Thursday, November 16, 2006

These are difficult times in Oceania

De La Perouse would have smacked himself silly for calling this vast ocean, Pacific.

Because we are anything but pacified.



Perhaps if he had ventured further out of the Panama Isthmus he'd have seen a truer representation of divisions, turmoil and war.
Nevermind,


It has worked to our advantage, giving europeans a misconception of paradise.

only to be reminded too late when an axe is dislodged into their viking skulls.



I don't mean to leave you stranded and wondering why I'm kicking off this entry with musings about dead voyagers.



My thoughts are more consumed by the dramas unfolding in our region.
Warfare in the Solomons,

Land struggles in Vanuatu

Coups and military arrogance in Fiji (again)

Political fallouts in Tahiti

Continuous unrest, looting and royal backlash in Tonga
Who else?

Niue: well, who cares about Niue, their only drama today is struggling to keep people on the island at all.

and Samoa?
well, lets just say theyre in a more peaceful position because the only thing theyre fighting about is beauty pageants and shallow politics.

They so peaceful and passive that even Parliament have no Opposition, so whatever Uncle Tui says, goes.


Of course, that is not to say we Samoans are free of our own dramas.

Let us ask some serious questions.
Why hasn't there been a coup in Samoa yet?


It is obvious that to stage a coup requires much secrecy, deliberation and preparation.
None of which would ever be possible for a bunch of Samoan men.
Because they plan, they talk, they drink and it all comes out in the open before dawn the next morning.
And to summon an army of strong men to march into Parliament House at 8am would be a challenge in itself.

Imagine the Chief of Police all prepared to attack and does the roll call.
"Sione?" Not here yet, went fishing last night

"Ioane?" Got in a fight with his wife and admitted to ICU at Motootua

"Petelo" We saw him on the Vaivase bus this morning, he looks stoned.

"Sasalapa?" Couldn't find his bus fare, he asked if its okay if he came in later.

Head of Police shrugs "Aw, fuck it, lets call it a day you bloody shets"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

feeling up my lumps

My apologies to myself for not updating my blog.


I was very busy getting trained for my new job, and this was mostly in Auckland.
I still continued to write my “Memoirs of a Coconut Geisha” but was too stingy to spend 5.00 on 1 hour wireless connection to update you my blog friend.


But before I cut and paste my previous thoughts, let this be a reminder that I got my right breast grabbed, pinched, poked, anesthized and sliced slightly open on the outside to get a sample of a lovely little lump this morning.


Yah, feeling up my lump lump.


I’ve had it for about 6 years but all the doctors ive seen kept saying its no problemo, but just to be sure my latest GP referred me to the BreastCare Centre.
Although it was a trivial minor thing, I drove home after work and limped to the house and frenchy’s like

“why didn’t you park in the garage?”


I dramatically responded “Coz I can’t do any lifting in my right arm and I therefore can’t open the garage door”, “my breast is sore, sob sob”


So I headed for the couch where I laid until dinner was ready and watched 3 programmes in a row,


Oh to be so blessed with a compassionate loving man who listens to my every frigging need and who lets me wearing my penguin pajamas before 6pm and lets me watch tv even when I don’t feel like it.


Okay, enuff blahrararing, heres what I wrote a week ago:


DISCLAIMER: The author takes no responsibility for your disappointment. Remember, my blog, my thoughts, your interpretation. End of story.(for now)


Stop thinking you know better


I say this of Samoans who live abroad, who speak so negatively of Samoa, who cuss freely about corruption and ‘backwardness’ and ignorance’, who always always have criticisms of how Samoa should be run.
You know who you are,


Shitface.


I say to you now,


Come and wear my torn underwear


Drink my bland CCK instant coffee


Swat the mosquitos from my sores


Queu at the Development Bank with me for my fifth loan this month


Share the ‘Made in Thailand’ mackerel and boiled bananas with me and my six kids tonight


Come and patch the hole on my roof,


And weed my taro patch,


Before you suggest I straighten up my act, embrace progress and avoid corruption.
Do the things above, and I will let you speak ill of my ways.
It is all very well to criticise while you sit on your judge’mental’ ass and bitch and moan but at the end of the day, you are not me, you are not here to share my reality with me.


Corruption is the reason more children can afford education during election year, villages eat well for a few precious months and when the humanity of a leader truly shines through.


Samoans abroad criticise this openly, bitching about corruption and ‘its who you know not what you know’.


The fact is, corruption is rife. I agree.


And another fact is, “Of course it is who you know, NOT what you know’
Why offer the job to a stranger when you could provide livelihood for your wife’s sister’s husband’s first cousin?


Look at the graduates who return to Samoa to work. They hit off with sparks and passion and great ideas but a few months down the track, they all fizzle out, clamp up and simply drown their sorrows in booze, pay their loans, drink some more and push paper till 3:30pm every week day.


Of course they know there is corruption, darling, all samoans can smell that deceit in the passing of Parliament Landcruisers on their way to officially cut the ribbon for the new toilet blocks on tv.


But like someone wrote “Do I dare go against the Universe?”
“Do I dare rock the canoe?”


To criticise is to get fired, to get fired is to have no livelihood; is to be hated is to be hopeless is to be depressed is to kill onself. Jody’s Law.
We all just bite the coconut bullet and move on.
Even when we see politicians prosper


Even when we see Misa and Liuga struggling to breath from overeating and corruption.
We all just swallow our pride and praise our beloved country.
Even Robert Louis learned his lesson in 1892, when he fought to eliminate a corrupt administration,
Look where that landed him,


Stiff dead on a mountain.
“Under the wide and starry skies
Dig thy grave and let me lie”


We tell people, We are a harmonious people, peaceful loving, hospitable.
No shet Sherlock, we have no other choice.



But back to the headlines of Samoan news today, Beauty Pageant.


You see what I mean, we are a habby joyful people, who choose to commit all news media and conversations to a ditzy beauty pageant while high schoolers are only learning to spell ‘monkey’ at age 16.


I worked at STA, I remember spending nights at the computer airbrushing blotchy pimply faces and calling girls to please dress nicely so I can attempt to take photos where their chins aren’t hanging and their big backsides aren’t exaggerated.


Seeing all this recent commotion makes me laugh and be grateful I left that role.
It is a thankless, long, stressful, demanding and hated position where your hard work is acknowledged as the boss’, and your screw ups are simply “yours” so shape up or fuck off. So it worried me a little because I can so imagine the poor STA girls getting all the hatred because if there is one thing that that CEO is NOT good at, it is taking responsibility for his screwed up actions.


They say that the shit starts from the top of the mountain (okay, I just butchered the traditional saying: E afua mai mauga le manuia o se nuu).

Basically, the shit at STA is because there is an unqualified clueless HRPPsucking CEO at the sinking helm, a bragging egotesticle Minister perched at the top of sails (to be visible of korse), and the rest are simply people struggling to do their job under a regime of media loving, blameless leaders.
But as I said at the beginning, “We are very happy happy joy joy people from the sea and the smiling beople of the sun who teach the world humanity and hospitality and in God we trust”. Always in God we trust. Because he is the only one who doesn’t disagree.

He just sits and listens very quietly. I love my preedifool country and I love you all my sinful savage blogging children of the blogging universe.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Eating Wriggling Delicacies

Blessed is the worm that slide through my shivering fingers and into the salty black ocean,


Lament the unlucky worm caught in Uncle Satuu’s home-made mosquito net racket that is immediately devoured.


Chomp on blue, green, red worms while they squirm for their short-lived existence.
Samoan delicacy at its best - Live, wriggling reproductive organs that float to the glassy surface only once on a balmy full moon in November.


The one night when we don’t mind being awake at 2am to sew sweet smelling necklaces and to patch mosquito nets to be used for catching the ellusive worms.


Throw in a dozen bottles of Vailima and the night stretches out into the dark shadows of sleeping Itu-o-Tane shorelines.


Only to be disrupted by coconut lit fires and disgruntled pigs as humans take their place under leafy fuafua trees.


We wait and wait and wait and wait.


In the shadows.


While able bodied men paddle their flimsy canoes in search for where the palolo will choose to rise.


“It’s going be a good year, I can feel it” says the toothless man from Fagamalo.


“I doubt it, there were no thunders and worst of all, no lightning in October, it’s a waste of time” mumbled the old lady from Avao. In the darkness, I see the shine of her two gold teeth and the pink of her round plastic hoop earrings.


I think to myself, If I was a palolo, I would swim away as fast as I could from her.
The early morning air is a pungent fusion of Impulse perfumes mixed with fragipanis, mosoois and pig shit.


Depending where you’re stepping in the dark, the latter can be unpleasant.


Women gather their children, chiefs chat near the fires, young lovers hold hands in the pleasant darkness, young girls gaze at half undressed boys and dogs bark into the darkness because they can. Until someone throws a rock unto their emaciated ribs and quietens them momentarily.



As we wait, we worry.


The sun rises not too far away, yet the palolo refuses to surface.


And just when the fires started to die out, the voices of the men fill the air, and a sea of bodies rush to the sea, with buckets and nets and Goodyear tyre floaters and little children in tow.


Nevermind the dangerous undercurrent


Nevermind the rising tide


Nevermind the sharp corals


Nevermind the reef’s treacherous edge looming close


Nevermind the hungry sharks.


Nevermind the bodies swept out to the unforgiving deep, still holding onto their buckets of worms, never to be recovered.


“Make laia, it just wasn’t their year” says the toothless old woman, while she chows wriggling palolo between her two gold teeth.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

'Showtime' has left the building.



A blog entry ago, I was laughing about my aunty's question whether Hirene has died, my response was "It's prebably one of his jokes"
But now I realise it is true, Hirene has actually,
died.



I won’t sugar-coat my recollection of Hirene.
Although he would have loved that, even brag about it later, saying that ‘That Jody, she thinks I’m hot!”


Hirene is first and foremost, a ‘performer’


An ‘entertainer’ born for the limelight.


He shines, he smiles, he cheers people up and he makes the most of a situation.


While the 79 dancers were bitching and whining about being in a stressful situation in Germany, Hirene was making friends with the barmaids, construction workers, management and the children that watched the shows.


When I think of Hirene I smile, because he always always has something cheeky to say.
In his time as the ‘mascot’ faaluma for the Samoa show, he was determined to make people laugh, even breaking his arm in the process.


But that did not stop him.


In his own words “The show must go on”.


I am certain most Peacecorps and Australian ambassadors know or have seen/met Hirene because he worked at Lighthouse/BadBillys and other bars in town. It is hard not to miss someone who is eager to strike a conversation with every stranger the comes thru the door.


When we were at Paddles beginning of this year, he came over and kissed us twice on the cheek, and said “Halo, Mein name is Hirene, Wie heist du? Or some German shite like that.


He was wearing a long sleeved Spanish style shirt, very tight white jeans and a majurity that didn’t suit him. “I’m engaged” he said,
“NO f^c1(@^ way!” we exclaimed.


“Ya, to my darling in Germany” he proudly informed us.


“My condolences to your wife to be” was our response.


“Whatever, youre jealous coz you can’t have me!” he laughs and hits the dance floor.


And that was the last we saw of Hirene.



It seems strange that the flamboyant lively character will no longer grace a stage, be under a limelight anymore. Strangely enough, it feels like the show has come to an end.




My heart goes out to his girlfriend, his family and friends, its tragic to lose a loved one but reassuring to have shared a life with "Showtime" the star of the show.

Is Hirene = "Showtime" alive?

I'm wondering if my information is a bit rusty but somebody please confirm if Hirene is alive or not.

I'm talking about Hirene from Lighthouse/Bad Billys who went with the Germany with the STA dance group.

Hirene if youre reading this, ARe you alive (uh, no shet, thats why you'll respond hehehe)...unless you have internet connection beyond the grave.

Any real information would be appreciated.

Knowing how much of a joker he is, i'm hoping this is one of his punchlines....here's hoping.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

What comes first? The cocoa or the rice?

This week, I mumbled a silent prayer at work because I almost punched a work colleague in the face during a meeting.


And (bless me Father) I didn’t.


Instead, I just imagined her eyes getting poked in by a huge Alaskan bear.
The kind that Salty saw outside his window, or maybe I’m imagining that too.
My disappointment was so intense that I actually got up, calmly excused myself, walked to the coffee corner and downed two shots without sugar or milk.
I was angry.


Furry Logic is the one thing that calmed my anger.


“Be Yourself, No one is better qualified”


“Life is full of challenges, eventually you’ll find a hairstyle you like”


At the week’s end, I had recovered my ‘cool’ and reminded myself that I get more wrinkles from being pissed off.


Plus, after all, its just work and frankly, I won’t let that mortgage-paying aspect of my life ruin my mascara.


I drove home to our new happy house in the quiet St Andrew suburb to find the Maori neighbours drunk for the fifth night in a row, singing “No Woman No Cry”.
Sometimes, I wish Bob Marley wasn’t born at all.


So that I could sleep peacefully without “ Emancipating yourself from antislavery” ringing in my eardrums in slurred Maori vocals on a frosty winter night, in a supposedly quiet neighbourhood.


Still, I am convinced that I will not let these minor mishaps dampen my day/night, so I started painting flowers on canvas, then a little splash of black as a background, a wave breaking, no, a tsunami looks better, with some sharks and maybe a few Maoris fishing on the reef, eating pipis and mussels and puha and kumara and fish and chips.


Lovely.


Picasso would have been pleased.


Delighted even.


Tonight, I decided to make use of the samoan cocoa I got from mom when she came from Samoa two months ago.


It is wrapped in clear plastic and inserted into another white plastic foam cup.
I open these covers and feel the smooth but hard cocoa between my hands.
“How the #%& do I break this?”


I grab a bread knife and saw away, small bits fall off and land on the newly cleaned floor.


I pick up the bigger pieces from the floor and leave them on the sink (Note to self, dispose of these later”.


Frenchy walks in, sees the cocoa bits and tastes one.


“Youre making a mess, you vasti”


“None of your business kio”


“Hah, a Samoan who can’t make cocoa, vasti”


“%*^#$*&^*&(*”


Frenchy gets the message and pisses off to the garage to pretend he’s doing constructive DIY work that he really doesn’t know.


I return to my cocoa chipping, picked out a pot, filled it with water and dropped in the cocoa bits.


Halfway though, I decided to do koko alaisa, rice cocoa, cocoa rice, rice in cocoa whateva.


I pick up the phone and call Delphina.


Shane comes to the phone with instructions,


“Cut off half of the cocoa bits, microwave that in a cup, before you put it into the pot.”


I look at the already boiling pot and realize the advice came 5 minutes too late.
“What comes first Shane, the cocoa or the rice?


“The rice, the coconut cream and then the cocoa.”


“Oh, coconut cream too? Forget it, I don’t have that”


Dilmah tea it will be.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Congratulations Tel!!!!

Well done honey child!!!

Looking forward to the pix of bebe!!!!!

lots of luv,

me!!!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

drinking the juices of rotting leaves and choking new born chicks just to watch them squeal

Back when we were drinking the juices of rotting leaves and choking new born chicks just to watch them squeal, life seemed so wonderful and stressfree. I was almost six.


Omega was eight, Diana, seven, Cherelle, five and Sinave, still a toddler in our care, crawling after us, chewing wandering worms until we noticed and slap it off his dirty fingers.




I return to the blogging world with a renewed zest for life, not quite matured, slightly emancipated, vaguely clueless and forever sentimental, in an amateurish sort of rhythm that captures you and then squashed you gleefully with mismatched ideals and distressing thoughts.


In the past three weeks, we have bought a home, detested the minus two degrees frost in the morning, failed to fix my car heater, dined in Auckland’s Wildfire and woke to the distasteful hours of the morning to a certain French cry for Zinadine Zidane.
Who remains immortal albeit a head butt.


Clearly, the French need heroes, with anger management classes made compulsory for soccer superstars.


In the midst of all this, we celebrated our one year anniversary, being appreciative of the fact that we have come a long way from working shit jobs to make ends meet away from our families in a foreign place. Life has improved immensely.>
A year ago, I was a virgin.



Okay, I lie.


A year ago, I married Frenchy in Marseille under the brilliant Mediterranean sky, witnessed by our families and friends.
Many want to relive their wedding days.


I don’t.


A writer once wrote “A thing of Beauty is joy forever, its loveliness increases, it will never pass”. Beauty being the joining of two hearts, the bonding that lasts, the marriage that says ‘I will never have sex with another human being’.
Yes indeed, that is the hope.
The certainty is uncertain
The guarantee is absent.

But the challenge lie with two people making that commitment.


Without sounding like a broken record, I return now to my dreamlike thoughts of


...Back when we were fishing out of tin cans, soaked with mud water, tanned by leisurely hours of sunshine, awaiting the grown ups at sea, anticipating what they bring, be it sea urchins, small fishes, seashells, jellyfish or a smack in the face and a guarantee that your tiny neck will break if you don’t wash off the mud, go home and read your Holy Bible.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I'm not proud to be a Samoan today

You know how we Samoans are supposedly very prideful of where we come from?
It's a rare thing, because its almost strange when an Australian would say, "I'm proud to be Australian and i love my culture...(well, thats a bad example, coz Aussies come from English exiles and rejects, and they basically raped and murdered off the indigenous 'cultured' Aboriginal people).


The point of the bottomline of the story is,
Being shamed into the corner because a young female Samoan first year dumb ass got wasted at the dorms, removed her polka dotted panties, got screwed by the fijian boys, before running down the stairs singing loudly, stripping to nothingness and yelling "I'm proud to be Samoan, I love Samoa, Fook you all you white madafakas"
The thing is, there were no white madafakas around at that early hour of the morning.
There were only island nation representatives at an ill-planned exam period drink-up.
Ill-fated because the girl screamed enough to wake up the neighbourhood, wardens, academic staff and the cows in the pasture.


When she was comforted that there was enough audience, she rolled starkers down the hallway, singing Samoan melodies while she did acrobatic moves that Kama Sutra have yet to discover.


Meanwhile, one of the males walking back from the labs heard the commotion from outside and ran to his all-male floor, screaming "Drunk nude Samoan girl ...wake up wake up! you can't miss a free show guys" ...thus the crowds got bigger.


To cut the story short, they couldn't bring the girl out, she was delirious, drunk, hyperactive, Kama Sutraic and telefuaring.


So yeah, the Uni Security was called, No luck, so the Ambulance and the POlice had to extract her from the building.
Just imagine two able bodied cops, all prepared to break in, and then the door flips open and she comes running outside for the world to see.


She was definitely a proud Samoan.


Proud being the key word.


She refused to accept any blankets being thrown to cover her sheer nakedness..she was just 'a proud Samoan, so fook off you stupid Bolice, I'm an independent weman'.
Oh yes, LIfe has it's strange twists, and sometimes, we just don't see it coming.
One moment, you are fine with your identity, the next, you just wish you didn't tell anyone that you are also Samoan, and shamefully proud of it, sometimes.


Of course, the next morning, Miss Kama Sutra strolls back to the halls, and into the cafeteria, while everyone stopped, in a hushed mode,

wait for it
she asks "What's up with everyone? They look like they've seen a ghost or sumfing"
'Not just a ghost dear child, they saw a big fat brown naked ghost doing acrobatic flips'

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

When will we ever learn?

On the news tonight, another young Samoan woman has gone to extreme measures.
This time, she gave birth, disposed of the new born in a cold winter garden,
Outside her Halls of Residence.
While she suffered from internal bleeding.


She was one of the gifted few,
Who won an academic scholarship to study at the University of Otago
Which is well known for its successful Pacific Mentoring Programme.


Questions are now being asked,
Many questions indeed.


I have my own questions.


Where are her friends?


Where is her sperm-donor?
Why did she do it?


Shame?
Fear?
Both?


I can't imagine the pressure she felt, knowing she is carrying, but also knowing the high expectations from her family, friends, church and GOvernment.
I feel so sorry for this poor girl.


Someone will hate me for saying this(and frankly i don't give two shites) but the parents, the church, the friends, the Scholarship Committee should all take a piece of the blame.


And I too take the blame.


Because we as a community are quick to praise the good, but ignore the real issues at hand.


Every day, someone is suffering, and theyre that person you snubbed on the street, the friend you forgot to call, the child you slapped on the face because she dirtied her pink shoes.


The bottom line is, we are not the tight knit community we brag so loudly of.


There's holes, gaps and tears that drag us all downhill, theres abandoned children, battered wives, depressed faafafines and frustrated old men.



For scholarship students, the pressure is 3D times infinity because they have been heaved the expectations of success. Deliver or be disgraced.


But they should know that the weight is not their own to carry.


I.e: * momma should have talked to her about contraception, instead of assuming she's a virgin until marriage.


*The partner should have had protection


*The Government should have a set Action Plan to deals with these matters.


Back in my days of Noah, James Waterhouse used to cruise by Uni, ask us how were doing, and then off on his merry way. Brief but reassuring.


I queried about this back in 2002 when I was on the verge of incompleting my papers because i was lazy, skipping classes, laid back and simply not prioritising my work.


I suggested then that perhaps there should be a monitoring system for Samoan scholarship students.


Towards the end of my degree, Tasha Shon was working at the Samoan Embassy.
She wrote us all a letter saying she's there if we need help, yadayadayada, and then silence.


It seems like the Government knows that the problem is there but are not keen to solve it.


Costly?


Well, what would it be? The peanuts for a consultant or the thousands wasted when students fail and get charged with manslaughter?



There needs to be a stronger support network/system for Samoan students studying abroad.


We mustn't forget that these students come from Samoa (Savaii included, yay!).


Where there are no secrets, no privacy, no downtime, everybody is everybody's business.


At home, you are surrounded by nagging relations.


At school, you are spoon fed and disciplined by teachers who are not afraid to whack your fingertips with the wood duster.


You are constantly supervised, controlled, interfered with and involved.


Then you get the scholarship, and all of a sudden, you are....


ALONE.


and


FREE.


That very change has lead to the demise of many, I am no exception.


On my first year, I was so overwhelmed by the 'life', of freedom, no parents, no uncles, no aunties, no teachers, no church, no "discipline".


I had a ball, (balls actually), drank like a fish (still do actually, shet), partied like madness, and best of all, the Government of Samoa financed our lifestyle.


Every two weeks, we queu up to the ATM, and become one day millionaires, while our poor families pray and praise their intelligent child who is studying hard overseas.


The reality hit hard, when I failed my first batch of assignments, and then the next, and then I got on the phone and cried to my mommy like a whinny 5 year old.
She said to me:


"Missie, You did not pray enough"


The bottom line is: These students need help, NOW.

Monday, May 22, 2006

On the question of faith,..

The Da Vinci Code is banned in Samoa.
Because being the religious church-going God-fearing Sunday feasting country that we are, it would disrespectful to offend and cause distress to the angelic masses.
Halleluia.
Freedom of Religion is not a light matter in our beloved country.
In some cases, expressing that freedom will land your balls on the sacrificial chopping board (metaphorically speaking / sometimes literally).

Last year, I went home and told my devout Catholic relative (Lucia) about the Da Vinci Code book.
She is my mother’s brother’s wife’s mother from Safotu.
Safotu is the village with the three churches, that every Tom, Dick and Sione sings about “Metotisi, Lamosa ma le Katoliko…Lou vai sa fee, lou vai taele, e pei o le kiona lona malulu tele.
Anyhow, back to my little conversation with Aunty Lucia,
“Lucia, this man’s book suggests that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had a child.”
Lucia looks at me, her face pale with shock and turned to her grandchild,
“Filisi! Get me my handbag, you pogaua!”
Filisi runs to the shelf with Bona Mere, Mother of Christ porcelain and grabs the Elvis Presley handbag, hands it to Lucia, and she holds my hands with so much urgency,
“Fotu, let us pray, Hail Mary, Full of Grace…x10.”
Oh yes, the answer to all our problems is through prayer.
And I agree.
"I am certain that somewhere in our brains or train of thought, a generator sputters into life every time we pray" Philosopher Jackson. J. 2006 "Psychotic Blog Meanderings"
I must confess.
I do not pray as much as my momma thinks I do.
I pray in times of need, desperation, sadness, achievement, but only the extreme stuff.
I remember when we were young’er’ and we all had to sing the generic ‘Malie Pule le tama e’ before we chow on our taro and brainy fish (my fancy name for faiai elegi).
I also remember praying that when I should open my eyes the herring would have transformed into KFC drum sticks.
Needless to say,
It didn’t happen.
And I began to question things.
So one day, at Sunday school, I summoned the confidence to ask one pressing question.
“Axcuse me geegar? (Transliterated: Excuse me teacher)
“If Jesas changed waters into wines, how cum we still eat faiai elegi all ta tyme?”


Spare the rod, spoil the child.

That’s the sister principle to ‘prayer’ in our Treasured Isles of the South Pacific.
Beating a child to the pulp is love, or so my Uncle said.
Discipline is beating your child till she cries, and then grabbing her by the face and asking "Why you cry? Huh? Answer me! Why the hell are you crying? Kuu laia! Stop it, okay? Stop crying you ungrateful alelo”
“Do you know why I fasi you?”
“Becoz we love you!”
Love is strange I realise, Love is expressed in peculiar ways.
What happened to 'Love is kind, Love is patient, Love conquers all?"
They must have skipped that page of the Bible.
“O le kama a le kagaka e fafaga I upu, ae o le kama a magu e fafaga I fuga o laau”
Feed the human with words (and a 2 by 4), while birds/animals are fed with leaves and fruits”
Give me fruit anyday, I say.
Yes,
Prayer is Power.
And that power translates to large expensive churches, hefty donations (alofa=love), chubby servants of God and pathetically broke church goers.
Oh yes,
Prayer is Power in our priddiful country.

I am a hypocrite,
That much I know.
I smile to the priest and bid him ‘Good Day’
When deep down I really want to say ‘Stop sucking the village dry and go on a diet you bloated "#@^#$("(censored by the National Council of Churches).

I surely know how to digress far and yonder, that is a fact.
I started with Da Vinci and ended with a falling out with the bloated priest.
Oh well, same difference.
But if it is any consolation, I will be buying the first copy of Da Vinci movie and sending it to Samoa, and perhaps set up the Priory of Samoa, after all, isn’t that what Freedom of Religion is all about?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Tell me your dreams honeychild, tell it with meaning...

Thank you thank you for your response Fotu.V, Nydia, Mega, Dasifi(still awaiting Jen, Relle, Reesa, Tel and others who wanna spik deir moind) i'm absorbing all this..and its rather thought-provoking, i.e. meaning i will keep asking you more questions about ICT.


A few years ago, the Lotu Taiti (CCC of Samoa) encouraged churches to introduce computers to their villages.


In my village, the reverend's place has been converted into a computing class every week, with Simon teaching Basic Microsoft applications,...yeah, pisshead Simon in the house of God, teaching innocent sheperds to upload images, hehe..oh yes, ICT has its twisted ironies.
Computers in Lalomalava, wouldya buhlieve it?
But back to the issue at hand,


There is an ICT Committee in Samoa, chaired by Fuatai Purcell, they drew up the ICT Stategies a few years back among IT stakeholders in Sachic.
The whole idea is to embrace the changes and ensure we are not being left behind.
And frankly, I take my hat/TUIGA ILAILA(yes, i'm a sacrificial goddess, don't b chalass) off to people like her (fuatai) and Oketevi, (BOTH WOMEN RUNNING THE ICT SHOW, YAY!!!) for their role in highlighting the plight of third world countries and women.


But then, i worry, oh yes, i fret and worry, when their work is not continued,


And yet, we have so much potential, look at the calibre of bloggers who frequent these cyberalleys, theyre bilingual, intelligent(most of the time when theyre not bitching hehe) and not afraid to speak thier mind,.
so,


What are we waiting for?


And more importantly, Why are we not channelling our potential into constructive and/or worthy platforms?


Are we to be blamed?
Or,.
Do we point a finger at the ones running the show?
Do we wait for them to care or should we initiate, take action, be proactive and be responsible?


What are you waiting for?
I realise now, the U.N.thousands flushed into constructive discussions online are largely ignored and not accessible to the average sione/sieni.
Maybe they should re assess,
Maybe those highly paid UN workers should be fired, or ummmm, fasi'd.
Maybe we should do something about it.


I'm sure you guys are rolling your eyes now and thinking, Fotu please get back to lipstickchat and bitchfesting', well, i will, thats for sure, but at the same time, why don't we put meaning into these daily blog meanderings???


I need your thoughts, and seriously, I welcome your feedback,..i.e. imagine if dasifi comes up with the new topic next week and we all must comment on it, then nydia fronts up with a pressing issue the following week??


Come to think of it, you guys were all apalled and touched by the loss of two babies a week ago, was it the system? the parenting? the neglect? the hygiene or sheer bad luck? What if others could learn from it if we discussed it constructively?


Theresa's comments echo those of concerned mothers everywhere,
Jen and dasifi seem to be studying (sometimes, hahah), are you under pressure?(prolly not, heheh), inspired to share? unmotivated? challenged?


Nydia, Fotu, Tia are all in samoa working(sometimes), they are living and breathing(the dust at the seawall) the real issues faced by young predifuls after the end of studying abroad? Their experience must surely prepare other graduates, or encourage them to overstay in nz and avoid serving the Bond with the Govt...(or not)!
Don't be discouraged tho, we can still be our true crude selves about these discussions, thats fo sure, thats what makes us truly 'unique' and gorgeous' and...okay, enough flattering you nutters.

world peace man, world peace and harsher corporal punishment for parole violators,

over and out,

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

ICT in Samoa

I need to pick your brains...yes, i'm talking to you, Nydz, Fotu(who also happens to be in the midst of ICT), Reesa, tel, Jen, relle, mex and other samoan young preddifools out there.

Don't say you don't know ...coz you do, youre a victim of ICT right about now!

The issue: ICT and Youth.

now now, don't click away from this entry please, just becoz it's not drama don't mean youre gonna stray into cyberpubs and cyberparties.

Stay with me. Se'i faaaoga ai kou braincells ga o loo kafafao i legei kaimi:

ICT and Samoa

As a young berson, what has been your experience with ICT, Information Communication Technology?

Secondly, Are you aware of the Millenium Development Goals regarding ICT or MDG at all?(don't be shy to admit not,...that aiight, i'm just learning damn it! hehe)..

Do you have Internet at home?

What needs to be improved?

okay, thats enough questions for now, but please please give me some feedback, i'll happily copy it in this post as constructive ideas. and you'll win a Tropny (or not).


Regards,

jodz

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sticks and Stones may hurt, but words leave irreparable wounds


Lalomalava is like any other Samoan village.


Everyone knows what everyone is doing, going to do and did last week, last year, last decade.


Stories are told, retold, changed and eventually made legends. Elders speak in soft tones and lament of yesteryear when the influenza epidemic killed our people. The ‘death sickness’ that wiped out lives in many villages, leaving a community to mourn, while the dead are indignantly heaved unto government trucks, wrapped in aging fine mats and tossed into mass graves of sorrow and despair.


Our elders whose eyes glimmer with hope as they sing of our proud traditions. Our proud people. Our proud measina. Our proud triumphs from years of slavery, suffering and violence.


Wounds are revealed, pain is shared, victories proudly announced, and violence is uttered in a language of hatred, fear, disgust, threats and childhood circles.


My childhood was no different.


When you have a weakness, by nature or nurture, you are constantly reminded of these deficiencies.



Kokive has polio and everyone calls him ‘cripple’, pipili. He could not care less, he would just whack you with his walking cane as hard as he could. His use of vulgar terms made him the receiving end of many beatings from the thin edges of the coconut fibre broomstick.


Palama, a hard working young man, has problems hearing so everyone ridiculed and called him a stinking deaf 'faipepe.'


Moe has big lips and cannot shut his mouth for too long, thus he is called 'guku faamaga, guku elo' meaning gaping mouth and stank breath.


We taunt him as we run as fast as our little legs can carry us, for a rain of stones is guaranteed to follow.


Fialupe is always caught and fined by the village fono for peeping at women bathing at the village pool, thus his title Ku Paipa. Ku Paipa literally meaning standing near the tap (water pipes), or Ku Kekee, standing on tip toes. Sao being epileptic earned him the name 'maikeke ululeaga' transliterated ‘shaking nutcase.’


Tala is teased for being Vae sasape, screwed up legs. Petesa for being ai lalafa, because her skin is marred with spots and rash.



I did not escape this name calling. I was ridiculed for having skinny legs, likening me to the tuli shorebird with its stick-like legs. Whenever I fought with my cousin over the rocking horse, she would yell at me, “You skinny vae tuli!”. Meanwhile, I would keep on pulling her hair screaming “Diana Popo Masa!”. Popo Masa being the ideal rhyme to describe a rotting coconut that we discard to the pigs.


Fifteen years on, I ponder, are we crippled by our discourse of negativity?


Despite these snide jibes, Palama went on to become an excellent fisherman, Petesa married well and is now a respected wife of a village pastor. Koki featured on television for his polio complications and was presented numerous gifts from donor organizations. He has since become the popular dude that you 'had to’ hang out with. Tala was given the chiefly title of his family. Diana moved to Seattle, graduated and looks every inch the Samoan beauty, far from being Popo Masa.



Unfortunately, Fialupe continues peeping as unsuspecting women bathe at sunset. Moe still can not keep his mouth shut, and has also now taken up the art of ku paipa with Fialupe. Sao was found floating at the village pool one Sunday morning, having had an epileptic seizure while swimming alone.



As for the demeaning labels?


They never go away. Whenever we see Koki on the Health Ministry television advertisement, we say in an affectionate manner, ‘We are so proud of our pipili (cripple)!’. Whenever Palama returns with a boat full of fish, his mother cries with pride, ‘my beloved faipe (deaf boy) is such a blessing!’


And when Petesa visited the village with her beautiful children and well-off husband, the old ladies weaving their mats with heads bowed would mutter, ‘Petesa has come a long way from being a colourful collection of spots and all rashes on earth.”



I still have to wonder whether some of us have become victims of our own close-knit societies. Can we move forward with a clean slate, start afresh and erase the faults we are born with?


I wonder if we could have saved our loved ones from taking their own lives if we had called them beautiful things?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Miss Samoa New ZEaland winner, and whatever else i can recall,...

it's official, Josie Fuimaono won Miss Samoa New ZEaland tonite at Manukau.

10 priddifool girs competed for the crown.,

I personally picked 2 other girls to win, but as always, i guessed wrong...might have something to do with smirnoff green apple and limonada la lea, but nevermind, it was a nice line up, 5 girls even get to compete for miss asia pacific.

cindy was a drawcard, she did an item involving the usual hip-thrust towards the NZ government representative in the crowd.

jubine did some girl's traditonal wear,...basically same thing from last year and the year before that,...ruby taituuga style.

Peter tamasese did the talent for one girl whose name was something like Van Hoe...??? She was so friggin' gorgeous...and danced her siva like the dancers from the 70's ...stunning gal.

and then came the interview:
Emcee: If you were to be transformed into an animal, what would it be and why?
Contestant: I would be a parrot, because in Samoa in the olden days, parrots feathers are used for making fine mats and there was no need to dye the feathers like we do nowadays, thats why i want to be a parrot.

ahem....so, i asked my drunken neighbor, 'so, she wanted to be a parrot so she could get plucked?'
thank God for Smirnoff apple flavoured vodka

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

When i think of home....















i think of mine familia in Savaii who i miss so much until i spend two weeks with them and they drive me thru the wall, vice versa.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Death passed me by

My nana passed away on Good Friday,
She was 86.


I went to Samoa for Easter to visit her because she was sick from bed sores which got badly treated by the stupid nurses in Tuasivi Hospital.


After the sores got worse, the nurses stopped coming to change her bandages and my mom, Lani, Lale, Nora and Malia did the job.

Lani and Lale being nurses/physiotherapist in town.

She was in real pain, with the wounds larger than the size of my fists, on her lower back, left shoulder blade, her skin withering away, pain eating at her strength, as she bit her lower lip in her strong will to fight.

She was a fighter that woman.


She was suffering, but she did not utter a word of complaint.
A day before she left us, I caressed her wounded arm and said,
“Siu, o Foku lea, o a mai oe? Ga ou sau mai I Giu Sila e asi oe, kalagoa mai se”
Omega talks also, so does Lani, Relle, Moelagi, the kids.
No response.

I try again,

“Si’u, o Fotu lea”

What she said tore at my heart it hurt,
‘O LEA LE MEA UA OU LEAGA AI?’


She spoke the words I wanted answers to.

‘Why her? She did everything that was asked of her, and more….but why?
For fucks sake, WHY?


She’s gone now.


And I miss her so much its hard to believe she’s no longer singing along or fanning her ili or reciting the 50 taulotos chapters of the Bible.


She shouldn’t have gone like that,

Not after all the things she’s done, all the lives she’s nurtured and prayed for,
all the selfless work and commitment and effort and love and kindness and faith.


I feel relieved however that she is no longer in pain.

If I was suffering the same illness, I would have been dead two weeks later.


Did I mention Granma was bed ridden for a good part of 31 years or so?


She suffered a massive stroke in 75’ which left the left side of her body useless, but she was still able to see, limp on crutches and still move around.


By the early eighties, she was losing her sight, and by 1991, she was completely blind, and falling every time she got up to get to the loo.
So the rest of her days were on her double bed, where she would sit up unassisted to say her prayers and have her meal.

That didn’t last, for by 1996 she could not get up no more.


Si'u's great grand children....some of them actually...
I don’t know life without Faleasiu, I grew up next to her, I hear her voice at dawn, singing “Mamao mamao lou nofoalii”, I run to hide by her bed when my Uncle Satuu gets out the salu lima to punish us for swimming at the pool without permission, I call her when I am studying for exams asking her blessings, I come home wasted and crash on her bed, while she whacks me with her pandanus fan and exasperates “O fea ga e kalikaliaga ai a?”, I sleep knowing she will get out her harmonica and force me to sing along in my drunken beer polluted vocals. I dread the 2 or 4.am call ‘Fotu, Fotu, Mega, Lani, Relle, Fotu, ua fia ka le kilaka”
Kikala being the code term for the bed pan she used. After I’d clean her and dispose of the bed pan, bathed her with faguu samoa, she would say to us ‘Ia, faamaguia lava oe e le Akua” and people tell us, those are your blessings, you are so lucky.
Did I believe them?
No.

What does cleaning a bed pan have to do with a lousy blessing?br/>
I was resentful at times, but I did it.

Only when I left home for school in Apia did I truly miss Siu, and realised that she meant the world to me.

She was my stability, my mentor, my rock, my confidante.

And with her gone, our home is hollow, empty, without a soul, without her presence, without meaning.

She was my home.


I’m crying now.
I left the room so Gui won’t see my tears.
I am crying now.

Because it is quiet and nobody is around.
Nobody is interrupting me,

To go get fine mats from Siu’s house (but Si’u’s not there).
To drop off the 10 pusa elegi at Lio’s in Sapapalii

To yell at the children who have been at the pool for 6 hours straight.
To attach glass pearls on Si’u’s dress

Nobody is here to disrupt me from crying

From feeling sorry for myself.

Crying is good

Crying is comforting

Crying is necessary

Crying is a runny nose and puffy eyes

Crying is blowing my nose on the nearest fabric, like Gui’s good work shirt.

Crying is relieving

Crying is just sad.

I’m cry now,

So let me be

I need to cry

I need to grieve

I need to cry

I need my granny

Cry

Yes

Cry

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Pasifika Festival, Pacific Trade Show, Opera Musical & Tahiti sexuality all in a week's work


The Pasifika Festival, with an attendance of more than 220,000 people this year was once again held at Western Springs.

Pati Levasa, 4 time world champ in fire knife dance competition performed with us for the Air New Zealand Opening Night.
FYI, I gave my camera to my 10 year old niece Gasolo Laban,,,thus the 'high' quality and peculiar angle of the photos..heh.

The Samoa Tourism Authority Dance Group again' performed.
But this year, instead of bringing uninformed female ditzers from sachic, we used samoan dancers here on the third biggest island in the samoan archipelago...Aukilani.

So only the 7 tattoed males and Miss Samoa travelled here, while the remaining 9 girls went straight home after Melbourne Commonwealth.
Of course, i'm not their favourite person right now, thanks to sending them back instead of a one week holiday in auckland. Let them hate, i don't kive a care.

Meanwhile, the auckland girls, of Sei Polynesia Dance Group did a marvelous job...and saved the struggling samoan taxpayer 30+ thousand on airfares, per diems and extra costs.


Here are some pix from the weekend....


Including one of the girls performing for Opeloge's Opera
'Aua e te tagi, Don't you cry' Original Samoan Opera
which featured Ben Makisi and Frieda Heidl from Austria..


The star of the show, 6 year old Samoan Selu Kian acted as a dying child from the Influenza that plagued Samoa and killed a considerable proportion of the population.
She was 'o' for awesome.,...next stop, oscar nomination!!

Pacific Trade Expo
held at Manukau Telstra Clear Events Centre.
All Pacific Islands included, most have travelled to Aukilani for this inaugural Pacific Trade Show.

David Vaeafe, Programme Manager Pacific Corporation Foundation, Falute Miss Sachic and Vaatuitui Apete Meredith Vice Consul, Trade, Samoa Consulate Office in front of the Tourism booth.

Falute and the boys after opening the first Pacific Trade Expo at Manukau.



Doing the fiacanada at the tourism booth, before trading started., that's aleki whose been dancing with sta for about 4 years now and has a palagi girlfriend to prove it, they met in geneva when we performed at the world summit on ict, and now the keige followed him to samore...a malamala age si keige i amioga le popoi a kama samoa ...kalofa, tsk tsk...


Tahiti, 'land oozing with virgin sexuality and masculine kinky savagery'
Tahitian Dance Emsemble
The Tahiti Dance Group were flown in by Tahiti Tourisme, (similar to our own deal where dancers travel to perform abroad) to perform for the Trade Expo.
If the (women's rights and cultural experts advocates) concern in the Pacific is to dispel Polynesian stereotype of polynesian women and sexuality, Tahiti is rowing their canoe the other way and taking the 'sexual' label in their stride.
It works.
Unfortunately.
The high male-female ratio of tourism arrivals prove this...


It is hard to keep a straight face when you have sweaty pelvises thrusted tho and from your facial hair, sweaty half naked tattoed men with g-strings visibly biting into their asscracks and young girls vibrating at 150kph to tantric drumbeats and screams of a ragged old chief,. Tahiti, land of sexual desires....

There is of course the call to promote what is truly 'cultural' when selling a destination, but what if that is simply ,..boring?
I'm biting my tongue here, especially because we do exactly what Tahiti is doing, 'spicing up our cultural presentation to suit the market', i.e we wear sleeveless puletasis, with figure hugging patterns and create dance moves and would be frowned upon in Savaii, but only when we're far away from home.
The difference is, we will keep the key aspects that make our country 'special' *pronounced in a handicapped sort of way*...i.e, we won't be sexually suggestive, nor would we mock our dances with hip hop adaptations just to humour the foreign crowd.
but then again, we have fUGGall in our marketing budget, Tahiti has sh!tloads, they can afford to play kinky on NZD$3.5 million per annum on travel costs.
Samoa, "land of crap tourism budgets and corrupt cabinet decision making"

Speaking of which, Nydia, if you think Polynesian Airlines have dramas with questionable managerial appointments, you aint seein' nothin' yet,...spend a day at tourism and you'll learn that 1. life is about keeping yo dramas to yoself and yo momma and 2. youre only safe if your uncle is the boss - preferably.. otherwise, have an affair with the boss.
i do the first thing well, my momma will vouch for that, and my uncle hates the boss but the thought of an affair makes me wanna slit my wrists and mix it with my qfshot.
now theres a combination to get me toasted.
bugga.
but back to more pix from Tahiti, 'land of repressed polynesians and playground for perverted greedy frenchmen'
Lastly, i leave you with this *~~If sex sells, why is Kroad fraught with grafitti, leaky buildings and derelict meth labs?~~*

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Samoa 1902-1905

Otto Tettens was based in Samoa at the Mulinuu Observatory in its infancy.

He took stunning images while he lived in Mulinuu, these images are part of an exhibition held in Samoa, organised by Herwig and Christiane Niggemann.
Otto was good friends with Mataafa Iosefa, and here is a photo which tells an interesting story. Herwig showed me details in this photo that suprised me.
The framed document on the wall is from the Kaiser at the time, also note the expensive german suitcase on his side, the grandfathers clock behind the shelf.
Mataafa was Catholic, thus the statue of Virgin Mary mounted.
Herwig also tells of a german family who saw the exhibition and informed them that they have that exact tapa cloth at home!!!

Christianne Niggemann's grandfather is Otto's brother, and she (with husband Herwig) have travelled to Samoa on several occasions.

To view these, go onto http://www.niggemann.de/samoaobservatory100/index6.htm

My favourite of the collection is this picture, of the Samoan Government in 1904.


It would be so so awesome if we could identify all of the people in this picture.
So after the Festival this weekend, i'm gonna do some digging, but for now...if your great grand father was in Parliament in 1904, or if you know any of these people, or have access to this information...please drop me a line or email jtiatia@yahoo.com,
http://www.niggemann.de/samoaobservatory100/source/samoa655.htm

Interesting Fact: Did you know that traditional samoan fales were thatched with sugar cane leaves?
Sugarcane leaves have a longer lifespan on your roof than the commonly used niu olo tuma.
And if i won the lottery tomorrow, i will hired 50 samoans and the best tufugas to grow thousands of sugarcanes on tiafau, demolish the parliament house and build myself a nice sugarcane thatched fale samoa, and a bar attached to the side..Utopia matey...utopia...
Faafetai lava,

Jodz

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bavaria with Maria

On my last two days in Germany, i decided i was weary of babysitting so i left matile with the stuttgart samoans and caught the first train out to kemptem where my friend Maria awaited me in the freezing cold, with the snow up to her knees

maria's family own a farm in dietmannsreid, they own 30 cows and huge farmlands that were covered with snow when i was there, despite the language barrier with Maria's folks speaking no english and myself speaking crap german, we still managed to hold a conversation which flowed on for hours while we drank home made schnapps of every flavour, sweetness, bitterness and strength, nothing below 20%!!!

maria used to live in NZ for 4 years. in waikato. in the wop wops. working crazy hours with frenchy at waitoa microbiology lab. frenchy called her 'germania' one day, and it stuck, so when i called her from bochum, i was like 'Germania?' and she knew there and then, that someone from Waikato had landed in Deutchland.
Brost!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2006



Herwig and Christiane saw us off at the Bochum train station, it was sad to leave them, because we have become rather 'at home' and spoilt there,...but all good things must come to an end...we waved goodbye as we gather our 8 pieces of luggage onto somewhere near the exit but without obstructing people's acess.
The journey took 3 hours from Bochum to Stuttgart.

Why Stuttgart?
To give you an idea of why i chose Stuttgart, it's like this,.
I know Leutu from Safotu Savaii, she is Aunty Anna's best mate.
Leutu is married to Frank and have one daughter Lagi living in Stuttgart.
When i was informed that I would be taking Matile to Germany, I summoned my travel angels and sent out a mass email to my German contacts. I then called Leutu from Bochum and informed her that we will be coming to Stuttgart to stay, just give me the address to go to.

It so happened that when we boarded the train, I was not certain of our arrangements, nor was i worried.
I have done this before, arriving in a foreign country, opening my adress book and calling someone i knew in the area, a samoan, a university friend, a former guest at Safua, a long lost relative, a family friend, a friend i have not yet met.

Anyhow, we arrive in Stuttgart and Matile asks, 'Who is picking us up?"
I responded "I don't know yet, just look out for a Samoan face"
She asked worriedly, "What if they dont show?"
"They will, if not, i will call someone" at the same time subconsciously realising the Samoan community are expecting their celebrity singer to return safely, and i'm in deep shit if a psycho killer picks us up, nevermind that minor detail.

Stuttgart here we come

The train arrived into Stuttgart, a dull city further depressed by the pathetic winter blues, with pale-faced people minding their own business, unless staring at the two aliens with the 8 peices of luggage and flowers in their hair.
Samoan Census
That night, we met the rest of the close samoan community in stuttgart, made up of ...wait for it....3 samoans.
1. Charles Tobins 2.Leutu Jaschke 3.Siupapa Mapu.

But this population was dramatically increased threefold by Leutu's husband Frank, their beautiful daughter Lagi and some others i can't mention due to unfortunate circumstances.

I meet these people for the first time and i feel at ease as we laugh, joke and converse like old friends meeting again.
One great thing about being in a truly foreign country with other samoans (New Zealand, Aussie and the States aint foreign in that sense) is your freedom to curse in Samoan freely.
Try asking the German waiter "Do you serve pogauas with the fries?"

Our time in Stuttgart was a true learning u-turn for me.

We drove to the Patch Barracks, (the Military base), at which we had to register before entering.
We stopped at the Petrol Station and we hopped out to buy a drink from the shop.

20 minutes later, i re-enter the car, with Doritos, ricies treats, fritos corn chips, oreos and all those american stuff i could only get in american samoa or mainland.

This place is a mini-america, you can't even use your euros in there.

I was rather enlightened about this place and i had a million questions about how and why things are there in the first place.
Either way, thank you uncle sam for the doritos.
God bless America but i still think George Bush is a wanker.

Moving ON...
We had a little get together with a few of the samoans in the military to celebrate charles birthday (and matile's, poor darling, first birthday away from home).
It was a great time had by all and im glad we met all these great people...we danced, ate, swapped addresses, copied music and dvds, sang samoan songs and had a great ol' time.
How is it that all Samoans on this earth start singing the same song when they get toasted? 'Usu ane o le su'e, e tutu lana faapuuuuuuusssssaaaaa'
Samoa, land of musical drunks..

I also understand that for the privilege of staying and being welcomed by these intriquing characters that my phone and email remains open for that random call from auckland airport, when one of them arrives unplanned and i'll be more than happy to return the favour...and long as they bring some doritos!!!!

Why was my suitcase heavy?

I always plan to travel light.

But when you have Samoans on the other end of the flightplan, you must realise that 12 kg will be taken up by pisupos, handbags, fakeflowers and lavalavas.
And because I work for STA, add visitor guides, free maps, calendars and a dvd of samoa to show.

I also took the video camera to film the auditions, photo camera, chargers, laptop and adpators.

Then comes the warm stuff, and lately, my valued accessories: Boots





April 7: 2007.
Sine posting the above entry, I have had numerous emails about the people i have mentioned above. Mostly unpleasant comments about or regarding people's actions. PLease be adviced that I really don't go into detail and interview whether people are screwing and banging whoever and whenever, BUT, as a favour, i have removed peoples names, so i hope that'll keep your dramas under wraps for now.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Brewery Moritz Fiege Pils


cheers!!!! thats inside the brewery.




Friday, February 17, 2006

Bochum mit Christiane und Herwig Niggemann



Guten Tag,

Apologies fot the delayed news my beluvved people, i've been busy (or not, just having a ball here in Bochum Germany.

Just to give you an idea, I cme to accompany Matile Tausili on her trip to visit two music school in Germany.

At the moment, we are staying with the most interesting couple you could think of, Christiane and Herwig Niggemann; theyre charismatic, well-travelled accomodating people who have taken us into their gorgeous home and we truly feel 'smitten! overwhelmed'.

We arrived on the 16th feb, at frankurt after 27 hours from auckland.

Upon arrival, we went to catch the train at the Train station within the airport, so it was rather accessible and easy to reach despite our crazy luggage.

The train arrived, at 8:09 headed for Koln (pronounced Cologne) so we hopped onto the nearest exit, but halfway through, the train officer came to check our tickets.
He looked at me, looked at Matile, back to me, Matile, then the luggage, shook his head and said 'You know youre in first class area and you paid 2nd class?"
Me looking shocked 'Oh is that right? I wasn't aware of that, sorry sir'

'Yes, but we are almost there, and you have too much luggage, by the time you get to 2nd class you'll be in Koln already'.
Then he was asking us, 'Why Bochum, do you two sing?", so we relayed the same story to the train employee, the same story we told the information personnel at FRA airport.

So we remained in the first class area, hopped off at koln, after the same guy helped us unload our excess baggage.

We switched train for Bochum immediately, where we were awaited by the impressionable Christiane and Herwig.

I must admit it was so comforting seeing such a friendly reception!

Upon arrival at their lovely home, we noticed the Samoa flag draping the doorway...!!!

We are definitely at home!

Both Christiane and Herwig have been to Samoa on numerous occasions.
Christiane's great uncle is Otto Tettens was based at the Mulinuu Observatory in 1902-1905.
Today, they hold an amble collage of photography from that era, few are staged, majority are stunning images of samoans at home, at work (weaving, rowing, living life), interactions between the German residents and the locals.

It is fair to say that this collection is the finest i have seen because it truly encapsulates the era in its true state.

I am indeed left yearning for more clues, more facts about what it was like back then?
YOu can't help but feel transformed back in time.

My interest is further fueled by the material wealth in the images.
This includes elaborate tuigas, nifo oti, siapo, mamanu o le siapo that are no longer seen, hair accesories, skirts fashioned with pandanus, in various different styles.
I am inspired!!!!

Back to reality.

Last night, the Niggemanns hosted the Rotarians of the area in a casual get-together to kick start the year 2006.

In preparation, they had various dishes on hand for the evening,...now hold your breath especially you Gui and MOm hahahaha...
lemme start: cheese from Spain, Italy, France
fresh salmon from Norway
ham from Italy
exotic salads made by Christiane..coucous-like, tasty, yum yum!!
champagne from,...Italy
lobster soup need to ask where...
salami from italy...(Gui, i took a pic for you, and ate heaps for you!)
breads from the nearby bakery, now thats something i truly love here...real bread!! not the mass processed pre-sliced machine generated sorry state of bread we know so well in aotearaw.



It is fair to say i loooooveed it all.

Its strange really when you eat fine foods, you dont feel bloated, but rather pleasantly gratified.

I realise now that my tastebuds have taken a gastronomical leap which will be lowered considerably upon my return to Pak and Save cuisine, immature NZ cheese, frozen salmon, stubborn ham, and pitiful murderous fush and chups takeaway.

Today, at 2pm, we meet with the Director of Essen Folkwang Academy, Dr Micheal Mills. so Matile is next door with the cd speakers on full blast going through her pre-singing ritual of listening, singing, sipping lemon tea, listening, sipping lemon tea, sitting....so help us God!!!

I will report back to you after the audition, but for now...

Guten Tag...


Coming soon, tonight, we visit the Brewery....YES!!!! i'm being called home!!!
Broste oh broste!!!!(ahem, bad spelling, but thats how it sounds after a few,..hahah)

Now wipe youre chins people, and let me go,....hehehe