Tuesday, June 28, 2011

babysitters are like manna

During our Samoa trip, I scored myself a Dream babysitter.
But there were  hurdles before that happened.
Initially, CJ's employee had a cousin who was meant to help me, but she bailed, in good ureliable Samoan fashion.
Then my relative in Savaii, who I initially asked, procrastinated, kuluku's and lied and on the 11th hour, she decided not to hop on the 4pm ferry to come meet us at the airport.
Again, did I mention, our well known unreliable Samoan attitude?
Just click on a few of Coconut Girl's blog to understand the seriousness of this ailment.
Anyhow, thanks to CJ, she managed to find that her employee, whose cousin bailed, had a cousin who was staying home in Vailima and willing to babysit for me.
On the first day, I told her the routine, feed times, sleep, baby likes, dislikes, clothes, etc...(basically, raise my boy, i'm going to the pub, i shall be some tyme).
She was amazing!!!
I hardly had to tell her anything. She took initiative, connected wth my child, was helpful with everything else that was happening (NOT related to the babysitting) and I totally had a ball because ST was in good hands.
At the end of the trip, (esp during the wedding), she was getting offers from the other parents there, expats mostly.
But at this point, I realise this girl is made for greater things, she'll be wasting her skills on babysitting.
..so anyone wanting to employ someone reliable, hardworking, self starter who takes initiative and can be trusted, speaks English,.. lemme know.
I know someone just like that!

I got my duvet from Bartleys, whooohoooo!

This is what I was talking about, the summer duvets from Bartleys...love it!


Good on you PaperPlus and the Warehouse

...For banning the sale of the book by the Kahui twin's mother, Maxina King.
Good on you Paperplus and Warehouse for acting morally, ethically and respecting the rights of every child born in this country and every victim of domestic violence.
Ian Whistal or whatever the author is called, should be ashamed of himself for wasting time telling a story of a bunch of idiots who let two precious babies suffer.
I know there are two sides to a story - and their side is this:
They failed to protect their children and they did not get punished. End of story.
The only book I want to read about this case is that the parents of the Kahui twins got their butts kicked.
sorry, am a bit violent today - steer clear.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Church in Piu, Falealili

The one night of 2011 where I got totally legless, and crashed at 4am, I planned nothing but sleep.
Sleep in a fale samoa by the beach while the babysitter cared for my baby and MM was a child of the forest.
Sleep, recovery, rehydrated, recharge, sleep.
But my beloved God fearing mother did not get the memo.
She nudged me at 9am, cursed me at 9:10 and then got MM and Tau to kick me in the head thereafter.
Violence starts at home.
My mother insisted we went to.
It starts at 11.
I rummaged through our suitcase and NOTHING was slightly angelic in my wardrobe.
This is the beach for fecks sake, who was to know I was to enter the Holy House of the Lord after the wedding of the decade?
Anyhow, I managed to borrow one of Momma's gazillion scarves to cover my sinful shoulders and off we went to Piu....mom, my geeds and a big fat headache.
Drove past Sapunaoa and I thought of Kuini, whose olds are the faifeaus here, and where her 'samoaness' came from....her fobness comes from Safua, lol.our sister from another mada and another fada.
anyhow, the connection to Piu.
The faifeau is the head of an NGO under sungo, and their relative is a mutual friend of the family.
I asked my mother if she knew the way,
"Of course! afe i i, drive inland, e faigofie a...kope kope ua kuai!"
20 minutes later, we have driven past the village, the plantation, the kofe, and the tarsealed road comes to a DEADEND.
we turn around and find Piu church only 2minutes from the main road.
We get to the faifeau's house and my kids are taken away by adoring kids, and i find myself at the table that the guests had just feasted at.
Just a small beakfast of pagi popo, pai fala, bread, boiled eggs, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, big FAT yellow mangoes, supo esi, vaisapo etc etc...omg - i was in food heaven! and this was just breakky!!
What a hangover cure!
anyhow, as I am stuffing my face, Maeva'a dress is already dirty outside with the Piu kids.
..and Tuifiti is getting more attention than ever before in his young life.
then i asked the lovely faletua ...'o lea la le kaimi o le service?"
 (since it was now 11:30)
and she calmly said
"oh, just take your time, when youre ready"
omg! a whole congregation waited while I ate my vaisalo...choohoooo!
Anyhow, we were welcomed into Piu like family,.
It's a small village, who, according to the elders were forced to move inland after tidal waves earlier in the 1800s i think...
They chose this location as it was fertile for plantations and next to two large waterfalls, Sopoaga and another ua galo le igoa. They are also the protectors of the falls.
anyhow, the chuch is quaint, small and made of burnt coral like long ago,
and bless his soul this Faifeau, he refuses to pull it down.
I was in awe at this gorgeous structure, but even more of this faifeau who values the old and not the spanking louvres and a tiled pulpit.
anyhow, I left with the wee ones afterwards, mom stayed on for toonai.
I also found out that this faifeau drives the workers and kids into Apia every day and back, for schools and work....my god....shock horror, a faifeau who serves his people!!!! (note: need to introduce ours to this one).
anyhow, anyone going to this area should check out this place. I loved it...but i loved it even more when i got toonai that afternoon.

The Gaualofa has reached Hawaii

(well, 10 days ago actually, sorry Marc).
But they are there now....follow the voyage on their usually updated blog.

Friday, June 24, 2011

the bad habits shes picked up

The 2 weeks in Samoa may have been fun but we brought home a nagging, irritating bug called Maeva Moelagi.
What a piece of shit work.

Before we left, she ate with a fork, ate all her food, and asked to leave the table.
Now, she eats with her fingers, is picky with her meal and walks off midmeal.
When I tell her off, she talks back "at" me.
A la "guku oso" style that is should be met with a salafa on the cheek.
But we are choosing to deal with it intelligibly. (one hopes haha).

Despite the cold, she insists she is too cool for shoes.

When I asked her if she cleaned up her toys this morning, her response was:
"Yeahrrrr, laterrrrz".
Again, a salapa would be easier but I'm being sensible about it.
Watch this space, hehe.

She spent much of her time in Samoa with her cousin Tauilagi, fighting, wrestling, playing, fighting again and hating on each other.
In a good way, she had toughened up a little. She is fighting back, whereas before, she used to come running to me crying.
But now I worry she will take her fighting spirit to kindy, who has a strict NO HITTING, NO SNATCHING, NO RAISING VOICE, NO MEAN WORDS. oh Lawd, she can do all that from her Samoa trip....it feels like we have to re-educate her all over again.

Overall, the trip reminded me of the things my children are not always exposed to:
Her million fun loving cousins, the joy of playing under trees and seeing bugs on the walls and tuataras (pili moo really) on the ceiling, the adoration from her Granma, the care from whatever adult is available to look after her, the endless supply of nieces who can babysit for $10 a night, the possibility of leaving them with a relation and not worry a bit, the option of letting her eat whatever and whenever because her papa is not there to supervise and most of all, the closeness of family and the comfort of home. Ahhh, I miss home.

 the sparring partners in Nana Sue's car
 Tauilagi arriving from Oman
 Taking 5 seconds off their argument to pose, at Lalovaea
 Their favourite comment of the holiday "Go Away!"
  Being fia bringcessa with Petra after the wedding in kuam.

Awards from last week.

Best Service, Food, Drinks Experience
Goes to Amanaki, hands down.
I don't like give this award loosely but for this new property, I am all for it.
FRESH fresh seafood, BEST poke in town and service that is totally not what we are used to.
...oh, and they're great at mixing white russians (:
Did I mention the fresh fish?

Second receipient in this catergory: Adria's Cakes at Lotopa.
I had about 5 cupcakes from here, then a wedding cake, a themed naughty cake and topped off with a pie. All were soooo yum and same quality from yonks ago when my ex boy used to take me here when I was feeling ...down, happy, depressed, excited and bored.
Thank you Adrias for the culinary delights and the extra emphasis to me muffin tops, lol.

Yummy Value for your monero
The Burgers and salads from Encounters...excellente.
And they also look after your vehicle on their premises when you've accidently parked it there and forgot about it. Thank You Management of Encounters (:
and Maroons BBQ at Malifa $5.00,....lol...
Best Chinese as voted by two most difficult and critical Divas on that side of the International Date Line
The wee place between Digicel nd Sikoa at Vaimea. Yummy lemon chicken too.
And e air container...nice....but you have to tolerate the influx of Gigicel exployees that frequent it on a daily basis.

A certain florist opposite Savalalo Primary that quoted unreasonable prices for something simple as a bunch on "local" frangipanis....$120. Thiefs!
Another ripoff is the overcooked dry masimasi at the restaurant near Red Cross in Motootua. Nicht Gut.

Suprise Find Award
The dresses at Zellas (at ACE Building) which were a fraction of 'other' well known brand, but way more individual and tailor made on the spot. I'm a fan. So is my credit card. Will be back in a heartbeat!

Perfect Gift from Samoa Award
Summer duvet covers/ or spreads by Bartleys Shop in Apia, made of vibrant island colours and your choice of outside border. For $140, its a steal. But due to popular demand, you have to plan ahead and order in advance. Such a simple concept made beautifully. Similar duvet covers are made by a well known Cook Island fashion house, but the cost will make you wet the covers. So Bartleys is a welcome and exciting find.

Jailbird Award
So a particularly loud and obnoxious Peace Corp in Samoa got extra loud and cocky and decided to yank the hat off a Police officer in a popular watering hole in Apia.
She got taken to the Station but was luckily release.
Lucky because if that was a Samoan woman, she would have been slapped in the face for what she did.
Thank goodness the Peace Corp story comp is over coz that would have been my entry, entitled:
Velo e leoleo se Pisi Koa i le taavale ona o le fiapoko fia aikae vale".

Thank you for coming, and please don't plagiarism my blog entries or else i will name and SHAME you.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Pisikoas I know ...

The Samoan Peace Corp office did some sort of competition recently where you submitted a story about the Peace Corps and probably the good things they've done...mmf....I was all ready to pour my heart out but realised it had to be all glowing and positive! aww bugga!
Ah well, who cares - here's my winning entry for the competition that only I entered.
I was the judge. Pugi.

Koko Samoa Piskoa
I  remember a cheerful lad from Utah who wrote the song "koko samoa, koko samoa o te le fia masani, leai se penu koko ou te lamu lamu ai, tasi lava le inu, ua lava lava lea".
He sat down with us after dinner and sang song after song, he made us laugh and told us some truths I couldn't comprehend as a child, such as:
"You are very lucky and blessed to have your samoan culture" (and I immediately tuned out because he was the gazillionth palagi to say this).
I liked this Piskoa. He was cool.

Overstayed his welcome Pisikoa
Now, *Shane, had a lot of impact. He came. And then forgot to leave. He was a Peace Corp with attitude. Suffice to say, the samoan culture grew on him, or is it fairer to say, it infested him until he became more Samoan than a Samoan itself?
He may have been the first palagi to Stop. Drop and Bow in front of the Peace Corp office, under a traditonal ie toga (fine mat), in a bid for forgiveness (ifoga).
Shane had become my mother's dream son, an obedient taule'ale'a who served his matai with pride(because her own are either too busy or too drunk).
In our eyes, Shane was so Samoan that he put the Samoans to shame when he dished out the fola ava with confidence and blended in like a true faipopo.
I miss Shane. But in a brotherly sort of way, i.e. after 5 minutes I would want to punch his lights out sort of way.

OMG You are so hot Piskoa
And then there was the one Piskoa teacher that was so so hawt that it forced one to study extra hard for his class.
And made one wear their prettiest jandals on the day he came to teach.
And then one realises that the whole fecking school of girls have the same major crush on him as you did.
He was one's infatuation that went completely unnoticed beause one didn't have enough english vocab to strike a conversation...
Aside from "I love you too many" scribbled on the cover of ones A4 exercise book.
Thank you for instilling in me a love for Chemistry. chooohooo!

Keeps coming back Piskoa
There are many who come, serve, leave and then keep coming back. To bring computers, books, teaching equipment and in one case, to save a rainforest. Then there's the ones who take back something, like a tanoa ava, a fine mat or a Samoan wife.

Hungry Piskoa
Well, I suppose I just generalised on the whole group of Piskoas. We have had a lot of these over the years. The ones that come to our house coincidentially right before lunch, dinner and toonai.
Because mama said "Kalofa e i si kama, sau i ai" and then the bugger turns around and inhales half the meal because its his first in days.
So please, Hug a Peace Corp today...you never know when they last had a decent meal.
There are plenty more 'types' of Peace Corps that have disembarked the Lady Samoa over the years, but I can say this for the majority of them: Brave. or absolutely nuts!
Brave to leave the comforts of their homes to be in a strange little place,
Without the luxuries and comforts they are accustomed.
I applaude them for braving it on my not so luxurious island,
For braving the heat, dust, vicious dogs, falai elegi, dodgy water, nosey children, infected wounds, prying eyes of the village, barking dogs, long church services and much much more.
Sometimes we as Samoans forget the sacrifices these people make and we take them for granted.
What many people do not know is that many of these Peace Corps do more than teach, they build relationships with families and villages, broaden horizons for wee children and most of all, they don't whack your finger tips off when you don't know the answer to 2+2.