Friday, August 22, 2008

Our visit to the town of Atafu

This is the fruit they call pandanas, you break off one of the green pieces and then you slice off a part of the fruit and you chew it. When you are finished you spit out the pulp. It was very tasty. When I gave Nana Hala an orange she ate it that way, sucked the juice out of it and spit out the pulp!

This is Nana Hala, she is 73, her English wasn't great but I spent quite a bit of time with her. She is making a hat, I tried to get her to show me how to make a fan but was woefully inadequate at the task. The fronds of the tree that she used also really irritated my fingers, but she had some magic oil that she put on the angry red spots and they felt much better; our language skills weren't good enough for me to figure out what it was. I cut my hand on some coral the next day and she pointed to my bandage and indicated she wanted to see it. I showed it to her and out came the magic oil and it was amazing, the cuts and abrasions healed up remarkably quickly after that. Barry, and the boys out to feed the pigs after noon on Sunday, this was the only activity allowed. Notice Barry still has on his Sunday going to church shirt and long pants. Below is the fantastic pig pen wall and the interior divisions for each family and their pigs.

The huge church, newly finished last year as well as the front yard of the house we hung out at. Notice the coral "lawn", coral is the ground cover all over the village. It comes in a variety of grits, the walkways and roads had very fine coral which this yard has a slightly coarser grade. There were areas were I could not walk in bare feet in comfort as it was so rough. The soil on the island comes from decayed coconuts and their branches. They dug a hole for a septic tank one day and I was very surprised to see about 6 feet of soil that had accumulated before the coral base showed.

I just thought this little guy was so cute. He is so serious, I showed him the picture I had taken on the camera and he only frowned even more! He wanted to see it again and again though, and he and his little buddies followed us back to where the dinghy was.

Cat's-Paw IV crew on the voyage from Pago Pago, American Samoa to Atafu, Tokelau. On the left is Adam Thompson from Arkansas, currently working on his masters in archaeology in New Zealand. On the right is Timali Pele from Pago Pago in this second year of studies in the archaeology program at the community college in American Samoa. Timali spoke the Samoan dialect and was able to understand and talk to the Tokelaun people.