Thursday, July 28, 2011

I may not be Quinn Fabray, but I am Quinn the extreme snorkeler!

Have I really been living in American Samoa for 2.5 weeks? Sometimes it feels like I’ve been here 2 hours and other days I feel as if I’ve lived here for many months. Our orientation site in Nu’uuli is very close to the airport and for the past two Monday nights, I’ve yelled out to my room of girls, “That was us a week ago! That was us two weeks ago!” when we hear the airplane landing. Have I told you about Flight Night yet? Flight Night is HUGE here. Flights from the “mainland,” aka Hawaii, fly in on Monday and Thursday nights at 9:30, and then fly back to Hawaii at 11:30. Flight Night is a real thing. Hundreds of people go to the airport to say goodbye to loved ones, to welcome new people to the island, and to just hang out. There’s even a TV SHOW about all the airport fun. Don’t believe me? Check out this website: Flight Night in AmSam, which will take you to episodes and videos from Flight Night. Only in AmSam…

How many of you blog readers out there watch Glee? I love, love, LOVE Glee and I’m so bummed that I’ll miss out on watching the next season with my Mom. If you do watch the show, you obviously know who Quinn Fabray is. If you don’t, here’s a picture of her:
We look nothing alike and we act completely different, yet Samoan high school girls seem to think that I’m her. I kid you not. Both times that I’ve met a group of high school students and told them my name, the girls always screech, “Like Quinn from GLEE? QUINN FABRAY? Are you a cheerleader?!!!” Back in the day, people knew my name from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Now they associate me with a blonde cheerleader with a huge ego. I can only laugh and tell the girls that 1) I’m not Quinn from Glee, 2) My name was Quinn first, and 3) I'm a runner and no, I won’t become a cheerleader.
Subject change. On Monday, the WT group got a personal tour of Fagatele Bay by some people from NOAA who work on the island. The bay (pronounced Fahng-ah-tell-ay) is one of the top 5 protected marine sanctuaries throughout the USA and its territories. It was absolutely gorgeous and completely hidden from civilization. You have to trek through a jungle to even get to the beach. We went on the first rainy day since I’ve been here which meant that the water was pretty rough and the sun only popped out occasionally. What’s this a perfect day for? EXTREME SNORKELING!
Hikin' through the jungle
The sun popped out right when we got there...and then it quickly disappeared and brought forth rain which brought forth extreme waves.

I visited Forest City Scuba in Rockford, IL, before I left to get some fancy equipment for snorkeling. I had read that the marine life in AmSam was stunning and that it is the perfect place to snorkel. And that it was. Being a first-time snorkeler (besides that one time in Jan’s pool – thanks Jan!), I had absolutely no idea what to do, so I just went for it. I flopped into the water and dog paddled around until I realized I couldn’t breathe…duh Quinn, you have a snorkel for a reason. After I figured out the breathing, I really focused my eyes on what was below the water. My first dip under made me squeal, which somehow made my mask come off and my snorkel filled with water, so I came up sputtering and spitting. Salt water is GROSS. Long story short, I extreme snorkeled into the middle of the bay. We aren’t supposed to tell our parents that we snorkeled in 10-15 foot wave swells, but hey, I’m still here so why not say it! I think I swallowed half of the Pacific Ocean, but I also got to see some amazing, beautiful marine life. My friends and I came upon a school of 300-500 fish, I saw coral, and even tried my hand at underwater photography. Snorkeling was an incredible adventure, but I will say that I’m excited to “normal snorkel” where I’m not getting pulled by extreme currents and waves, but instead get to float around without gallons of ocean water spilling into my fresh oxygen.
Snorkeling is clearly an attractive look for me.

 Here fishy, fishy, fishy. This is my favorite shot of the day.

Most of my shots were blurry- I was more focused on staying alive. I promise to get better shots next time!

Countdown: 3 days until I move into my house and 12 days until the first day of school!
Thanks for reading this random post…I hope you enjoyed my “Only in AmSam” stories! J


mom said...

10 TO 15 FOOT WAVE SWELLS!!! You definitely did not tell me that on Skype. Can your adventures get any more exciting?? I think you should go to Night Flight at the airport tonight (it's Thursday!). I think many of us would like a firsthand report.

Jovan said...

Those are some pretty large wave swells! We'd like you back alive, Quinn!!! The pics are great though, the girls LOVE them! (Me too!) I agree with Aunt Jan, Night Flight sounds fun!

Anonymous said...

Just got caught up on your blog! OMG! What fun! I love your writing & your pics! I can tell you are soaking up every minute! And thanks for sharing! What a fun way for your mom & me to count the days til NZ!!!!!! Love ya! Jan;)

Anonymous said...

Quinn! It looks like you are surrounded by so much beauty! Everytime I have been in such beautiful, tropical places there has been a huge irony concerning the poverty of the people. Are you surrounded by a lot of poverty?

Your snorkeling experience is hilarious. You have to love those "duh" moments when that snorkel is in your mouth and you still forget to breath! I did the same thing. You are super brave to go out in the currents. I am looking forward to future snorkeling pics. You are going to see such amazing beauty once using the snorkel becomes more automatic.

Keep sharing the adventures!

Kat said...

Quinn! I love it :) I just have to say one thing from your last post....BUTT!! Ok, but this one made me laugh just as hard! lol. Your poor lungs. The pictures are so beautiful. And...umm...snorkling is an amazing look for you. Look at the volume it gave your hair!! Just amazing ;)

Love you!!

Laura V said...

The snorkeling pictures are beautiful! I am so jealous that you are practically living in a dream vacation haha ;) Also, QUINN! Are you from GLEE?!?! I love it! Sounds like you are having a great time :)

School Papers said...

Thank you for sharing such relevant topic with us. I really love all the great stuff you provide. Thanks again and keep it coming.

Anonymous said...

Quinn, You are one lucky girl to be on this amazing adventure. Thank you for taking us all along via your great blog!! I am getting caught up tonight and I can't wait to get to your next post. What great voice you have in your writing! Keep those pictures coming as well. I love them.
Thanks Quinn!

Colleen said...

This is a great article, and a great topic to explore. Thanks for sharing.