but that was about as much walking on crutches that I could do for one day.

It started raining a little while we were waiting for the bus home from the Ace Hardware, but just about the time we returned to the boat, we really got hit with heavy rain. We had one squall after another all afternoon. Things seem to have settled down a bit now. Who knows what kind of weather tomorrow will bring. Mark spent the afternoon changing fuel and oil filters, changing the oil, and changing the filter on our Seagull water system. Tomorrow we will spend a quiet morning on the boat catching up on e-mail writing, and then we meet Evelyn at noon on the dock. We are going to spend a few hours exploring with her tomorrow.

I just finished downloading the pictures from yesterday onto my computer and reliving a really fantastic day. The Polynesian Revue that we saw at Evalina’s last night was possibly the best we have seen to date. The Samoan style of dance is so different-slow moving and expressive. I’m going to write an island tour guide to do along with the pictures we have taken the past couple of days. I think that will give you a better idea of what things look like here.