My Paradise I Call Home;American Samoa - My Family Travels

As I sat squished between two strangers, I eagerly awaited for the plane door to open so I can see my birthplace of American Samoa, which I have not seen in seven years.  Standing there gazing upon the beautiful green scenery, while the humid breeze hit our faces, made sitting on a plane for eleven hours in one day definitely worth it. As soon as we walked outside of the airport, we were surprisingly welcomed by a large crowd of family members who gave sincere hugs and kisses!

After our meet and greet, we all headed to my grandpa’s house in the village of Leone. As we were traveling to the house, the car was filled with many conversations all going at once. As I looked out the car window, the stars were visible and twice as brighter than the skies in Arizona.  I was so amazed by the stars that I did not even notice we arrived to the house. As we got out of the car, I was welcomed by more aunts, uncles, and cousins. Afterwards, we were fed a feast of Samoan food, which included palusami, which is made of taro leaves, coconut cream and onions folded together, crab, cooked bananas, rice and much more. Even though I was excited to be back home, the long trip caught up to me, so I went to sleep early awaiting the next day.

We started our first morning back by going to our family’s catholic church. Going to that church was an amazing experience. The whole church was overflowed with Samoan church songs sung by three different choirs. I felt miraculous and was ready to start my first day back in American Samoa. We had a delicious breakfast while having some “catching up” conversations.  Afterwards, my parents, siblings, and I went exploring around the island.

I loved seeing so many palm trees and nature everywhere compared to what I see in Arizona, which nothing but desert. We passed and stopped by so many stores and family members’ houses that I remember when I was younger; but there were three important places we visited that I remember the most.  First, we visited my elementary school, Samoa Baptist Academy (SBA). Seeing my old school brought back many memories of childhood friendships, and it was shocking how back than everything seemed bigger. Second, we visited my dad’s work, Star-Kist, which is one of the biggest tuna manufacturing companies on the island. I remember the stench of tuna while driving into his workplace. The last yet most important place we visited was our old home back in the village of Tafuna; it looked so different from what I remember. Not only in these places did I make memories, but there is a great deal of exciting things that I did on the island. 

            On our trip back home, we always had something to do.  For instance, one day we went to the beach and had a barbeque with the family. One great thing is we don’t have to worry about transportation on the island.  We would either walk while enjoying the beautiful weather, or take the bus at the low rate of $1.00. We were having so much fun; we didn’t want this trip to end. Then again, even good things have to come to an end. On the last day in Samoa, our family gathered together one last time for a huge feast. This trip to Samoa was unforgettable and I can’t wait to come back! 


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