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VPOTUS pool report 3 - Samoa
Andrew Beatty • Agence France-Presse
April 23, 2017: 05:30 PM


At 16:26 the Vice President and his wife disembarked Air Force Two onto to what must be one of the most scenic runways the world.

On one side, the crashing surf of the South Pacific, on the other verdant escarpment and palm trees.

The couple were greeted at the bottom of the steps by a group including Lolo Matalasi Moliga the Governor of American Samoa and Admiral Harris, commander of Pacific Command along with the chief justice of American Samoa and Congresswoman Radewagen.

Some of the greeters were wearing traditional lava-lava, a type sarong and with bold prints, as well as flower lei garlands, or ulas.

From there, VPOTUS walked toward the terminal building, past black volcanic rock walls and a phalanx of ceremonial guardsmen armed with some very old rifles and resplendent in crisp white shirts and a black kilt-like outfit trimmed with red bands and red hats.

Beyond the tarmac you could see a group bare chested Samoans wearing red sarongs.

A sign read "Talofa Lava" (hello to you) "Michael Pence".

Inside the terminal the Vice President was greeted by more dignitaries, including a older gentleman with a wooden staff and some elaborate tattoos, who one person addressed as chief.

The Vice President and second lady bowed briefly as they entered to the room to receive ulas.

After a little while the Vice President took his off, Mrs Pence kept it on.

Everyone bowed their heads for a prayer, after which the VP said thank you very much "thank you so much."

Your poolers - would-be argonauts of the western Pacific - were led back outside where around 175 very warm soldiers were stood in formation.

The Vice President gave brief remarks that were not audible to your pool, except for a thank you at the end. There were cheers on a number of occasions.

Then, in front of the troops, a small white timber frame cloaked in white material was brought out, and wrestled with for a while.

After some remarks by the VP and the Congresswoman the material was removed to reveal a sign for a veteran affairs office dedicated to Emi Faleomavaega, American Samoa's longest serving delegate to Congress.

"He was a great champion for our American military" VPOTUS said.

The VP and Mrs Pence climbed the steps turned and gave a wave, getting a big cheer from the troops.

We are now boarding Air Force Two.

Next stop, an island in the Pacific - Oahu.



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