Day 4: Bliss

IMG_9307

The end of the Lower Sauma Ridge hike. Learn about American Samoa’s National Parks

I like hiking. I don’t care for the exercise portion. I enjoy the moments that come when the hike is complete. I enjoy the blissful sceneries. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. I enjoy the secret pools like the one picture above at the end of a trail. I enjoy the hidden beaches. I enjoy nature. I enjoy being able to say “Oh yeah! I did that hike” followed with a story of my personal adventure.

This is why I chose this photo for Developing Your Eye’s “Bliss” challenge. Part of it was to post a caption and the link was optional. I just thought of it as an opportunity to advertise our beautiful National Parks, which truly are blissful experiences.

Day 1: Home

IMG_4710

View from Maugaoali’i taken July 9, 2016

When I use to live in America, I use to get a lot of questions about where I’m from. I was proud to say American Samoa. Regardless of the ignorant stereotypical replies I would receive, I enjoyed showing off photos like the one above. I love my beautiful island home. The scenic hikes are just the icing on the cake. American Samoa is about the Samoan culture, the history, my heritage, my people. No matter where I go, American Samoa will always be home simply because this is where my heart is.

When I think of home, this is what I think of. #DevelopingYourEye

Photo Challenge: Work of Art

I have always admired the natural beauty around me since I was little. I have always loved beautiful things because I know I serve a beautiful God.

How do I know my God is beautiful? I see it in everything He has created and in each day He orchestrates. The God I serve is the greatest artist. His creation is so beautiful. There is always something new outside for me to enjoy, I just have to open my eyes and see it for what He created it be. Beautiful.

I sincerely believe the greatest work of art is a new day of promise. I never encounter the same view or scenery every morning when I wake up. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to use to portray a “work of art” until I came across the symbol of promise God created for Noah that still stands as a testimony of God’s promise to never destroy the earth again (Genesis 9:13). Isn’t this the most beautiful covenant you have ever seen?

10250155_559371650842973_7714528810712250252_n

Double rainbow this morning while getting out of my car across from my workplace.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/work-of-art/

Happy 114th Flag Day my Amerika Samoa

For over a century, my beautiful island home has been under the protection and generous hand of America.

We have experienced many blessings and benefits from being “an unincorporated and unorganized territory” of the wonderful U.S. of A. It may not seem like its a good thing being “unincorporated and unorganized”, but as a Samoan I count this as a blessing.

Taupou Manaia performing their siva ava at the opening of the Flag Day celebrations.

Taupou Manaia performing their siva ava at the opening of the Flag Day celebrations.

In the Samoan culture, land plays a very important part. The ability to keep our land even if we give up a few constitutional rights (like the right to vote for president or become a US citizen) is more valuable than being an American citizen. Why? We don’t have to struggle looking for land to build our houses or have to answer to any one else in regards to the land of our family. It’s more than just land. It holds generations and generations of family connections.

Even though we are under the United States, we have been self-governing since 1967. This gives the Samoan people the power to continue practicing our traditional values and culture. The “Faasamoa” and “Faamatai” is still very strong within American Samoa even though it is slowly adapting to the modernized Western world. We are able to hold true to our core as Samoans, which consists of God, family and respect.

My ancestors were smart when they chose to cede to America during World War I with certain limitations, which I believe was to preserve the culture, language and identity of the Samoan people.

Senate President Gaoteote Tofau Palaie said it best when made this statement,

“This day holds special meaning and significance because it honors the wisdom of our forefathers when they entrusted, the hopes and dreams of our people to the greatest country the world, the United States of America.”

Cheers my Amerika Samoa. Manuia le Aso o le Fu’a. 

Fale Samoa with the American Samoa flag

American Samoa Flag and Fale Samoa

Sunsets

I honestly feel there is nothing more beautiful than seeing the sun go down. With the sight of the sun disappearing, the knowledge of the rest that comes most nights is one of the most comforting things in the world (at least the world according to me). There isn't a single sunset that ceases to amuse me especially here on my island home. Every evening a different picture is painted (I like to think most of the time it's specifically for my viewing pleasure).

I honestly feel there is nothing more beautiful than seeing the sun go down. With the sight of the sun disappearing, the knowledge of the rest that comes most nights is one of the most comforting things in the world (at least the world according to me). There isn’t a single sunset that ceases to amuse me especially here on my island home. Every evening a different picture is painted (I like to think most of the time it’s specifically for my viewing pleasure).