Samoan Clap Dance

It’s been mostly boring business so far here in American Samoa. This was meant to be a provisioning stop for us, so we’re doing exciting things like deciding what we need to buy, what we have to order from the mainland, what of all we think we need we can actually afford etc. And we’ve been pretty good at it so far. But every now and then the mind wanders off. Beatriz saw in a full-page newspaper ad about some sporting event a contact information for the American Samoa Arts Council. Since we allowed ourselves the luxury of a cell phone for the two months here with which ordering stuff and following up on its long and winding shipping trail over here became a lot more efficient, next thing is she’s on the phone and the day after that we’re sitting in a small office in the backrooms of the local museum chatting away with Sam. He’s a big hefty guy like most guys around here. Like most guys around here and very unlike the stereotype of the Samoan in exile around the world, he’s also a gentle soul, all smile and honestly doing his best to help. He sets up a string of meetings with local movers and shakers and promises to come and pick us up that night at the airport McDonald’s to take us to a rehearsal of the youth group he used to be part of.

The video gives you a teaser of what we ran into that night. Since everything social here is in some way or another connected to a church, this group is too. It’s hieroglyphic name CCCAS Petesa-UTA Youth Group stands for Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa. But look at the discipline of these guys! Those of you who live in the San Francisco Bay Area beware! They are preparing for a tour of the US West Coast with a stop in San Jose sometimes in August.

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