Sunday, November 20, 2005
Around the world in 4 stressful days
4th November 2005
My employer (a govt corporation) sent me to Germany to accompany 35 dancers back to NZ-Samoa.
I left on a Friday afternoon, and returned Monday morning.
Total time spent in Germany?
17 hours. From 5:30a.m – 10:00pm
46 hours of flight time, 12 hours at airports.
Thank God I flew Business Class back.
Cost? $6000.00 something NZD.
And there’s people dying from lack of basic medication in Bangladesh. and Samoa
Anyhow, the bottom line of the story is PLANNING and EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT can save Samoa (and everybody) a lot of time, effort and non-existent money.
There still remains the urgent need for decision makers(for fear of naming that particular person) to COMMUNICATE and ensure that everything is transparent. Plan ahead, forge solutions, take calculated risks, and accept RESPONSIBILITY!
Which brings me to another point concerning the trip.
Picture Frankfurt Airport, crowded, noisy, cold, Polizei all over the place.
Now imagine you’re in my shoes, stressing to make sure all 35 dancers are on the two flights to Singapore, especially when 10 are on wait-list and not booked on the flights. And worse yet, the idiots that call themselves travel agent in Samoa tore off the ticket coupon for some dancers tickets, therefore costing me(STA) €100.00 each.
Finally, after pleading with Duty Managers of Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa, all 35 are through.
Thanks to Rev. Kereta who has the 'vision' and tofamamao' to tolerate this madness for six long months!
Anyhow, everyone leaves for the Gates and happily wave goodbye to the overworked underpaid people from Tragic Tropical Islands of Krausnick.
I take a deep breath and run happily to my about-to-depart flight.
Suddenly, there’s a commotion, there’s Polizei everywhere, all surrounding an unattended luggage, exactly where some flippin' Samoan dancers where at.
a. Do you continue walking to the Gate, and board
b. Return, claim the bag which belongs to the dancers and get shit from those fucking cops.
c. Assault the dancer that owns the bags?
I chose b., at which I was given a lecture by some shitty pale-as cop who wants to call his boss and halt the US Military and text George Bush, call Kofi Annan, email Josef Stahlin, contact FBI and other pitiful crap sh+t.
Fortunately, one of the dancers had hooked up with a US Military officer from American Samoa and was there to farewell the girl. He came to the dumb cop, apologized, showed his ID and the cop let me go.
Now, imagine my rage turning raw when I pick up the big bags and there were 3 pieces, each weighing more than 7 kgs each.
I couldn’t take them all in, and as I am about to dumb them in the rubbish, out comes the stupid girl who owns the bags.
I realized then that I had evil in me to simply cause bodily harm or beat the daylights out of her.
I finally gave her bags and a tongue lashing she’ll remember for life, I dragged the rest, ran to the plane, right before they closed it.
That, my dear, is only a lousy 20 minutes of life with a dance group, sent to a shit-hole one hour outside of civilization(Berlin), to live for 6 months. With bombed out houses and airstrips of WWII still standing, watching poorly informed islanders as they are transported to and from the alien Dome to sing and dance at set calculate times each day morning, noon and night.
I prayed for the first time in a long time that God may give me the humility and perseverance not to smack someone before we landed in New Zealand.
Photo: To make use of my 17 hours in Frankfurt, I hopped on the train going into the city center, where I walked around, checked out the shopping, ate some yummy cinnamon cream buns and drank a beer (or more) at the corner pub, watching some weirdos protesting against nuclear warfare.
Meet the dancing sensation, Susana Aumua, from Falealupo, the last place to see the sunset in the world. She was one of the dancers on contract for 6 months. While she was there in that pitiful place called umm, Brand(1.5 hour from Berlin), she met John Yang, a Samoan (A.Samoa) serving in the US Military based in Frankfurt. Anyhow, yadayadayada, they fell in love, and they arrived 2 hours early to Frankfurt Airport ahead of the 35 dancers.
And what do we do to kill time?
Headed for the Bar and started a very loud fun island catch-up over German beer,...US Military' s shout of course!
She is now back in Samoa but we're working on getting her back to her soldier before the end of the year...now how adorable is that?????
Photo: Afutolu Lefaoseu and John Yang, both Samoans in the US Military based in Frankfurt.
We hope to catch up in Savaii, perhaps for the big Samoan wedding???
Susana and John Yang..awww~!!!!