Monday, August 31, 2009

Old photos make for nostalgia....

Old photos make me go all mushy inside, pathetically nostalgic and leaves me thinking a LOT.
Yes, I'm a thinker like that, move over Freud.
Having grown up in unforgiving himidity, photographs never reached their 30 year anniversary unscathed.
Throw in a couple of inquisive but dusty children turning album pages with licked fingers and runny noses and your captured memories become a neglected pile of shit.
It doesn't help that two cyclones decide to float the pusa ku that held decades of memorabilia.
So many challenges make our tropical home a cemetery for photographs.
Every so often, we would shred each other's images after a fist fight, or when one is excluded from a night of hide and seek in the tall grass behind Granma's fale.
I cannot count how many times my poor mother tsk tsks and shakes her head disappointedly over the remnants of once perfect memoirs.
Photographs never stood a chance, being stuck between bible pages.
Passed among sweaty palms between church pews during long prayers. Images of my cousin's uncle's niece in Niu Siland smiling in front of the Auckland Aiport carpark. A last image of my dead great aunt, in her lacy decorated coffin, surrounded by her puffy-eyed daughters. A family photo, my mother, my three sisters and cousin Diana, huddled together after hours in Olemoe falls. My mother again, stripping mulberry bark at Faamulis while CJ and I deface siapo in the backround.
Now that I'm older and not-so much wiser, I try and remove as many photos as I can, and I keep them safe and away from priving sticky fingers and snotty noses.
I only wish I could get hold of those old photos that visitors to our home in Safua captured while staying with us.

Have a picture perfect day...

...thanks to the nostalgia, I just put on Malelega's wedding movie and it's hilllarious!!!!



I just found a gorgeous picture of Mamasan on Jos's page, probably at Saleaula.
This is probably at Saleaula or Matavanu....good ol' momma and her sapelu, chooohooo
Photo belongs to Jos, thanks bro!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We love Seeedneee

We've just spent a wonderful seven days in Sydney, checking out the touristy spots and travelled north to th beaches....loving it.
Even spent an evening with our family friends, well, more family than friends now....and it was brilliant.
MM learnt a new rhyme as well, "Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear, one step, two step...tickle tickle tickle"

Highlights from Sydney:

BEST FOOD: En Casa (432 Pitt Street)-best Spanish cuisine at vedy el cheapo prices.

BEST THING TO DO: Catch ferry to Watson Bay and have fush and chups by the water...then walk over the hill to the next more secluded beach.
BEST THING TO DO WITH A 2 YEAR OLD: Taronga Zoo - Caught the ferry and checked out the elephants, koalas, giraffes ....and managed to hop on the gondolas as well...great great exhauster for the midget.

BEST SHOPPING: Well, I didn't find a lot of interesting things, but for bargains: Paddy's Market, and the outlet shopping about Market City.
If youve got a sugar daddy with you then Elizabeth Street where Chanel, Versace etc live..

BEST ACCOMMODATION: We stayed at Travelodge Phillip Street, mid range 3.5 star, clean, easy access to Circular Quay, helpful staff, Thai and bistro restaurants on site...."O" for awesome!

BEST TIP FOR SYDNEY: Best to buy the SydneyPass to get around by ferry, train, bus.
In the city itself, theres 555 bus which is a free service. runs approx every 20 minutes.
Monorail is nice to get around but $4.80 per trip is a big ask for a 2 minute hop. but if you have the sugar daddy, go for Gold.

PEEVES: Hate how people call you "doll" "sweetie" "hun"...."That's be $350 doll".
If you want to be endearing, mean it, don't just "sweetie" me just for the heck of being the giver of endearment.

POSITIVES: Most bus drivers, service providers have been so so brilliant....some people have gone out of their way to be helpful....i love it!!!

HIGHLIGHT: watching AB's beat the Wallabies in a substandard Wallabies match at Olympic Park.
The stadium is so so so so massive, the biggest ive been to!!!

But now,...iyts back to shit'ol Htown....and back to work tomorrow and next week and maybe, maybe...Samoa in a few weeks,,...but that depends on bthe funds....G'day doll!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

O lo'u tama e fai lana taavale, lana taavale, lana taavale...

Dear Diary,
I'm a little worried right now.
I need to be in Savaii to do my interviews, in kua (Salega) and then later in Upolu on the Falealili district.
This needs to be early September because its the next best opening (workwise and participants being available) but it falls exactly on the week of the road switch.
I am more than a little worried, because up until now, I was happy fluffing around knowing I was safe from danger but now, I will most likely be there amongst the carnage.
Arghhh! What am I to do?
I wan't to Live pliz!!!!
I do trust my driving (yessir, i'm confident like that, shuddup), but I don't trust the Salelologa taxi driver dodging the crevasses in the road, straining his neck to see the road through the pine tree air freshener decorations AND trying to remember that he is meant to be on the right side...sorry, the wrong side, argh, even thinking about it confuses me)-:

So thanks to Tuilaepa and his farken midlife road switch crisis, I'm trying to reposition my work so that I won't have to be there when it happens.
Damn it....one man's midlife crisis is several nations woes.

Revered Mother did raise an interesting point tonight regarding the switch, donor organisations should NOT be financing the switch and I understand that these donor organisations such as the Asian Development Bank are also not aware that their funds are being "re-allocated"(aka misused) for the switch.

so many problems, no solutions...oi ka fefe i le mala ua kele!

Hmmm, what else was I thinking this arvo? Yes...teenage pregnancy.
One of my young relations has more than the road switch to worry about, she might also be pregnant. Problem is, she's a virgin who doesn't hang with boys
(Goddess rolls eyes and bangs head on keyboard repeatedly)
This will come as a shameful shock to her clueless mother and her head-in-the- clouds father. Suprises to be had by all involved and not involved.
Very sad sad situation but hey, I've been on and on like a broken lali about this issue, so no point exhausting my fingertips about lack of information, access to birth control, ignorant attitudes and immamculate conceptions...there you go, I said it.

Ia, manuia taualumaga o le vaiaso, eva faalelei, sa le oga, tausisi i lau paaga e tasi ae aua le kikilo fua i le koolua o le lesi ma le kele o le vevesi.
fa loa.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Youth Day

This is for the Youth: Because you are so misunderstood.
You are scorned at, for being you
The problems of the world are there becuase of you
The solutions, well, we'll decide that for you
Your successes are owed to your olds
Your failures your own.
You shouldn't try foreign things or copy foreign others
be true to your culture
but please becomes a doctor
or a lawyer
Don't wear the best ie faitaga
do your hair this way
carry the sack over there
feed the pigs right now
sell the tauaga in faasaleleaga
look after your siblings tonite
send me money for the taulaga
Bring out the best ipu malamamalama because
Is all about vaaiga a tagata

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Their Watery Graves

My thoughts are for those who have lost their lives so unnecessarily in Tongan waters.
It is so so disheartening realising that not one woman or child escaped from this tragedy.
Kalofa e i gai aiga o lo'o faatali aua se taunuuga manuia, ae paga lea ua tua i mala.

The culture of respect, of gender segregation has meant that women and children did not stand a chance., they remained below deck, while the men managed to jump ship immediately. May they rest in peace


It reminds me of the Savaii/Upolu crossing that we take for granted, yet, that same situation could happen any day and for this reason, I will NOT sit inside the video room ever again, even if the outside is crowded!!!
I do hope that the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga take responsibility if not, then this should be more reason for Tongans to rise up and make necessary changes.
Oops, I do sound like Tuilaepa and Toke Talagi asking Fijians to revolt...similarly, Samoans, Cook Islanders, PNG....all these island nations have been dragged through the mud thanks to their leaders lack of foresight (check Pacer-plus, Cairnsgate, RHD, Cooks money laundering, Niue no accounts for spending, Junta-ville etc for why i say this) or is it lack of any sight altogether?

The bottom line is, this Tongan tragedy did not need to happen if laws were obeyed and safety rules /reg were followed, but like most Pacific political initiaves, its all about what looks good at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, what happens afterwards is all up to fate and tragic endings.

What a depressing entry on a depressing Pacific week, I hope the new week brings good fortunes and sensible political leaders.
Please.
Because we bloody hell need it.

The sonar image taken by ANZ Navy of the Princess Ashika, copied from Matangi Tonga website

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vacancy: Legal Advisor role

For Samoa Land Transport Authority.
Legal Advisor Level 2 LA01

- Location: LTA Office – Vaitele
- Contractual Basis: 3 years
- Wage/Salary : $63,774 per annum

hmmmm.....which soul would be brave enough to take on the role that answers to the people whose lives will be lost?
The Job description should stipulate that:

The successful applicant must be bullet proof, courageous and be prepared to legally defend the Authority in the upcoming Collision D-Day.

C'mon, it can't all be negative, you know I like happy endings, so I've come up with ventures that will be successful from September onwards:
-Driver Licence and re-training Schools
-Rehabilitation center for survivors of accidents that will assist the person to be more independent again, or at least to learn to raise their arm again.
-Counselling services, we'll need more Calmar Annandales to go to...
-Funeral Directors, Sefo and Ligaliga won't be coping with the influx
-Funeral Parlours, only 2 in Savaii, only in Faasaleleaga, so another one is needed
-Doctors: hmmm, they should go on strike and finally get that pay rise when the accidents happen.
-perhaps a new Prime Minister to add to that list?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Taito Debacle

How the mighty have fallen, Taito Phillip Field had been charged with numerous counts of corruption in a New Zealand court of law.
Shattering for a man who was the first Pacific Island MP, first to Cabinet and now the first Parlimentarian to do jail time.
Where did it all go wrong?
Eh Kailo se,
But I can't help but feel for the man that so many Islanders looked to in difficult times.
I accept that his dealings were unprpfessional and unbecoming of a supposedly law abiding citizen and leader.,
I acknowledge that he has wronged those who needed his help.
I accept that.
However, the coconut in me says, please give him another chance and let him be., please soften the blow and not lock him up.
Please make it all go away.
But the reality is harsh and obvious.
Which then brings me to the issue,
Where the heck are all those bloody overstayers and Samoans who Taito helped and provided housing for? I sure do hope they are supporting him and his family.
Kalofa e ia Taito....contrary to the palagi ruling, I still have respect for the man and I truly believe that deep down, he meant well, he genuinely wanted to help and he does care.
But this same Samoan caring nature was also the final nail to his political credibility.
If these issues were put in the Samoan context, all member of the Samoan parliament would be in jail for bribery, corruption charges....I mean, don't we all look forward to the truck full of cow carcass, fat hogs, fine mats and a bag of cash a week before elections?
Isn't it common knowledge that the larger the carcass to higher the vote? Like the Safua woman said "O le sui lava e maua ai le petru, o le sui fo'i lega e alu i ai le ekisi".(whoever gives me the $$$ gets my X....should be tick actually).
I do hope this is a lesson for aspiring Samoan politicians out there...better to stick to the law of the land because when the beef gravy is digested and the last tala has gone to the bingo, so too -the loyalties evaporate.
Its called the law of the stomach....youre as good as the last meal mate.
Lesson for us all.....stick to the rules and you should be fine.

Hopefully Bill English and all those National jokers take heed and give up their lofty allowances though...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

My Highly commended garment at the recent Restyle comp

All I hoped for, after seeing the other 30 entries in my category was to be in the finals....bt i did a bit better, yay!!!!
My model did an o for awesome job and looked gorgeous on the night....yep, shes only 13!!!
my design was two fold....upon entry it looks like a whale....to represent endangered species....and then she drops it and its ummm...a dress, (for lack of an exotic description).
The Restyle comp is an annual event that attracts up to 120 entries from designers, students, fashion students from WINTEC and people with interest like moi...
It promotes recycling, reuse, reduce etc,....and my ofu didnt cost a tala...all from the stuff in the garage, old tapa, car sun visor, foil, frost cloth, # 8 wire, feathers and angel wings from MM's toy box and lots more...



I entered the comp for the first time this year and will now make it an annual event in my calendar....woohoooo...not bad for a mainly glue-gun job chooohooo!!!