Sunday, April 26, 2009

This time last week, Brains would have woken up, had a coffee and planned out his day with his partner as you would, for the last time in his vibrant life.
Matthew Goodlet - rest in peace Goodie.

When I leave this earth, (Lord please, not too soon!) I want to have a funeral like Brains.
No fuss, no distress, no strict order of service...just a good ol' bittersweet sendoff, with his loved ones, friends and family staying behind to have fire ass curry, Waikato on tap and crazy foods he loved.

The differences
It is a far cry from the funerals I've seen all my life in Samoa. So much chaos and drama that those involved don't have time to mourn.
Yesterday, Matt's family and partner had the time to grieve and be with loved ones.
Mingling with everyone and sharing a fag as the day worn on.

I am reminded of my granma's funeral where my siblings and I had no time to recollect and grieve because we had to dig out fine mats, decorate the pulpit, buy the pusa apas, receive endless visitors etc etc

The worst thing to me is seeing my mother, finally sitting down with us by my granma, to sing and say our last words but another group of people arrived, this time the Rugby Team and she had to acknowledge them.

Like many things about my culture, (and I am only saying this about my own family and experiences, others I'm sure are much better off) there is little emphasis on the "emotion" and healing and nurturing, rather my culture is so brutally 'secular' and crass and almost careless. It's almost a foreign concept to stop and cry and hug and share in a positive way. I remember my younger sibling making up a song about our dearly departed dad, on the anniversary of his passing, and we were touched by this. However, my ancient uncle turned round and made a joke of it, and even more so, criticised her performance.
But then again, maybe it's a survival mechanism that kicks in to keep us honest and aloof and proud. Sweep yo dramas under your fala lilii and smile, we want happy news, if you want to cry, then cry alone....when youre ready, come out and play...
e sa'o ai le kala fo'i lele,

"Laugh and the world laughs with you
Fart and the world laughs AT you"

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Tragic End and New Beginnings

Firstly, the good news is that we have two beautiful additions to the Tiatia family, Makeila who was born last week and Jacob born this morning. Both mommies are well and their lil' bubbas are doing well. I saw Makeila last week and she is soooo adorable and...well, calm!
I have yet to meet 11 hours old Jacob, who is the 22nd Grandchild to Granma,...and counting. I'm sure by the time CJ gets knocked up she's be delivering number 49 at the rate we're going!
Welcome to our world Makeila and Jacob!!!

Mom arrives from Fiji tomorrow and planning to leave MM with her so I can complete my focus groups.

Then the sad sad unbelievable phone call we get from Dave(Taxman) last night that our friend Matt Goodlet(B-Rains) was killed in a car accident last night near Tauranga. And I, myself, my sole 'being' hasn't registered that yet. I can't believe that this is the B-rains that was playing rugby on Saturday and picked up his shoes on Sunday is no longer with us a few hours later.
That, I can't comprehend.
I cried for a bit last night thinking of his cheerful and proud mother, and his girlfriend who is lying in a hospital -without her man - I cried for his close close friends like Carnage and Frenchy and Juen and Taxman, Blindy and Flem and others who are at the Eastside right now having a beer, as if B-rains is among them, cracking bad jokes and saying stupid things that 30 something year old men say at pubs every week, again and again.
Maybe later on this week, I will cry for B-rains - but not right now - he is not decreased in my mind - and by God I am struggling to convince myself of that right now.
All the cliches are crowding my thoughts right now - like "Showing those around you that you care, because you never know when they depart". Hold your loved ones close and tell them that they mean something to you, if not the world.
I realise this is why you are wiser as you grow older, because your heart is struck repeatedly when you lose someone in your life. You become a survivor of losses, perhaps you even grow a thicker shell to deal with the hits or does it wear you down and slowly chips away at your persona?
I don't know, only I am telling you my friends and family - you matter to me and even though I don't always show it, you mean the world to me. You make a difference to my life.
Even you reading this fagogo makes you my confidante, because youre reading my sad thoughts and that makes my load a heck of a lot Lighter.
Rest in Peace Matt Goodlet aka B-Rains,...teller of crazy stories and stupid jokes, party boy, travel guru, HR extraordinaire, organiser/coach/manager/leader of Varsity Rugby Club, an inspirational leader and above all else - a joy in the lives of those whose lifes he's touched.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Man Gets on Bus - copied from Fiji Daily Post Newpaper

This is the big news on FDP today,...since censorship took hold...


Man gets on bus
15-Apr-2009 11:44 AM
Fiji Daily Post

IN what is believed to be the first reported incident of its kind, a man got on a bus yesterday.

“It was easy,” he said.

“I just lifted one leg up and then the other and I was on”.

Fiji Daily Post reporters found witnesses willing to confirm the happening.

“Yes”, said one who asked to remain anonymous, “I saw him get on the bus”.

Another witness who also preferred to remain unidentified told this newspaper it was “the early morning bus”.

“I was waiting opposite the shop when I saw him run to catch the bus.”

What happened next was a remarkable feat – the man actually got on the bus, we believe.

Students from a local school who had been waiting for two hours in the rain for the bus also confirmed that they saw the man board.

“We are happy for him”, one student remarked in terms reminiscent of Neil Armstrong (the first man to step onto the moon): “it may be one small step for him, but it is one giant step for the people of Fiji”.

Breakfast as Usual at Fiji Daily Post

Thanks to the Illegal regime in Fiji and its censorship of the media, Fiji Daily Post have resorted to some very animating local news...I Love it!!!!
In the midst of strike, we have a moment to giggle about this madness!!!

Breakfast as usual
15-Apr-2009 11:45 AM

IT was breakfast as usual for the staff of this newspaper.

“I had leftover roti from last night”, senior reporter Manueli told his colleague yesterday morning.

Staff gasped with delight when Fiji Daily Post receptionist Lupe said her breakfast was a cup of latte coffee along with toasted currant bread.

Volasiga editor Setareki said he had tea and biscuits for breakfast.

Volunteer attachment Tim said he threw up for breakfast as he had had too much fried chicken the night before.

Also among the less fortunate was reporter Kuru who at midday said he was still waiting for breakfast.