Wednesday, August 31, 2011

10 minutes start now!

I'm in the library, using their computers because our internet isn't fixed yet.
I have 10 minutes and then the bums and the school drop outs take my place to surf the web, play online games and just be I am doing meaningful work (Blogging) and they have nothing better to do with their lives...Isa!

anyhow, ...oka, just wasted a minute on negative thoughts....

The whole place, the telly, the jokes, the conversations, the shops, what the heck, everything reeks of RUGBY right now....its RUGBY mania. I am now truly praying for the ABs to win because this nation are bending over backwards for them...if they lose, everyone who played and Graham Henry should be tied to some goal posts and dropped to the bottom of the viaduct.
Anyway, good luck.

I'm seriously eyeing up that Samoa vs Namibia game in me if anyone is keen on going, $61 pp for good seats, or reignite your uni days and get the $31 seats....c'mon!!!

k, manuia le aso,...

my 10 minutes is up, fraggen damn shoot.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fly away home

We are home.
26 hours later and we still have two children and I have not strangled either.
In fact, they were A.Mazing.
Paris to Seoul was a dream!
The boy only woke up from his bassinet to play, pee and get slapped accidently in the face by MM but otherwise, he was an amazing traveller...smiling, and happily downing his milk, both from the source and formula.
I am totally not adopting him out now.
MM was simply glued to the cartoons, games and whatever other kiddie gadgets provided by Korean Airlines.
From Seoul to Auckland, Tuif decided it was a bit uneventful being a two shoes goodie goodie angel. He spat the dummy (really) and stayed awake for 3 hours. Otherwise, he was good. Nothing Pamol couldn't handle....and if it was gonna get worse, I had Phenegan, Weleda teething powder and Magasia on standby.
As we descended into cold, dreary Auckland, I couldn't help but feel contempt for this cold place.
What we were doing here anyway?
Both our families are in way warmer sunny places...what the fuck are we doing here???
And just to drag me deeper into my post-holiday blues depressive disorder, we drive past Manukau and all I was seeing wee people in trackpants and jandals...c'mon people, dress up for f*cks sake!!?
But then....we were home...where the neglected garden has spawled a life of its own, strewn with dead leaves, coarse grass and cat shit dotting the sandpit.
The orange tree had born fruit that nobody bothered to pick and now rotting in the damn untended soil.
The house was icy cold. But only for a few minutes while we churned the heat pump on tropical heat and turn on the water heater. Slowly, but calmly, we were getting back into home mode.
Our own place in this world.
Our own pillows, towels, and washing to fold trusty couch.
Okay, maybe the internet has been disconnected, and the bread has gotten past mouldy and is now a living and thriving bacterial united nations...but my God, isn't it good to make your own bed and lie in it too.
Home sweet home.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The kaea parts

Seeing how many hate messages i am getting from my loving family and friends because i am on holiday, I thought that tonight's post will be about the arsey bits that you never get to read or see in photographic momentos/facebook, coconut wireless etc.
We are 4 people with different interests and physical abilities,
Me- lazylaid back, likes food, shopping (with some& savignon blanc, prefers to plan ahead.
Frenchy-Sporty, likes adventure, plans on the day, 'we'll be right' attitude.
MM-only interested in playgrounds and not thrilled about walking. Fights with Frenchy a lot.
Le Tuif: oi kafefe, we forgot to feed him! Laid back baby who likes his pacifier and gets bullied by MM.

Those above things make just a walk down the road a fascinating french movie where everyone wants to kill off all the other characters, including themselves.

EG: This morning, Frenchy wanted to go to the Eiffle Tower to show MM.
We have done this several times already (and its littered with tourists and hawkers), so I suggested we go to Galleria Laffayette (lol) and then a carousel for the primadonna at the Luxembourg Gardens then 10 minutes walk back to hotel.
But no, Frenchy insisted.
So we walked to the Eiffle Tower. I stopped him and showed him the fecking tower in the 'far' distance and suggested taking the Metro there....but no, he insisted we walked, him, MM and the baby in the cheap travel stroller we bought at Carrefour...dude, it was a friggin' long walk in the hot sun.
Then he got angry at MM for being a whinger....i mean, how ungrateful of her to whine when she is getting the chance to walk 1.5 hours in the heat to that strange structure.
We made it in the end, with lots of fallouts in between.
Thankfully, there are large playgrounds all around Paris, and really good safe ones near the Tower. I parked the stroller in the shade, started eating while Frenchy and MM head off to play. Next moment, she runs back "Fia pi!!" I tell Frenchy the toilets are walk across the park (5 minutesish) and while i focus on my rock melon...i see them back at the swings. I called out to MM if she went and she casually 'yelled' back, "Papa said the toilet is too far, so i peed in the bushes"
nevermind that all the people around us are giving us unfriendly glances.

And if that glimpse into the shitty part of this trip isn't enough, I am happy to tell you more...
- Like 15 hours in traffic from Verona to Genoa
- Having to wash your kids clothes in other peoples homes, wash basins, buckets et during the trip because you forgot their gear in Marseille.
- Being under the same roof as your TOLT (Tina o le tamaloa) who  tends to 'own' your baby when he's smilin and then 'Pass the Ball' back when it screams.
- Most of all, the shittiest part is that all this is coming to an end and soon we will be on a loooooong 26 hours flight (with a pathetic 1 hour stop in Seoul) home, with my Frenchy, MM and baby screaming for a feed.

Yup, the grass is not always greener on the other side (:

Monday, August 22, 2011

midnight meanderings

its late at night, the children sleeping and the adults are talking in hushed tones over wine and brie.
at this point in time, i don't know what the feck i'm going to blog about.
its just that, the laptop is here, and we are just reeeeraaaxing...
I need to be angry, or overly excited, or very sad to churn out a good flow of words...tonight, not so much.

so,....bear with i ponder what the heck to about sports?

Rugby? we won but totally not important to me at the moment, too busy to care but i will when i return and when it really matters. ps: lemme know if you want a tuiga to wear for the rugby games in NZ...good plices for you, vedy nice. check out the ones i did for the 3 stooges in HKG happy to tailor to your needs, even a rugby ball on your forehead is possible, heh.

Soccer: Is bigger than anything else here. Next.

Women's rugby: Yesterday, we were in the countryside, (next  to Toulon where my ex Sonny Bill WIlliams lived:). We were invited by Frenchy's friends from his rugby days. 3 brothers who build a nice house overlooking the valley, and they built a pool on the ceiling, so that you look down onto the valley...nice. anyhow, one of the wives is 7 months preggos...tall, slim and ggggooorgeous and used to play rugby for France! one of those preggos where its JUST the tummy showing, everything else is normal...lucky cow!

Petangue: Originated from here, so everyone gets out their balls in the evenings and plays. And have a drink of Pastis. ov course.

Hotscotch/Musa: I attempted to teach MM how to musa when we were in Serre Chevalier. She is a bit of a fiapoko though, and keeps correcting me on how to do the game I'm teaching her.

Lami: OMG, my siblings, mom, aunties and I used to stay awake over cups of tea and coffee playing Lami with the cards. And then I found that my nephews here play it we were at it in the evenings. Without Aunty Aniva's loudness and CJ's attempts to cheat...heh.

Dinosaurs and Tigers: MM likes to play with Tuif, by scaring him with the dinosaur and tiger...he laughs so hard he cries. And then she repeats process until he just: Cries.

Swimmming: we go tomorrow for the last time ...but it won't be a sport.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Milano sights

OMJ and Tauilagi were waiting for us in Mondsee, so we planned the trip so that we could stop in Milan on the way.
It was 3 hours from the starting point and a place both Frenchy and I were keen on.....coz back in my modelling days, this was where most of my fashion shows were held naturally, I wanted to come have coffee with my friends at Prada and Uncle Dior (...auuuuu, aikakae!)
No, truth is, I needed to go to Milan to score a bag. That's all.
Not in the high streets or the snotty shops of the Galleria Emmanuelle but the outlet shops that should the previous season stuff for up to 70% off.
(Can you tell I'm on a budget?)

We arrived at midday. Sieasta in any self respecting Italian (or Spanish city) is the one time you DO NOT go shopping....coz the whole place takes a 3 hour break. These shets don't muck around with is serious business....but on the bright side, it was therefore less busy in the center.
We did your stock standard touristy things, posing at the Cathedral, the Teatro Di Scala, the grand and one of the oldest mallsin th world, (Galleria Emmanuelle II)...then we footed it to the outlets.

Oh...and pizza was as you'd expect out Italy: delectably great.

Milan was fun,  but then my mammaries started getting, really really bad.
Rock hard  kiga bad, the point where I wanted to snatch the baby from the table next to us and feed it with my painful developments. Ouch. On the way out of Milan, I ignored the passing cars, dug out the manual breast pump and away I went - mobile milk delivery muchness?

leaving my bebe behind

We left the Tuif with the outlaws in Serre Chevalier.
Then we hopped in TOLT's car and drove to Austria, with a stop in Milano.
That was straight foward enough. Right?
I gave my sleeping boy a quiet kiss in the early morning....then 20 minutes later, while we passed by Briancon, I saw a baby in the next car and I just bursted into tears...really really badly. How fecking selfish am I to leave my son like this?! Anything could happen ): and then MM woke up and cried too....for no reason at all.
Argh - I wanted to turn around and take him with us....but Frenchy insisted we continued.
Thankfully Mayoune texted us to say he was fine, smashing the full bottle and very happy.
It was only then that I could really enjoy myself, but it just felt awkward not having my little man attached to my hip, or my tit for that matter.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Last Night in the Alps.

Last night then we are off to Austria, going through Italy tomorrow.
Its been an amazingly refreshing 10 days here, for us big people and especially for the children of the forest. heh.
Each day has been an adventure. Into the nearby lakes, rivers, fields, villages, villas and everything else.
The food has been a highligh for me, and my muffin tops will attest to that.
Like all well-meaning french people, they don't muck around with their meals....its a time to shut down anything work related and focus, drink and good company.
every day.
I'm loving this place all over again.
On a sad note, we are leaving the youngest member of the traveling party with the TORT while we do the trip becuase its a bit much for the poor wee man.
We'll miss our boy but it'll only be a few days!
....k, gonna get back to my google researchng of milan and finding outlet bargains....soooo helpe me Godde..puhleeasuh!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Father's Day today, apparently.

To all the fathers who look after their children, happy father's day.
(The rest I hope are miserable. arseholes.)

But onto positive thoughts: My father has long left this earth, long long ago.
So, I don't have to stress about gifts and cards and telling him I love him on this day.
So in an effort to associate myself with this non event day in moi loife, I shall grasp the moment and be fia falealili fua with those who are celebrating this day genuinely... claiming some of following characters as my own father, because they were, and remain in my heart, the father I never got to call my very own.

1. My uncle Loli Satuu Tiatia Aloaina, who stepped in to be there for us when my old man packed his knapsack and headed for beer heaven. I am grateful to Satuu for teaching me about the value of hard work and respect. For keeping me grounded in the only way he knew, by slapping my face to the ground when I didn't come first in class. Grounded we are, and always will be.
His love of music made us memorise the Beatles lyrics long before we could stumble through "Our Father".
He instilled in us a yearning for excellence, because failure meant one thing: cleaning the toilets and picking up the fallen leaves from every tree he could think of from gatai to the pig sty. Simply put, he reminded us of what a shitty life it would be if we didn't study hard.
2. Dr. Leilua Faalii Aloaina, who - to this day reminds me I will always be a child. Until I tell him (again) I was married and he would look at me with shock, disdain and then the questions. In fact, Leilua is also convinced my mother is still 17. He used to call us at Lalovaea or Safua and do what we call "The Leilua Q and A". (the sessions that my brother Lale and sister CJ used to pull the phone off the wall for).
He is famous for being the caller that demands loudly "O ai lea ei le kelefogi?" followed by:
"O a kou mea o fai?" "O fea lou kiga?" "Oi! Ua sau le koeiga?" "E alu lou kiga i le maliu o....(fill in the dotted line)...ending with a 'Se, lou alelo!" And then he would arrive an hour later and ask all the same questions. And still be shocked with the responses.
But laughs aside, Leilua is someone I admire because he doesn't give a shit..about what people think (Much to his wife's absolute disgust).
Leilua is someone I can have a great conversation with, even in high school, when no one gave a damn what crass teens were saying. He listened, and he celebrated our small achievements. Always. I love him for that.
Sometimes, all you need is someone to stop and listen, and agree and tell you that your teacher is a indeed a pogaua.
Or that your uncle is a piece of shit. Or that you shouldn't care about others because you are the alo o Tuifiti and Taaloaalagi and whatever matai title was being contested at Tuasivi Lands and Titles Courts at the time.
3. Anthony Hopkins. Because he looks like a cool father type. And sometimes I wish I had a dad that could have come to school and kill the bullies and make couture dresses from their skins. Yes, I am weird. Thank You. You're welcome.
4. Our faifeau, Solomona. Because even though I have utter disgust for the riches of the church and its disregard for its struggling congregation, he let's me voice my frustrations and then shows me the extension to the house he decided to add, again.
Because he is open minded to criticism and doesn't fa'apa'u my ekalesia for my disrespect for the Ekalesia Faapotopotoga Kerisiano Samoa. He is also a peacemaker in our 3 sub-villages in times of disagreement (and there are plenty).
I respect him for being able to survive in the village since 1978 where most people didn't know how to spell their names and their idea of progress was stealing their neighbours maumaga.I love that he puts disorderly fools in their place by hopping on his quad bike and heading to the culprits homes and beating them senseless in front of their parents.
I respect him for strengthening our village and instilling the values of respect, faith and forbidding intermarriages within our villages (incestruous fakkas). He is also inspiring others to lose weight though early dawn jazz in front of the falesa followed by a hearty serving of koko alaisa..heh. Yes, our faifeau is cool that!

5. Poppa Jeff, who took me to RSA when I was 15 and gave me bourbon and coke because he's a cool old fart like that. I thank him for buying me a secndhand tv when I was at Uni. And who says very little because Nana Evo says everything for him. He is a cool guy like that. Cheers Jeff. Now chop that Heineken!

6. I really want to say Geoff Hoddinot here but I know he will be so offended at beng considered a old man. So I won't....coz he's around our age anyway. Duh!
Okay, I'm scratching the bo'om of the akoako here, so I wish all responsible fathers an awesome day.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The RSE study got a wee mention (:

meaning that ...yay! now more than 5 people have read that chic's research...or rather, snippets of it.

Impacts of the Recognied Sasonal Employer Scheme on the Labour Force in Rural Samoa: A Pilot Study: undertaking a preliminary exploration of the effects of such a scheme on the labour force in Samoa.


So the whole time we've been here, I have been scouring the shops for a nice pair of espadrilles, because its this area when it started and the new ones are ....stunners. I failed. Everything was bloody dear. Nothing less than 70 euro...well, there were but not nice.
Well, today in Briancon, Mayoune and I found a quaint wee shop that exported them to the boutique shops in Milan, Florida, NewYork and Tokyo...the lady was vedy nice and said she had excess pairs from a cancelled order I got a delectable pair for 15 euro baby....wooohoooo!
ahhhh-small victories are worth telling, especially for those with little monero (:

the journey pans way way out and I am slowly seeing the end

Pardon the absence,
We have left the big hot smoke and headed for the Alpes (Serre Chevalier).
After basking in the heat the first 4 weeks, I was beginning to get "over" Marseille and waking up to the same view of Chateau D'if (and I can see Ulalei and Nets going: You ungrateful bitch you, merci beau...pu)
On our last night, I took the tamariki and went to the only other Samoan I know's house for a sleepover.
She made us....OKA! and it just took me straight back to Lalomalover on a Sunday afternoon.
Great stuff!
So between us, we have 4 littlies, 3 coconut froggy girls and 1 polo.
Great fun having a tak fest over oka, rose, and everything in between - stopping every now and then to yell and reprimand the little frenchies in the only way they know:
"E po ou maka? Moemimimi!"
Next day, we head off to have lunch, and we inhaled pizza because they make it sooooo good here.
BAck at home, TORT was deliriously panicking because we did not pack a thing despite leaving the house for a good 3 weeks.
Early Monday morning, we chucked the littlies in the car and off we drove,...or rather, off Frenchie drove while we three resumed sleeping.
One toilet stop and 3 hours later, we were at the chalet, the air had cooled, and that icky summer heat had dissipated.....fresh, crisp and wow - now I appreciate why half the people we know migrate here in the summer.
The others have been here for 2 weeks now. We got the big room. Next to a small stream and gorgeous views of the mountains....with a bit of snow coating the summit....vedy nice.

ANyhow, each day has been an adventure. We pack our bags with food and off we go to a lake or river nearby, with the kids in tow. Despite eating tons since being here, we have done walks everywhere...we would park the cars in one small village and then walk along the river to the next.(to eat crepes:)
At the lake, we stopped at one end then spent the afternoon walking, picking berries and champignons for dinner.
The kids are permanently outside, and it is fantastic because they are totally low on batteries when we return to the chalet....except, the Maeva who is still wide awake at 11pm - oh my god I want to strangle her, she had been a royal pain in the evenings.
Today's picnic was up at the highest point in Serre Chevalier. We took the ski lifts up while some (crazy Fredo and 3 friends) biked to the summit. Crazy fakkas I tell ya.
Tuif has been an absolute stunner that whinning, no dramas...just crusising, very laka to everyone (BIG FAT LIKE)....except this morning when he was a bit feverish....nothing pamol, boobie and sleep can't fix. One hopes (:

k, ....on the plus size, having no internet meant I did lots of writing in word docs and modifying pics and deleting unnecesary ones bu more importantly, having no need for internet at, i love it.

sorry for the blabbering, i'm not putting much thought in this so maybe check back in a month when I am back home (:

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Boob Job

For the last few weeks, we (me, Frenchy and the TIna O le Tamaloa, now called Tolt) have been working towards weaning my son off my amazing breastmilk.
(Sorry latecomers, this blogger is usually overdozed with overconfidence :)
This is so that we could travel without Tuifiti.
It all sounds simple but it is not.
The boy was adamant that his mama's supply is best (smart kid i tell ya!)
At the same time, we are moving around a lot, kaa kaa solo a lot and not much time to fully do a routine.
Last week, as I laid in bed at 3am breastfeeding him discreetly, I realised dragging my boy through Milan-Mondsee and back was going to ruin my holiday experience.
So I decided to commit to the bottle challenge.
Each time he was due for a feed, I expressed and stored in the fridge.
Frenchy or Tolt were then able to give him the bottle.
All went well, he is now able to latch correctly and all in regular periods.
Last nite, we went to my samoan friend here, along with my bag of sterilisers, breast pumps, tubs of milk, suckers and all thngs milky.
Frenhy wnt to watch Mrseille vs Schaux  - and get high with his rugby mates like back in 1963, lol.
Anyhow, as I am sitting in my friend's house, the Tuif cries.
My natural instinct takes over and I flip out my right, to which the Tuif immediately suctions.
I only click AFTER the feed that I should'a given him the bottle. But ah well. Too bad.
Now he is well used to the bottle, I feel a bit sad, I tell the Tolt this evening that the night feed will be from the source.
She shakes her head disgustedly and I walk off uncaringly.
I am NOT prepared to surrender my breastfeeding time with my boy. I can't explain it properly but I love the connection we have and therefore, I will resume milk production from here on.
Thank you for your coming.
manuia le vaiaso

Saturday, August 06, 2011

the holiday so far...

Last week was an adventure in itself, with plenty of island flavours converged in the South of Falagi for the Inargural Samoa Women's Convention on the Rights of the Manu Samoa's RWC campaign strategy..really, just go to Ulalei's blog for the outcomes of this Convention, heh.
Oh, and my bestie from uni, Kav was a guest presenter at this meeting.

At Notre Dame de la Garde...(but Pai had to return to work and Mele had to prep for another trip)

 Welcoming the Shuffling Fijian at St Charles....Marseille is never the same after her arrival, (:

 Every now and then, I remembered the children

 Aside from the breeeediful keo, this is the few moments when we had  Geneva decorations, thankz Ulalei

 VIP Corner...auuuuuu, Isa!

First Lunch at Nani's

 the panipopos from Madam Nets of DXB...made with love and prenty coconut cream

 A healthy Samoan lunch, Siufaga Gourmet Sapasui and Arice, with coke. very Samoan indeed.

One more day in Marseille before we head off to Serre Chevalier for 8 days and then off to Austria.
We are gonna drive to Milan, have a lookie around and onto Mondsee - we're leaving Tuifiti with Nani Jacqui and take MMoelagi this time.
Speaking of Tuif, he is now on the bottle - two feeds per day from my expressed goodness and two from modicre formula. This is to prepare him for the separation while we kaakaa to Italy/Austria.
He prefers Mama's milk, because he told me himself....(yeah coz my 6 month old now talks and cooks for himself, right-:o).