In the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, American Samoa is the only US Territory south of the equator. Pago Pago port is a strategic location and well-protected harbor. American Samoa is located approximately 2,600 miles (about 4,150 km) from Hawaii, which is equivalent to the distance from New York to San Francisco by air travel.
We are here in American Samoa to prepare for our cat’s import documentation for our upcoming voyage to New Zealand. Additionally, there is a US Post Office in Pago Pago, making it easy to send mail from the States. John’s friend sent boat parts, among other things, via US Priority Airmail, expecting delivery 1-4 business days. However, after two weeks, John received one out of four. The local Post office here informed us that the remaining boxes are at the San Francisco Facility waiting to be shipped by sea, which typically takes 2 to 4 months. They suggested that we contact the sender’s Postal Office. John’s friend visited the sender’s facility, but they indicated that there was nothing they could do. He also wrote letters, and we attempted to contact USPS customer service but gave up after being on hold for an extended period until the close of business hours. At present, we are uncertain about when we will receive the remaining boxes and what steps we should take. We are eager to leave the Cyclone Zone before November since the Cyclone(Hurricane) season in the South Pacific spans November 1st to April 30th.
In the meantime, I received my Amazon order, which arrived two day later than the expected last delivery date. Amazon voluntarily refunded the shipping cost even though I didn’t request it.
If you plan to ship something by priority airmail from the States to Pago Pago, consider it may take 1 to 4 weeks for delivery, not the initially expected 1-4 business days. Furthermore, if you are sending a large box, ensure that the “Air Mail” sticker is attached to the box, preferably on each side, to potentially prevent such delays.
While being here, I have tried to learn more about American Samoa and its history. I feel the following quote concise and reliable. Enjoy! (Source Link: https://ws.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/policy-history/samoan-history/#:~:text=At%20the%20turn%20of%20the,to%20New%20Zealand%20in%201914.)
“Migrants from Southeast Asia arrived in the Samoan islands more than 2,000 years ago and from there settled the rest of Polynesia further to the east. Contact with Europeans began in the early 1700s but did not intensify until the arrival of English missionaries and traders in the 1830s. At the turn of the 20th century, the Samoan islands were split into two sections. The eastern islands became territories of the United States in 1904 and today are known as American Samoa. The western islands became known as Western Samoa (now just Samoa), passing from German control to New Zealand in 1914. New Zealand administered Western Samoa under the auspices of the League of Nations and then as a UN trusteeship until independence in 1962. Western Samoa was the first Pacific Island country to gain its independence.
In July 1997 the Constitution was amended to change the country’s name from Western Samoa to Samoa. Samoa had been known simply as Samoa in the United Nations since joining the organization in 1976. The neighboring U.S. territory of American Samoa protested the move, feeling that the change diminished its own Samoan identity. American Samoans still use the terms Western Samoa and Western Samoans.”