Posted by: monsonmadness | January 8, 2012

Sliding rock, Indian food, falling in pee, and cave pool

Day 7 – Mon 2nd January

Our last day of vacation. Boo hoo. We have had a blast and although we are tired out and ready for a regular routine, we will miss the wonderful adventures that we have experienced on this trip. We still had a lot of things that we wanted to do, so our last day of the vacation was cram packed full.

We started our day with what turned out to be the kid’s best experience of all…Papaseea sliding rock. Michael and I had tried it out when we came in September, but this time around (and thanks to some intense peer pressure from the Samoan women who work there), Michael tried the 20 ft adult size sliding rock this time! I didn’t get a picture, but I filmed him on video. He was pretty nervous, but had fun going down.

The kids absolutely loved the sliding rock and we stayed for a couple of hours. Even Emma and Mary gave it a try on Dad’s lap. Sliding down a waterfall into a cool pool of water is so much fun. You should try it some time.

We decided to check out the flea market and find some lunch at the market place, but as we were driving there we came across an Indian restaurant! Wow, this really was the best day ever! We put in our take out order for the adults then found a grocery store to buy something for the kids. Everyone came out a winner here, the grocery store was amazing and I was able to buy the kids their own little drinks and even some fresh chocolate buns for dessert. It was also good that we found the Indian food because the market was closed for the day and we would have been very hungry. We found a little grassy area next to a cool circular tree and set up our picnic. Of course, things can’t go smoothly all the time, so 5 minutes into lunch the two babies spilled the hot Indian food all over themselves and started crying. Then the dogs got the scent of the tikka masala and came over to check it out, willing to lick it off small children if need be. We walked everyone over to the ocean to wash them off, and stood on a very slippery jetway covered with moss trying to get access to the water. We cleaned off most of the kids, then the other half decided they needed to pee, so they peed on the jetty so that the waves would wash it away. Then as one child was just finishing peeing, a big wave came and knocked her down onto the jetty and she cried out “I just fell over in my own pee!” Am I the only sick parent in the world who finds that so funny? Michael thinks so.

Some pee covered, some tikka masala covered, some needing naps, and some just ready to go home, we piled into the car for one last adventure. The small kids fell asleep in the car on the way to our next stop, the Piula Cave Pool. This is a freshwater cave pool, located beneath a historic church. The pool connects two caves via a small underwater entrance. Michael tried to go under the water with his snorkeling gear to check out the other side, but it was pitch black and he couldn’t get through.

The cave pool was pretty crowded since it was a holiday, and we were a bit disappointed with that, but the kids still had fun running and jumping in, as well as checking out the HUGE fish that were swimming around everywhere. Since it was so busy, we decided to leave a little early and check out one more place that we had on our list.

Sauniatu Waterfall was next. It was a gorgeous waterfall, hidden away in a beautiful location, but not safe for little kids. In fact, the only way to access it was to jump 20 ft from the stairway into the pool itself and then swim over. We had fun watching the teenagers jump and swim though.

When we got back to our accommodation we found out that our flight for the next day had been changed and would be leaving earlier, so we hurried to get the car cleaned out, and pack up all our things so that we would be ready.

The flight was pretty uneventful until the pilot tried to land and missed the runway! That was pretty scary because as you know, the runway goes straight into the ocean, so he had to pull up quickly and steer clear up and around and then fly in a circle to come back and try again. The kids asked what was going on, and we just said that the pilot was making sure that we were going to land safely, which he did on the 2nd try! The next drama was in finding that we had a flat tire on our mini van, but when we finally got home to a dead mouse and lots of dead ants and cockroaches, we knew that we were back to “normal life” and that everything would be ok.

So, adventure is over… I’ve often described American Samoa to Michael as a “2nd world country”. It’s obviously not 3rd world because we have so much, but it is far from the luxury of living in the United States. We agreed that Savaii really was more like a 3rd world country and that we never needed to go back there again, and that Upolu is also 2nd world like here, but it is so much nicer!

So, if we had our choice, we’d move to Samoa where there are so many beautiful beaches, waterfalls and things to do. They have nice grocery stores with fresh food, restaurants, Indian food, and of course the temple. Alas, our job is here in American Samoa but we count ourselves blessed that we were able to spend a week in such a wonderful country. We have made some fantastic memories and had some great experiences. Thanks for reading and sharing these experiences with us.

p.s. What on earth am I supposed to write about now?


  1. What an adventuresome vacation! I so love to hear about your ups and downs of daily life. Thank you for sharing! We love and miss you all!

  2. Helen, it has been so fun reading about your adventures! I don’t know how your children will ever adjust to boring old Utah when you get home!

  3. Ha hahaa!!! No- there are at least two other parents! I would think it’s hilarious if one of my boys fell over in their own pee!!!!!!!! Miles thinks it’s funny too! The sliding rock sounds like so much fun. What a great vacation you had!

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