I solidified my connections to access the Lauli’i drainage basin over the last few days out here. I went to my friend Siapai out at Aoa who is good friends with a guy named Imo Tipula. I knew to contact Imo through another friend at Alega village who saw my obsidian artifacts and remembered a previous conversation with Imo about some shiny black stones up in his hills.
This type of lead would usually be nothing to get excited about, except for the fact that Samoan volcanic glass is a trachyte glass and Mt. Pioa is a giant trachyte plug. Basically it’s the hard guts of the extinct volcano at the edge of the Pago crater. It took a little time to track down names and locations, about four years, but in a couple weeks I’ll be on the ground cranking up the 2010 version of the Tutuila Island Obsidian Source Relocation Project. So here’s to finding new shiny things in the jungle!
Rain has been ever-present, actually feels like a rainy season. Luckily I don’t have too much outdoor work to do this time. Most of my time has been spent driving around the island calling folks, going to meetings, searching for new contact to get me into the back valley and maintaining old connections at fun sites that I've worked at. On Friday I’ll be flying to Ta’u and then hopping an aluminum rust bucket to Ofu. Apparently the airstrip isn’t broken on Ofu, it’s just too cramped to get a plane in. non-usable and broken is similar enough to me when discussing air travel.
The daytime temperatures feel really good, about 88 degrees or so. Strong winds usually push the rain around so I get a get a bit of sun at some point during the day. Nights are quiet, interrupted here and there by distant dog fights and the snap, drop and thump of falling coconuts. FYI to those planning to frequent any coconut-bearing lands in the future...keep an eye out for coconut trees. They don't give any shade and will lend you a good sized dent in your dome if you get clipped by a delicious 5 lb object falling at 9.8 meters/sec. Leave it to our good friend gravity to make these little fellas hard to reach and deadly to unsuspecting tourists.
Here's my new best friend Toa. He's 9 month-old funky nugget of awesome and gives a mean high five