Thursday, March 26, 2009

Samoa: An Inconvenient Lie

The Samoa of yearnings and lament
Because of all these dramas in my homeland, It begs the question, "Where are we heading? What has become of us as a people?
When I read and listened to his Highness Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi speak, I fall in love with his deep interpretation and high regard for our culture. I feel proud. And dreamy. Because the Samoa he describes is nonexistent and in the past. The samoan rituals he speaks of are gone. Over the years, we have lost our sense of independence, self-sustenance and agility. We have lost the very things that made us so courageous and proud and "warriorlike".
When they speak at a funeral they say "E, ua maliliu toa, ua maumau ai aupega o le taua" The warriors have fallen, the weapons of war are of no use, wasted"
So that leaves behind the weak and the new breed of men who have stopped fishing beyond the reef and stay back to drink excessively and beat their wives.
Of women who have lost their once esteemed feagaiga status to being second rate citizens and bingo players.
Are we doomed?
Is there any hope?
What can we retain that we can be proud of?
What has become of us?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pregnant Seasonal Worker hides pregnancy

I do honestly try to stray away from touchy issues especially in my plans to mind my own business.
But something tells me I am especially made to butt in at the wrong time and simply..."rock the boat baby".
What brought me back to this interfering mode is the recent event where a mother gives birth on Polynesian Blue and tries to leave without the poor baby.
Google the story coz i aint retelling and misquoting it, as I usually do.
My point is, and I've said this before,
"Samoan parents, stop thinking your daughters and nieces are virgins until marriage, give them the pill and talk to them about safe sex!!!"
The Church will never do it, so where is the next best place to teach young people and influence the older generation? The women's committee, the schools, the civil societies, the tertiary levels, everywhere.
As a young samoan woman (okay, I'm not so young anymore) but all the same, I abhor our cultures attitude to sexuality.
I loath how we shun from the truth and pretend all is fine under the palm fronds. This is why we are having so many problems in our society, because we have an aversion to "caring about the issues that matter".
Our priorities are so messed up in our society. We put emphasis on the church, but rather than nurturing and enlightening our spirits we go because we have to.
We brag about a culture of respect, our language is littered with idealogical words like ava fatafata, va fealoai, tofamamao rarararara but in practice, we do otherwise.
Our leaders should STOP and come up with an emergency plan to counter these problems.
Declare a State of Emergency
Send out educators and nurses and Viopapa Annandale to spread the word about safe sex.
Set up Family Planning in Salelologa and Asau and Falealili and Mulifanua. TRAIN trainers from FLO, SVU aand other NGOS, SUNGO should coordinate these trainings since they have access to all those funds.
Okay....calm down maam, coz none of the above is going to happen.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The longest entry i'll ever do...

I started back to uni this week.
After 5 years in the wilderness, or shall I dare say, the real world.
Only, It is part time - meaning I'm still working, and studying, but neither institution know about the other.
It sound like I'm having a scandalous affair.
I definitely felt like an impostor this week.
I had to convince work that studying was not going to affect my performance at work.
And I assured Uni that I will cut back my work hours to pick up study load.
I mean, can't we all get along?
I then come home and tell MM that I will still spend "exploration" time with her but it will be in a library and occasionally on a fieldtrip to a Dairy Farm.
When I walked back through the haunts of years past, the same familiar staircases, the same "No parking, permit users only" signs, the drab streetwear of hopeful learners and the promises of an education.
What was I doing here?
My first class was Business and Sustainability. In the Management School Block.
I know this already, but still turned up 20 minutes too early in case I suddenly forgot.
I sat, reading through the course outline, again, worried I was in the wrong class at the wrong time.
For 15 minutes, I'm by myself in this big lecture theatre, until another workforce-looking person disturbs my noisy thoughts.
He sits down, front row, to the right, closest to the lecture stand.
Teachers pet, will talk too much, Mr Know it All, I dislike you already.
Stop making assumptions, the little man called "Reason" yells at me.
So I return to my scribbling, worried still.
2 minuted before 2pm, about 20 real students all enter at once, chatting at once, comparing stories about last nights piss up and who got arrested.
I disquietly sneer at them, thinking "You, farken clueless students!"
But my man "Reason" shakes his head and nudges me "...remind you of someone??"

After the class, I run as fast as I could to my car which is parked in the Guest Lecturer's parking space and I hurriedly schumaccher back to my work.

I have a year of post grad to do, all in Mngt, under the economics department.
This will be a shock to those who know me.
I breath, live and preach the social sciences. But thanks to that study on pacific migrants that I worked for many moons ago, the supervisors have decided to offer me a marsden fund scholarship.
so here i am....studying again, and I am loving it.
I spent hours on the first assignment - I was like a first year kid all over again...bright-eyed and bushy tailed...well almost.
and the assignment was only worth 2%

My main challenge now is ensuring I can manage my time between work, study and my loved ones. This week was good, I was up at 6am, had MM fed, clothed, reclothed, packed by 7:30am, dropped off (or picked up) depending on whose turn it is.
Gui has been awesome until today - he's down in Palmy with his rugby team and return tomorrow.
Leaving me and MM to hit the shops.
But to make it fun for her too, i took her to the pet shop, put her on the $2.00 merry go round - but missie kept moving seats while the ride was in motion...oka, we almost got banned for reckless behavior on the merry go round.
all was well until we headed to the supermarket and she was getting "fatigue", so she screamed a bit but hey, i cant hear that anymore...everyone else in the supermarket did though -so I chucked her in the trolley and threatened her that if she countinued she won't ever see lollies again, or ice cream, or chokolayte(her pronounciation).
she was quiet the remainder of the trip.

Its now 10:56pm, shes asleep in my bed.
Weve has a wonderful girls day in.
not much chores, loads of spending, movies hired, ice cream after dinner, bueno bars before nap time, face painting, carpet painting (MM), tutu wearing(MM), lollies for bribes, sleeping in, buying freshly caught salmon steaks - cut from the salmon that was killed this morning - with peas and carrots...we love salmon in this house, but Frenchy doesn't rate it, yep...and the house is a real shocking mess - pens on the floor, bathroom littered with cut up paper, clothes everywhere...and I do'nt give a damn.
Just means I have to clean up tomorrow before Frenchy gets home heheh.

Mex, Aleki n Tau are in DXB watching the Sevens
Lagipoiva in Samoa -probably doing yoga, or online, or driving reverred mother to some faalavelave
Mrs Marilynn is at home with her troopers - Yvonne has her period now...our baby is growing up too fast!!!i was cwying with i heard this from Mrs Marilynn...i don't want her to grow up, shes still a chbby baby in my eyes)-:
Mr Barry is un north -
Mr Larry is probably smoking up right now
And Mr Andrew is definitely smoking something stronger. I bet thats for real, chooohooo!!!!
k, manuia le po ma fai se miti malie,

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Lance Polu might have ruined it for all of us

So, last week - the media was invited to the STA mini board room to meet with the producer /person from a popular American tv show, lets call it "Robinson Crusoe".
They requested extreme discretion - as they usually do wherever they film as part of their deal.
This didn't go down well with the media, who demanded that they be told everything.
Apulu apparently stormed out, followed by Keni and others.
I know this because they all bitched and moaned about it in their editorials.
This is where I feel the media abuses the "freedom of information" notion. This actually does not apply in this particular case because as a company, the palagi has consulted the local authority and have even consulted the media. And laid down the rules. Just like the launch of the America's Cup, the latest Ipod, the newest bra from Victoria Secrets. Thay have every right to keep discreet their trade secrets so long as what they are doing is not ethically ummm okay.(forgot the word sole)
Samoa is probably the first country where this show approached that they will pull out, because the media threw their toys out of the cot and sulked.
On the other hand, STA could have handled it better, but hey, you can't ask for too much here!
Anyway...If the show does not air, I am not too worried.
It is a little blessing in disguise - stalling the unnecesary influx of tourism to our little paradise, turning it into another Denarau or Waikiki.
I call it "stalling" because it is gradually happening and we are losing our "smallness" and pristine isolated shorelines to Warwicks and Sheratons and whoever else the Government wants to attract.

yep...two contradicting thoughts, same difference,
different day.