Thursday, January 8, 2015

Christmas Day 2014

 Christmas morning, we all woke up early.  I went out on the back patio and made phone calls to Carlyn and my family from the cell phone (still no access to Skype, but by this time I wasn't really missing it).

Here is a photo of the Broge family in front of their Island Christmas tree.  Pictured from left to right - Matt, Noah, Tangra, Nolan, Linda (Grandma), and Neeli.



 We watched the kids excitedly open their presents....





 I bought the kids a set of Chinese guns that shoot plastic darts - which was awesome. They had a good time shooting each other (and me)... I'm sure their parents were thrilled.



Later that morning, Matt, Tangra, Noah and I decided to go for a swim out beyond the break.  The water was at high tide, so you could swim out beyond the ledge without much difficulty.

It was a bit tricky at first, due to the waves, and there were the occasional cracks in the reef that dropped ?? depth (you couldn't see the bottom).  I was a bit concerned about getting my foot caught in one of these holes while walking out to the break (visions of compound fractures danced in my head as the waves crashed over me), so I treaded slowly.

Once over the break, the reef dropped instantly into the void.  There were huge fish.  The waves were quite large, and we were lifted up and down 15-20 feet like ragdolls.  I attempted to get a video of the waves, but my camera ran out of battery halfway through.  You can still notice the power of the ocean.

video


 Here is a photo of Matt, Noah and Tangra swimming.  Noah and Tangra had life vests on, which was clearly the smart thing to do.


 Noah acting cool in the water...


It was difficult to conceptualize the depth with the camera (was about 50-75 feet deep).  Here is a photo of Matt swimming about 10 feet below me.




After about 30 minutes, the waves began to get rougher & we noticed the tide was going out.  This was problematic because without the high tide, there is no way to safely get back onto the break.  We swam over to the edge of the wall and literally timed our approach with one of the large waves, which carried us over the wall and crashed us down onto the reef.  I ended up getting my snorkel ripped in half (the bottom was still in my mouth), and I cut my hand and arm on the reef. We managed to get back without any broken bones - it was quite the adventure.  (I can see now why the Samoans have a healthy fear of swimming... I don't think I will swim out past the break again).

Back at the house, we all changed and made preparations for dinner.  The power went out for about 3 hours.  During this time, I decided that I needed to learn how to crack a coconut the "Samoan way".  

Basically, you slam the coconut on top of a sharp, pointed stick.  Eventually you make a big enough hole to rip away the husk so that you can drink the coconut water.

My first attempt was an utter failure... (Matt had a great time poking fun at me. I swore at the time that nobody would ever see these embarrassing photos!)



Eventually, I got the hang of it...


This is me with my mangled coconut. 


Which I cracked open and used the coconut scraper to get out the meat. (Much easier than actually cracking the darn thing open)...


Later that evening, once the power came back on, we had dinner and relaxed out on the patio. There was another awesome sunset... truly paradise.



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