Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hey Y'all!!

It's been a very long month. We moved into a hotel October 25 and are currently still in a hotel. The next facility I check into may be a mental one. We did make it to Nashville 2 weeks ago and managed to buy a car, a house, 5 new wardrobes, and enroll the boys in schools. We are starting the Relocate the Roths collection fund to afford this move if you're interested in donating. We are hoping all goes well with closing and we'll be in our new house on Graceland Ct. the first week in December. This was taken in one of the 3 atriums of the Opryland Resort where we stayed the first week we were here. It was like an indoor Samoa (papaya and banana trees included), where not a single person was wearing flip flops or shorts and t-shirts. It was something else. Stay in touch for more on the move.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fagatele Bay by boat

Some of you readers out there may think we have it rough here in the tropics; the mosquitoes, the hazardous marine life, the cockroaches, the rats, the heat and humidity. Well, I'm here today to let you know weren't not doing so bad. We also have whales, dolphins, and great friends to go diving with. A couple weeks ago, we chartered a boat to take us to Fagatele Bay, a national marine sanctuary on the island. It was phenomenal, mainly because in between our two dives, we were entertained by a young humpback whale and a pod of spinner dolphins. Unfortunately, I was enjoying the show between severe sea sickness episodes and didn't have the strength or desire to get the camera out. The whale breached a number of times relatively close to the boat. He was definitely showing off. Marine mammals are truly a wonder of nature. It was absolutely beyond words, an experience to treasure forever. There are some great pictures of humpback whales Paul took on one of his whale expeditions posted on his site.

The seas were particularly unkind to me this day though, I spent most of my time over the side of the boat and the entire ride back nearly dead on the floor. The diving was awesome despite the trouble with my equilibrium. Here are just a few of the pictures from our day at sea.

Carol and Deepa

Parrot fish

Anenome and skunk clown fish

Pyramid butterfly fish

Brushtail tangs (and some others)

Giant clam

Friday, September 5, 2008

Infested waters: Scott's battle with the Portuguese Man of War

Some people think I'm crazy letting my babies crawl around at the beach. I used to laugh and say, "how much damage can eating sand really do?"We've been going to the beach pretty much every weekend for 4 years and haven't had a problem. Well, apparently there are other dangers at the beach that I learned about the hard way last weekend. 'Tis the season of the Portuguese Man of War. They are washing up on beaches everywhere here. Scott discovered one in his sand exploration at Coconut Point. Now, before you call CPS, hear me out. He was at my feet when the waling began. It was the mom's-worst-nightmare scream. I saw what it was almost instantly. A little blue blob stuck to his leg. I was just talking to someone who had spotted one up the beach a bit.
Thanks to everyone knowing everyone on the island and our frequent get-togethers, we had 2 ER docs, a marine biologist and all my wonderful friends on hand to help. Thank you all very much. It was a terrifying experience that I would not have managed well alone. We got him to loaded him up with Benadryl, soaked him in warm water, alcohol and vinegar, even shaved him and got him to the ER, where he was his happy playful self again of course. So if you chance to come upon one of these little guys, steer clear. The pain is excruciating. For the proper course of action in case of contact visit Hazardous Marine Life and webMD . Wear your shoes out there and don't let your babies loose on the beach!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

West of here: part LUA

Unfortunately, due to it's size and lack of usable land, American Samoa doesn't have the produce you would imagine a tropical island would. Western Samoa does however, and much of it can be purchased at bargain prices at Maketi Fou.

Trey didn't appreciate the market as much as we did.

the Flea Market

We stopped at a couple waterfalls on our journey around the island. The grandeur isn't quite captured in the photos of course.

Trey practices a little Samoa rhythm

Nate poses with random stranger walking down the road carrying coconuts


Bird of Paradise


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

West of Here

For those of you readers out there who don't know, there are 2 Samoas. American Samoa, where we call home, is a territory of the U.S., hence the name. Western or Independent Samoa, is west of here and is an independent island nation (crazy how that name says it all). While there's a lot of similarity between the 2 cultures, anyone whose visited both countries will tell you there are striking differences. I won't go into all those, you'll have to come and see for yourself.

When my Dad came to visit over a month ago now, we took a 3 day trip to Western. We had a great time and here are just some of the photos to prove it. It's almost as beautiful at Tutuila. Although, the beaches here pale in comparison.

Here's the puddle jumper we took. It sat maybe 11 on a full flight, no beverage service, no flight attendants for that matter. The terrifying turbulent experience took about 45 minutes. See no evil! This one is for you Mema!

We stayed in Le Manumea near the Robert Louis Stevenson Plantation (Vailima) and across the street from the best Indian food in the Pacific...okay the only Indian food I've had in the Pacific.

The Outhouse

Vailima (the Robert Louis Stevenson Plantation)

We think Scott was having a good time, either that or he's got a great fake smile!

Lalomanu is the beach we visited and is a popular tourist spot in Samoa, understandably so. It was nothing short of phenomenal. The snorkeling was awesome, there was sand (which is precious if you know where I'm coming from), the list goes on, let's just say it was a good beach day!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Family at the Festival

The Festival is over and it's back to the typical slow, uneventful Samoan days but we have our memories and about 1000 more pictures!

Arts Festival Dancing

Solomon Islands


Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

Cook Islands

Papua New Guinea
New Zealand

Rapa Nui (Easter Island)