We got our staging information and booked our plane tickets this week. We leave on September 30th! That’s only twenty days away. First, we’re off to San Diego to visit Dave’s aunt and her two kids. We meet up with the rest of our group in LA on the evening of October 4th. October 5th is a busy day of workshops, icebreakers, paperwork, etc – and at 11 pm, we get on the plane to Samoa! It’s a direct flight (hurrah!) to Apia – only 10 hours and 30 minutes. After my 14 hour flight to Japan with food poisoning, that should be downright enjoyable, especially since it’s an overnight flight.
In case anyone was wondering, Samoa is on the American side of the International Date Line – so Samoa is three hours behind California (six hours behind the East Coast). It used to be on the other side of the International Date Line, but American traders apparently convinced the king to switch on over. According to a pretty terrible map I found on Wikipedia, that means that Samoa is one of the last places in the world to change the date. Tonga, which is pretty close, is on the other side of the date line. I feel as if this could be pretty confusing if we travel back and forth between Samoa and Tonga (which I hope to do).
Dave and I just got back from a trip to Washington to visit friends and family. We spent a few days in Seattle (Dave flat on his back with salmonella or something), then went to Olympia, the state capital, to celebrate my great aunt’s 90th birthday. Then we made our way into central Washington and spent a few days with my uncle in Dryden. About ten miles from his house is a larger settlement called Leavenworth, “a Bavarian village in the heart of Central Washington”. The place was so creepy. It doesn’t even have a real German history – the town just decided to become a tourist attraction in the mid-1960s. I thought it was totally bizarre.