KC, Julia and I met Saonoa (his name is pronounced S-ow-noah) the weekend Julia caught a flight back to the main island after her visit in Faleasao. Julia struck up a conversation with him at the Fitiuta airport on Ta'u. He has a beautiful plantation just a mile past the high school (about four miles from my village), which he invited us to come visit (these pictures are from us taking him up on his offer- he has such beautiful land!).
He worked building houses in California for a long time, but just last year, came back to live on Ta'u, his birthplace, and set up a plantation. He's an artist who likes to combine the practical uses of horitculture with the art of landscaping and craft-making. He showed us his hand-made trellises, his lovely hawaiian apples (w/ the consistency of pears and the tartness of an apple), and his stock of green bananas! He's a generous man who loves to sit around waxing philosophic with us. He showed Kaitie and Dan (below) and KC and I around his plantation last Saturday. He's been a great person to get to know here because he understands the complex relationship between Samoa and the United States and what it's like to bridge that gap and live in that borderland. I look forward to more visits and maybe even some gardening!