Thursday, October 29, 2009

Things are looking up for the Pacific, exciting careers abound ...apply now!

The following message is from Forum Secretariat:

The Employment Opportunity section on the Forum Secretariat Website has been updated.

Title : Cleaner
Content :
30 October 2009
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat seeks a Cleaner to provide efficient
cleaning services and will be accountable to the Team Leader Property Services through the Grounds & Services Coordinator. The position encompasses the following major functions:

• Efficient office cleaning operations on a daily basis;
• Recommending policy on cleaning operations; and
• Assisting set-up and preparation of Conference facilities.

Applicants should have a Certificate in housekeeping and with substantial relevant work experience in a similar role. Desirable to have OHS Procedures Awareness and ability to demonstrate exceptional customer service skills and work ethics.

The applicant must also posses a high level of interpersonal skills; ability to set priorities successfully working with minimal supervision; ability to work well with all Secretariat staff; and good oral and written communication skills in English

The starting salary is F$9,551 and includes the provision of life and medical insurance. Interested applicants must download an information package containing the job description and remuneration details. Subject to performance and funding, the position is permanent.

Applications should be addressed to the Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Private Mail Bag, Suva, or sent to and should be received by 20 November 2009. To be eligible for this position, applicants must be Fiji nationals.

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages both men and women to apply.
Member States of the Pacific Islands Forum: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

Curbing my addiction

I've done the unthinkable (Netia and Jenn, be broud).
Ive surrendered my username AND password to Facebook AND Bebo.
I emailed Relle and asked her to change the details so I will never ever have to stop living in reality to maintaining a habit of cyber fluffing. I may be bad company in the next few days as I battle with anger issues and then denial and maybe much later, acceptance.
But who knows.
In the meantime,
Goodbye Facebook - you have been the peanut butter on my toast., but also the dead fly in my kokoalaisa.

next up, Blogger?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

MM Update, i know, its been a while ...

She is now 2 years, 6 months and like every kid that age, speaks and speaks and screams if she is not adhered to.
Cunning little souls they are...nevertheless a joy and pride in seeing this very child develop and grow and guku oso back at me.
Fefe ia moimimi.
(seevae kosokoso still applies in Niu Sila mate)

She's got more of a cherelle personality - she sings to her own (ahem, pa'ulua) tune and doesn't back down even if she is outrightly wrong.
That could have positives in her determination and confidence.
Her social butterfly-ness is worryingly omega-like, exilihiarating and if unattended, can be disrupting and contagious.
That's something to watch out for.

I am happy though to see the organiser in her, she keeps her wee pocessions in bags and boxes and bags, hidden in corners.
In other words, she's a hoarder like a leilani.
But the beauty of this is she keeps account of her things.
Her shoes. Her ofus. Her crayons.
She is also a mini cleaner, she likes to wipe her table down, bagging her dirty nappy in a blue (has to be blue maamie)plastic bag before disposing of it in the bin.

Her love for the outdoors is definitely from her namesake.
She loves (ahem, uprooting) helping with the gardening.
Frenchy helped her grow beans, carrots, chilli and fennel, and just like the moelagi-factor, she want to make sure the plants are growing upwards and not sideways.
She takes her watering can out in the evenings and (ahem, drowns) waters her plants with loving care.

Of course, all her negative traits are all from her father's side.
Like her short fuse and her makagaga-ness when she doesn't get her way.
(Shuddup girls -that's not from me).
That's all the marseille temper flaring through

And that's this quarter's report about MM, enjoy the little snippets of intrique below compliments of MM:
I went to the campus technician to fix my laptop, it wasn't working properly.
He fumbled about and offhanded said I shouldn't share my gadgets with little people,
(This puzzled me, because I never mentioned the little people). "Why?"
Because there's a barbie doll high heel lodged tightly inside the CD hatchy part.
Thanks MM, first the PS2, now the laptop.
Have been sleeping late lately (2am) after labs, and MM tends to break my slumber every hour by kicking wildly and screaming 'Move, move!", even though she is in "MY" bed.
The result being that I wake up grumpily at 7am and first thing she cheerily asks is
"Did you have a good sleep maamie?"

She insists on wearing panties now, like the older girls in her Day care centre.
There is a minor problem though, she hasn't figured out that she has to remove her panties BEFORE she does her business.
Right now, its bomb the panties and then dutifully undresses and asks to go to the toilet.
Frenchy takes MM to rugby training when I am in the labs or at work(x 3 a week).
She thinks rugby is the cooler than kinder eggs and Barbar the elephant.
She stops whatever she's doing to watch the 'Sports Tonight' recap of the rugby.
Every team is rugby. Every player on tv is 'daddy's rugby and uncle filo!'.
She is in her realm in the sheds picking mud off rugby boots.
I would have liked a little princess playing with dresses but this the order of the day...we are raising a scruffy Kiwi kid who eats too much tomato sauce and ends every word with 'ies'...chippies, fishie, woolies(warm ofus), gummies(gumboots), breakie(breakfast), bickie (biscuit), sammies(sandwich)..oka!
Of course, this is okay until she turns 12 and then no more boys! *****

Monday, October 26, 2009

OMFG! There were Nazis in Samoa)-:

Would you farken believe it!$%&*(%!!!
I never expected to stumble across this, in our own leafy and brown corner of the world, which is quite naive of me.
After all, we were under German administration before the war, but I was sooooo not prepared to see that we have had a Nazi Party in Samoa as late as 1937!!!
If its any consolation (and its not), the author noted that one member was married to a Jewish and two to Samoans.
Tim Worst wrote about this disturbing and toxic history in 'Colaboration and Far Right Parties'.
What I found most interesting was this excerpt,
In the spring of 1937 the German consul in Wellington visited the Concordia Gruppe in Apia.
He reported to Berlin that the club on Beach Road "now bears a definitely National-Socialist imprint.
There are pictures of our F├╝hrer in every room and in front of the ministry flies our national flag" (report to ministry of foreign affairs, dated 30.5.1937).
He also wrote that New Zealand had become indifferent over Samoa and Berlin could be expected to get their former colonial place in the sun back without "over much persuasion".

It leads me to think, are there still remnants of Nazism left in our Samoa?
I know for a fact that there are remnants of colonialism and colonial masters, I can name a grumpy few in their white pick up trucks, but oi! not gonna piss off Colonel Wilhelm's crowd.
I also found some more info about the prisoners of war, presented by Vic Uni in Wellington, and ov course, the wikipedia overview is worth a peek.
I can (shallowly) conclude that the Nazi movement in Samoa was short lived and poorly supported.
It was the brainchain of Alfred Matthes, who was committed to the cause and even published a circular called 'Samoan Nazi'
but it was not widely (or at least it was not overtly) supported and when Matthes ran out of $$$$ so did this chapter of the Party in Samoa.
Conveniently though, he started at an inoptune time when relations were strained between Berlin and the rest of the Allies.
But then again, how was Nazism going to gain momentum in a place dominated by Samoans and with most Germans at peace with the place and even benefitting because of these good relations.

Eh, kailo se.
I do sometimes wonder what our country would have been like under the German administration...definitely would have prevented the spanish influenza epidemic with their strict rules.
And we'd have maintained the gorgeous achitechture. Maybe prevented the murderof Tupua Tamasese?
Or would it have been worse?
Whatever it it would have been, I am fascinated with the Samoa-German era.
Even my granma used to sing songs in German!
Just imagine the history that is kept among those families of German descent....if they are keeping it.
I know the German's definitely kept better records of their time in Samoa.
Heck, they even had a considerable influence on the faalupega we use today.
Think of the options - we would have had German passports, Euro even!
We'd be proficient in speaking a third language.
Ultimately, I have utmost respect for the Germans for the most important contribution to our country, and this legacy continues to cajole our people forward, and sideways,...
VAILIMA: once brewed under German management ....choooohooooo! sehr gut!!!

What's left of these colonial remnants
The only organisation still left that resembled this colonial past is the Freemasons, who once controlled a fair amount of business (through copra and subsequently land, think Westec Land Corporation).
They have somewhat reinvented themselves as a reputable organisation by contributing postively to the community through scholarship rarara...which is great, if you are a child of a freemason that is.
I do know this because I was faikakalaring through my mother and father's pusa ku and came across a letter written for my grandfather (who was in India at the toime).
"This is to acknowledge that Mr ...... ....... is of good masonic standing" or something along those lines.
I was so ke'i, I was like
"Oh my God, my grandfather was in a.... secret sect, he worships skulls and freaky stuff like that! He's gotta magic handshake, he talks to the dead... ohhhh noooo!"
And I blame Ronald (N) for those misconceptions. Polo. But umm, nah, nothing amazing like that, and frankly, bugger those Freemasons too because when I applied for one of their funds they told me my father wasn't a members....Polos x 2
So FreeMasons suck! (But i won't name my grandfather coz it might jeapardise any potential scholarships (-:
Go to Jane Resture's page for pics of German Samoa

Litea Ah Hoi, what a stinker

We've been organising all kinds of fundraisers and directed people to reputable organisations (Red Cross, Westpac for eg and the NZ Samoa Tsunami appeal 2009) to donate and help Samoa rebuild and recover.
This morning, I get 6 emails asking why we bother when there is stories out that the aid is being mismanaged.
The main story everyone is referng to is claims by a self-obsessed media loving councillor named Litea Ah Hoi from the bottom of North Island.
She flew to Samoa in her prissy suit and tip toed past Saleapaga and Poutasi, thus making her the 'voice of the oppessed and savior of humanity'
Oka, this never ending colonial attitude of 'I know best, I'll fly to the third world, save the savages and leave my nofo vaevaeloloa for a few days"
For someone who knows what's best and what's transparent about aid,
remember the case of the beautiful 'Cherish' child who died in WLG this year?
Well, the family spokesperson was none other than Litea herself...and she outrightly blamed St JOhns AMbulance for the death, EVEN though, the child was beaten senseless by a family member. But oi! thats not the issue, accordingly to Litea, blame the ambulance instead!

Interestingly enough, I noticed that this character LOVES the media, LOVES publicity, LOVES herself.
Which is fine, she's in the right career.
BUT what disturbs me is her arrogance and acute failure to back her statements.
I can sooo imagine her going to Poutasi in her shiny charade snooping around for drama, ...because its a front pager.
And thanks to her shortsightedness, many people are now refusing to help.
YET, there is still a desperate need for help, and it took a few grumpy putridos to muck it all up.
People can still choose how the $$$ can be managed, if they don't trust distribution,
donate to Habitat for Humanity - who have a team of builders sent from here,
or use any trusts now set up for families and resorts and villages,
there are so many ways to help - and there is so much more we can do, without having wannabe politicians stinking up everyone's efforts.
Here's only a few of the ways your tupe can still go:
Red Cross
Samoa Tsunami Appeal 2009: goes to Government
For the Taufua Beach Fales Family
OR, if you want to help the beach fale families, you can Western Union them money ov course (-:
Litia Sini Beach Fales
Faofao Beach Fales
Sunset Views Beach Fales, Manono
Namua Island Beach Fales
Lupesina Resort
Sin PJ Beach Fales
Coconuts Beach Fales
Iliili Resort
Vaotuua Beach Fales in Manono
Or email CJ at, tell her what you want to buy for a particular family or business, she buys it from the Hardware store in town and you get the bill.
She has so far bought stuff like chainsaws, toilet bowls, timber, nails, sapelu/machetes and heaps more man stuff thats helping the peoples help themselves.

16 Nov 2010:
whoa - Litea Ah Hoi seems to be a real fan of controversy, check this out, she just called a fellow Pac Islander "a dumbass coconut", gosh, where does this woman get off? she may have just costed poor J. Faafoi his win...lets hope NOT!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What's been memorable this week?

What's happened this week that makes it worth remembering?
- I turned 25. pugi
- The 9 pallets FINALLY went to Samoa via the EFKS, cheers mate!
- 3 pallets going to POutasi -still sitting in Leota's garage
- Study Week ends
- Maeva Moelagi can sing "Becerra, cerra, whatever will be...the futures not ours to see, Becerra, cerra
- Black Russian tastes lighter with coke zero. nice
- I love the Islands concert highlight of the year.
- Got updated by CJ about the Aute Recovery Project
- Going to Wellington for Pathways conf
- I removed myself from Facebook and it felt great!(not a permanent move)
- Left MM with Neta for the first time, she loved it
- MM thinks getting a punnet of cherry tomatoes is cooler than Kinder eggs.
- I was sick most of the week with a sore throat, runny nose, ear infection. - The Rugby season is FINALLY over, for a few weeks)-:
- MM knows when she needs to go toilet but still pees her pants and then removes it and asks to go the toilet and all she does is to pronounce piiisssssss on the toilet but shes already done the damage on the ofus" - Frenchy was a write off yesterday, today and probably tomorrow
- I washed my hair with v05 shine for the first time in aeons and my hair is..."shining" just like the biatch in the ad, umm, with a bit of afro-rations - I need to tell the story about the 9 pallets and the fork lift later.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Ideal building solution for the Aleipata region

I spent a week (with Matile) with the amazing Niggemann Family in Bochum Germany a few years back.
Herwig and Christiane, whose grandfather's brother set up the Mulinuu Observatory and documented much of marine species/shells at the time, took unique images, became friend with Mataafa Iosefa and much more,
I've mentioned this before in this entry ... and you can view samples of the images and or purchase the book authored by Christiane. They also have valuable images of traditional samoan fales in the village and the original Fale Fono in Muliguu.
The point I'm making is,
The rebuilding of homes in the affected areas are now happening inland, and MOST people want to have fale palagis: which the government can pay for.
But just imagine if the homes by the coast can be made in the traditional design, each family building a afolau or similar fale tele in samoan material?
This is especially appealing to the tourists (which is the livelihood of the the region) and cultually appropriate for the village?

Of course, each family can build their palagi toilet and shops can remain in the palagi format.
But just imagine how beautiful it would be to have traditional well-spaced out and STURDY samoan built homes along the beach.
I know its only a far fetched concept, but it doesn't hurt to just imagine the government putting the money into both useful and significantly more meaningful structures!
Just a thought on a warm Friday arvo (-:
Image from Jane Resture's Samoa Page

The end of an affair?

Somehow, posting anything other than a link is no longer possible and for this reason I am currently reassessing my relationship with Blogger to see if its worth continuing or whether a break is imminent.
As sad as that may sound, maybe a break is really what we both need, Blogger and I.
We've been through so much together and Blogger has been there for me on my moments of boredom, excitement, anger, happiness, contentment and laziness.
Through all that, I have poured my life stories and fagogos out, until very little is personal anymore.
We started with lots of 'live' friends, all weaving our blogmats together, all commenting and critiquing and faikakaring together, but like many gadgets - their relationships fell apart or fallowed into "this blog is no longer active"
Such fleeting affairs, some even openly commiting cyber adultery by switching to wordpress, and there I was, staying true, loyal even, to Blogger.
But, we'll see if relations improve, if not then Tofa soifu Blogger

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rest in Peace Aunty Palolo

After much searching, I've finally found something regarding our Palolo's funeral, very sad. This is Aunty Paka's daughter from Pago. Rest in Love and peace Vaasiliifiti. VA’ASILIIFITI VAIPALOLO L. VIENA Government workers clearing debris in the Evalani’s area stopped and took their seats at a bus stop as a motorcade escorting the body of Department of Human and Social Services employee Va’asiliifiti Vaipalolo L. Viena, 49, was led to its final resting place in Papa’atai, Happy Valley yesterday. She was known to many as just “Palolo.” Family members cried as her casket was lowered into the ground while members of the Pago Congregational Church of Jesus in Samoa (CCJS) sang, heralding the mother of three’s journey to meet the Lord. “Palolo, she was all of the above...that pretty much describes her,” said her older brother Duke Viena, who traveled from Washington state with several siblings for the funeral. “It’s such a tragedy.” His sister was in her two-story home, facing Tool Shop Bay Hardware (the old Soli’s restaurant) when the waves came in, said Duke. The account was relayed to him by a seamstress who worked in the sewing shop on the first floor of Palolo’s home. Neighbor Lucky Yandall was calling out to his neighbors to move to high ground as the wave was coming. “She (Palolo) didn’t see it because there was a building in front,” Duke said. “And she went in to get her son because he was in the shower. He made it out.” The funeral motorcade passed her yellow and pink home, sitting atop a heap of sodden lumber, the first floor of the house gone. Duke said they believe the Tool Shop blocked the remainder of her house from being washed into the Harbor. “My little sister, I miss her very much and I love her very much...we looked after her,” said Duke. “She was my favorite.” Palolo was interred beside a sister’s home high up on a hill in Happy Valley, overlooking the Pago Harbor.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fagogos VS Warren Jopling's fagogos

I guess growing up with a resident geologist has killed any ideals I have about 'faith' and 'pure luck' and 'legends'.

We used to go on Warren's tours to the lava field, to see the sacred Virgin's grave.
We were intriqued about the mystery about how this virgin's grave was surrounded and protected by the lava, while the rest of the village is gone..
Warren quashed my childhood fascination with a simple geographic explantion about a bubble and air pockets and how this is perfectly normal,.
Then there was Falealupo and the bloodied pool "Vai Sua Toto"
but oi! it's discoloured brackist water in lava rock....pure coincidence, not legend)-:
How about the turtle and the shark love story at Foailuga?
"aww, that's just bullshit"

He's influenced a lot of our perception about how we lovely islanders tend to 'mystify' and turn unexplained or unproven happenings into intriquing stories and fagogo.

But oi!
I wouldn't have it any other way, I still love my fagogos and I am still telling my midget that the sun sets because a warrior pulled it down with pandanus rope. choooohooooo!!!!

Aside from these random points,
I was always in awe by Warren's casual reference to how our islands will eventually drop into the Tongan Trench - a million andgradual years away
- but with the more frequent occurences of earthquakes and plate movements in the Pacific Rim-
is it still that far away?

Monday, October 19, 2009

I've found my 'omf' in life again....i trust!

So, after a very very depressing few weeks where I have simply, "LOST the plot", I sought help (brofessional ov course) and shared my dramas with the others who are in the same boat.
I have to make a move on,
For my sake and for those who are most devastated and at a loss.
I can definitely be more helpful by moving on, and making the most of
opportunities that they have been deprived of.
I needed to accept that I have to delve on what I have control over, not the impossible.
So help me God, Allah, Mohammed and Bona Mere and all mighty deities.
I found talking with other Samoans very healing.
I kept my sadness to myself thinking I was just not hacking it,
I thought I was just being weak and alone in my woes.
But I have learnt that most of the people I have discussed this with are going through the same challenges....deeply affected by the events of late.
But, like I said, I am learning to take things one step at a time,
(Thanks to my online shrinks Mega, Utu, Fotu, and the last person who left a comment).
I also did something else.

I took a break and made a deal that I will NOT think, read or discuss the tsunami in the weekend, (well, apart from the fundraiser and loading the goodies pallets on the truck and calling home).

But last night was EXCEPTIONAL and humbling:
Last night, we went to the I love the Islands concert in Auckland and for the first time and probably the only time ever in New Zealand history,
the BEST of New Zealand music and the All Blacks! performed,
one after another for a glorious 4 hours.
It was like listening to my favourite playlist on ipod, except...they were LIVE and brilliant!
The TV3 Presenters Mihirangi Forbes and John Campbell were bigger celebrities than they ever anticipated.

They were in Samoa the day after the tsunami hit telling Samoa's story to the world and she told of the kindness of the Samoan people, when those who have lost everything were more concerned about given them
something, ...the boys climbed the coconut tree and offered them a drink.
I loved the caliber of performers, old legends like Dave Dobbyn, Neil and Tim Finn, Bic Bunga was gggoorrrgeous!, LMNOP, CheFu, Overstayers,....

Towards the end of the night, Savage and Scribe did battle and the 10,000 crowd went WILD!!!
I realised I had paid a $1.00 to see each of these performers...what a bargain!
...the best $25.00 I've sent in my life! This is the actual list of performers:
Neil Finn & Tim Finn: good ol' Kiwiana icons
Dave Dobbyn: I'd loyally pay hundreds to see him perform, AMAZING
Bic Runga: schexy, smooth, stunning, ...gifted.
Savage: Highligh of the night 10,000 people going "Chooohooo!!!!"
Scribe: did battle with above, seki a
Hollie Smith: sang acapela with her group 'Let it me', MEMORABLE.
Elemeno P: Most hyped, crazed, exicited performer of the night.
Nesian Mystik: Funkeey, but aside from one, they kinda beefed up
Jordan Luck Band: I'm sure they were awesome, I forgot with one
J.Williams: all the teenie poppers went nuts for him
Che-Fu & Kratez: Che Fu was a bit of an anti climax
Open Souls
Kirsten Morrell:Redhead wtd guitar, I HEART HER! better than Nora Jones
Sweet & Irie
DJ Sirvere
Aaradhna gorgeous voice, TRAGIC hairdo...WTF!
Mareko: gansta big pants, big belly, big voice, big performance
King Kapisi: loved the remix of Faifaipea which all the palagis sang to
Adeaze: Tokoroa represent, seki a kama gei
Lapi Mariner: Ave lo'u ola background music, heavenly!
If there's one thing they should change, it would be to remove Teuila Blakely as the MC,
she seems like she was on tooo much coke, hyper, unfunny, kaea voice and she spoke so fast that we didn't even know what she was saying or who she was introducing.
Hope Oscar picks someone else to emcee with him, maybe someone who is more articulate and not as bouncy like Teuila.
SOmeone like Petra Bagust, or Mihirangi Forbes or Jackie Brown or Beatrice Faumuina or anyone who can actually present properly.
Other higlights:
Len Brown - Manukau Major, he's the token 'brown' palagi who started with 'wasup Sooouth side! Weeest siiiide"....oka, he just needed some loose pants and a cap and whollah, Len Brown-gansta from the souf syde in da house.
All Black showed up - Tia Lata said to drop him a message on facebook and he'll sell you a shirt he designed for the tsunami relief.
Pity my honey Richard Kahui wasn't there. But Liam Meesam, Maa Nonu, and others came.
Liam Meesam (and Callum Bruce)actually gave lots of their rugby gear to our collection point, so he's AWESOME!
All in all, I am so so so intrigued with the love and concern and action by New Zealanders to this tragic event. Everyone I have met is doing something.
SO many people are making things happen, by donating clothes, given money, performing for free, organising findraisers, offering services from free
Like i mentioned before,
I have utmost faith it the true kindness of humanity from this disaster.
Many will never be acknowledged for their efforts but here are those people and companies who helped in our own small events and collection in our humble corner of Aotearoa:
Storage King
Fulton Hogan
University of Waikato staff
Hamilton City Council staff
Air New Zealand
Habitat for Humanity, Te Rapa
Red Bins Te Awamutu
Snell Packaging on Sunshine Ave
Church College in Htown
Coast to Coast Transport, Hamilton
Coupland Transport, Te Awamutu
Waikato Kindergarten Association
Fonterra staff at the Canpac site
Vaka, Sharon, Dolores, Tj, Shobna, Scottie Walker.
And every man, woman and child who have given something for the cause.
Viia lea Alii!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I need to regain my focus

Dear Diary, I need to regain some focus in my life right now. I have not touched my academic work since Samoa and I know that this is bad. I will fail my last few assignments I will lose my scholarship. I will be miserable. It will be a semster wasted, lots of money wasted. Bad bad outcomes. So, those are the consequences. What would inspire me to regain control over myself and my actions? I am seeing a student advisor today. I am not having a party but will spend my weekend in the management labs - maybe that change of atmosphere will do me some good. I will leave Maeva with Teu tomorrow and do some work. I need to focus - I only have a few weeks left and my hard work the whole year will go down the shithole if i don't do something now. So Help my God. Please let me know how else I can regain my focus or be inspired again.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I hate White Sunday now

White Sunday this morning was celebrated with the usual skits of the old testament, along with the obligatory robes, action songs in a four hour service.
So nothing new,
Aside from the gorgeous clothes, hair bands, tuxedos and the Michael
Jackson 'Heal the World' finale.
I can't help but realise the huge difference between the child born in
Samoa and the child born in Middlemore. The home grown coconut
bounces to the front and yells out his tauloto, when they stutter, they were threatened by their parents on the front row...'Fai lau kaoloto e!' with the left arm gesturing towards the jandal.
The Kiwi child stands shy, turns from side to side, his loving mother supporting him by his side, saying his words with him.
The skits were fun, some sunday school teachers have bounced into this century and were using current affairs within their performances, which were entertaining.
But the rest was the usual Naamanu, Mesako, Apeteniko and the crew zz zzz..."Ona fai ai ai lea o Naamanu, ia ua lelei, o le'a faapena lava" and the "Ia ua lelei lau afioga i le tupu" in unison.

I did enjoy seeing the excitement in the children, busying themselves among the frills of their little dresses and matching shoes.
I loved seeing the joy in the grandparents faces watching their child say their tauloto.
I loved seeing that children were happy and showing it too.

What I didn't like, were the relatives who flew in from Sydney Australia ($155 return to Htown, f*(k you very much) to celebrate with their families here, bringing with them an arrogance that disturbed the peace among the humble congregation. Isa! Two months in Oz and already "peeking up the feesh and cheeps myte" fefe ia mulipu.

anyhow, today was a day for the children, and towards the end of the ceremony, a song was dedicated to the children who have perished in the tsunami, the song was "Moomooga"
Those who know me well know that if there was one thing that would reduce me to tears, it would be this song.
I started weeping for those parents in Lalomanu and elsewhere especially the mothers who have no more children to fuss over and dress and feed and sasa and love and care for.
Gosh, this life is so fucken unfair!
It felt so wrong sitting in that smug and beautifully decorated church while not far away so many are suffering.
We are so bloody selfish):
With this in mind, I just sat there sobbing among others, talk about a way to end white sunday.
To hell with White Sunday, this stupid day should have been cancelled this year, no one deserves to be happy!
I left before toonai, having lost any interest in any celebrations. It just feels wrong.
And then to add to my woes, I started watching Tagata pasifika and its coverage of the tsunami....and once again, turned on the water works because of the burial of little children in a mass grave.
This is so much for me (who is not even closely related to them) I cannot imagine what they are going through. It is a mother's worst nightmare.
So sad, so sad. So draining, so hard-to-move-on, so so painful.

I might see a counsellor this week, I think I'm falling apart):

Monday, October 05, 2009

Cherelle Jackson reporting

Tsunami Reporting: Cherelle has been reporting from the moment the earthquake occured.
While we were in the car to kua, both Paul(driving and answering phones) and I ended up playing secretary to Miss Presse Secretariat while she reported to Radio NZ, Aljazeera, Japanese news, Germans etc etc
Paul chit chats to Aljazeera, Me asking Wall Street Journal to please stay on the line, the next available operation will be with you in a minute.
Australia. France. Japan. Americas. Aljazeera again...oka!
And Relle saying on the phone repeatedly:
"We are in the Independant State of Samoa. It is a country. We are next to American Samoa....yes, that's is a territory of, we are in Western Samoa.......that's right, the wave hit the southern part of Independent Samoa...yes, we are an independent country called Samoa....yes, we are in the South Pacific ocean., thank you".

Gawd, I would not ever have the patience to be a journalist, I will end up saying "Look in a F%#*ng map and google Samoa before you call, do your F%&(&*g homework before you call again, beep beep beep beep".
hmmm, maybe that is why I'm not a reporter, heheh

Much to be hopeful for

While I pack items for Samoa, Maeva walks around, unpacking things and dispersing them around the room.

She asked me on the weekend, "What you doin' maamie?"
So I sat her down and said:
"You know Maeva, there are some children, boys and girls in Samoa who have no toys, no ofus (clothes) and no mommy, very very sad, they also have no house!
We are giving them some clothes and things because they don't have it, like birthday presents".
She sits there, eyes wide open, "Why they don't have a toys maamie?"
I didn't want to traumatize her about waves, so I left it at that and sent her off to play with her puzzles.

Two minutes later, she cries out from her little room,
"Mommy, help!!! help!"...shes such a prima donna when she does this...its like the end of the world really.

I found her with a laundry basket full of toys, too heavy for her to drag.
"Mommy, this my toys for the little boys and the little keols in Samoa"

I just was near tears about this and so I helped her sort her toys out.
She was willing to give up Barney, koala bear, her favourite books, Tau's car (magaia le foai o mea a isi) and heaps of other things.

But when I picked up the ukulele, she put her foot down,
"No mammie, that's Mine!"
I felt like my mother all over again,

"You don't know how lucky you are! Look at all those toys and there are children with nothing!"
Theres much to be hopeful for. Still.
We can only hope those children will one day begin to forget their ordeal and smile again...there is hope.

Ave lo'u ola: An Ode to those whose lives were taken in recent days

Thanks Mega for putting this photo collage together.
It made me cry just listening to the words of the song )-:

For some freaky reason, I am not able to upload the actual youtube compilation here, so please click on the title of this post, or the click on the link above or cut andpaste this:

If none of these pathways get you there, consult your Doctor.
Good luck.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Ua tagi le fatu ma le eleele, the heart and the earth weep

It has been four days since the devastating tsunami and our country continue to grieve and try to find some normalcy and order in such tragedy.
Not an hour passes that I don't think about those who have died so unexpectedly.
And those left to pick up the pieces.
Last night, we are told that there may be a mass burial near Apia.
This is something that to Samoans everywhere is difficult to fathom.
Death is a process of grieving and services and eulogies and gifting and lamenting and a burial on your own fanua.
Fanua, your Land, your Earth. your Soil. your Home.

From when you are born, they bury your mother's fanua (placenta) on your land for the same reason.
You will thrive here and when your time comes, you will return to the soil here too.
This is were you belong.
With a heavy heart, I am reminded of the proverb, Ua tagi le fatu ma le eleele.
Never before have I realised the depth of these words until now, that the earth and the hearts of many weep unconsoled.

How can you let your loved one be buried so far away from home?
In a mass site that is so far away from your fanua?
Wouldn't a site near the south be more appropriate?
And more accessible for the Atu Falealili, Lotofaga, Lepa, Aleipata?
I accept the reasoning by Government regarding the logistical and health issues, still, I find it so so hard to accept the idea of a mass burial.
The last mass burial was immediately after the Influenza epidemic, my grandmother told us the stories, so eerie and unimaginable, of bodies heaved onto government trucks destined for mass burial sites.
Such a distant fagogo, so utterly unreal.
I never thought that one day, in my lifetime, would I witness just that.
Endless pick up trucks passing me by, lifeless passengers lying side by side, taken away from their fanua. their Land. their Home.

Aue, ua tagi le fatu ma le eleele.

Friday, October 02, 2009