Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How a Samoan mother says "I Love You"

She send messages like:

"Donations or Colllection. Each Falekama: 8 of them will find $2000.
Love you all, Uma la'u card"

What should I aim to do well this year?

Auoi Kefefe, January is about to end and I have not figured out clearly what my short term goals are for 2013.
I hope this is not how the rest of the year will pan out, but let me lay out what I have in mind:

- Do 5 tuigas a month so I don't have to struggle trying to finish orders at the last minute (Starting Feb).
- Learn and speak better French (than my 5 year old).
- Speak more Samoan to the jungle children.(contradictory muchos).
- Get MMoelagi into an afterschool class near home.
- Get back in touch with research interest, labour, sustainable business, cultural adaptation to climate change.
- Professional development: do a refresher Economics paper because I am seeing blanks after 3 years away.
- Do sometime to volunteer my time, but make sure it benefits me as well (because I'm a selfish human being Nuff said.), like Oxfam, InnovateChange, SBN, Econ policy, whatever.
- Lani Wendt Young is encouraging us all to write our own stories.,...and gawd, I have a collections of stories at home but most of these stories are not very appropriate, haha,,,,so I will come back to this soon. 

Now, what am I good at?

- Talking
- Telling fagogos
- Eating
- Making crafts
- Inspiring young people
- Networking
- Looking pretty
OMG I'm friggin' amazing....screw these plans, I'm AMAZING!

Good bye, 

Goddess of Too-sure.

But if you have any suggestions about helping me be more amazing, or be less 'too sure fia kanak' please let me know, comment or email me at jtiatia at. gmail dot com.


I was sitting with a friend yesterday afternoon, under a shady pohutukawa tree, away from the hot sun. 
We, drinking white wine in moderation and glancing at the children occasionally.
They, playing and eating watermelons and sand. 
Every now and then, we would gather up the energy to reach across the mat to open the cooler/esky/chilly bin.
And refill our cups discreetly. 
We, started talking about things and this and that.
She, started whining about the corruption in Samoa and politics.
And while she spoke, I had a moment of clarity,..so much so, that I couldn't hear her anymore, 
I realised there and then that, 

"I really don't give a shit"

...and so I re-focused my attention to the wine, but no longer in moderation.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Immigration Blog by Leah Nagler Tuisavalalo

If you're in the United States of Amelika, check out Leah's Immigration blog.
She is awesome, she lived in Samoa and went to Samco (the other school you went to doesn't count thanks lol) and she may have information you or your second cousin brada from Vava'u or Samata will need....hopefully not when they're behind bars somewhere about to be teapoted to a tropical island. 
She currently specializes in all areas of immigration and nationality law, including deportation and removal defense, asylum, citizenship and naturalization, family-based immigration, immigrant and non-immigrant visas, consular processing, appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and post-conviction relief.
Some of the things she wrote about include:

I will be volunteering at the below event, giving consultations on DACA (Dreamers) and in some cases, on green card applications.  Call the number below to make an appointment!
 Citizenship/Immigration Clinic
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Office of Samoan Affairs
20715 So. Avalon Blvd, (2nd Floor)
Carson, CA 90745
Citizenship – DACA – One Parent National Law
FREE APALC Consultation Services!
For More Information & to make a consultation appointment:
(you will be provided with a list of documents to bring with you
during your appointment).
Call Kawen T. Young at 310-766-3196 or 310-516-8312

Celebrations, New Life and Alleluia!

Two days ago my beautiful sister (the youngest ) Lagipoiva had a baby of her own at Motootua and we are so so so so over the moon with joy. 
Malelega posted about it on her blog along with the songs from the TTC, which I just played in the office on loud speakers.
Naturally, you choohoooo and dance with joy.
We are laughing about it now but she should be called Stormchaser because Cyclone Gary hung around and then moved eastward before she graced this world with her presence. 
Congratulations my beautiful sister, and welcome to the world wee beaut.
We love you and can't wait to spoil you and feed you candy because you wont be allowed those in your house. which will be on a mountain. accessible only by rock climbing. and traversing a steep waterfall and grand canyon.
Fai aku ai fo'i.
Viia le Alii!!! 

Ai fo'i o se ......

I have this mental thing I do when I read the news,...I try to picture who they are talking about...and I have a funny feeling I am spot on with the ethnicities in following article.

Hint: Man ditches pregnant ex and starts anew with new girlfriend, pregnant ex gathers up her army of angry panties and head to home of ex to beat the shit out of the new loverrrr, she who doesn't take the beating lying down and so on and so forth.

Hmmm....that's a trick one aye....could be a  _ _ _ _ _ n or _ _ _ _ _ n.

Story on Stuff.co.nz: by Rob Kidd
Headline:  Pregnant woman stabbed in love triangle row
A pregnant woman was stabbed in the chest in South Auckland after a love triangle turned bad last night.

The incident unfolded after a woman and two female friends drove to her ex-partner's house in Weymouth to assault his new girlfriend, a police spokeswoman said.
When the trio arrived about 10.30pm, they found several people drinking and a confrontation developed in the driveway.
After threats of violence the woman's friends fled the Taitimu Dr property and she sought refuge in a neighbour's house, where she asked for police be called.
But before they could respond, the woman was dragged out of the house and back to the original property.
More people then came out of the house and a violent altercation took place, the spokeswoman said, which allegedly involved the pregnant girlfriend of the woman's ex-partner.
The woman who planned the attack was knocked to the ground and was struck on the face and body as she lay there.
During the melee, the woman took out a small serrated steak knife she had concealed and lunged upwards, stabbing the pregnant woman in the chest. the spokeswoman said.
She then fled to another neighbouring property but was followed by associates of the pregnant woman.
A second altercation took place, which involved punching and hair-pulling, the spokeswoman said.
The woman eventually fled and hid before police arrived and found her.
The pregnant woman was taken to Middlemore Hospital and though initial reports suggested she had gone into labour, a Counties Manukau District Health Board spokeswoman said that was not the case and both mother and unborn child were in a stable condition.
Police spoke to witnesses last night and a scene examination was completed.
Photos of the scene would be taken today and other residents on the street would be interviewed.

I surely hope that this Casanova is hung like a horse and Spartan warrior-like in bed because this melee (fukiga ulu/ kipiga kaliga / sasaega guku) is the stuff of legends.

Goddess of Stupid-women.-quit-fighting-over-non-commital-madafraccas.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The most toxic combination ever?

*Disclaimer: I'm making a generalisation here, which effectively includes me, myself and I as a Samoan, so if you're offended by it, I wasn't talking about you....i was talking about your cousin's sisters' brother's aunty.

*Samoans are born faikakala. Naturally.

We are just a nation of really inquisitive people, we are so inquisitive that we just can't leave each other alone.

Just think about it,....someone walks down the road, ...do you say "hello" and get back to your own life?

Absolutely not!

We ask..."O fea a e ke alu i ai?" Where are you going?

We ask this EVEN if we see them with a spear, fishing goggles and carrying a paddle....just in case they are going to church in their fishing gear.

We ask people how old they are.

We ask strangers if they are married.

We exclaim loudly to long lost relations that "Suga, ua oso lou kigo!" You have gone FAT!"

We just can't help it. It's in our coconut psyche.

But when we move into this online social gravy and apply this faikakala mentality, then we see real problems.

I think Twitter and Samoans is the most toxic combination ever.

Online forums and Samoans are the most demeaning form of faikakala.

*Samoans need to learn to keep some things private and understand some cardinal samoan rules:

- E o'o le vao, so choose your words wisely.

- E fai vae o kala, Stories have legs....so those legs will come back and dropkick you in the face later

- If its personal and sensitive issues, keep it to yourself....no one really gives a shit.

- If you want a real relationship, log off, get out of your pjs, have a shower, finish your schooling, get a job and live a real life outside of cyber-faakelewind-space.

- Think back, in 2012, how many hours you've spent online - what have you achieved out of it?

And do you want to commit the same hours in 2013 of time wasted on online shit that doesn't contribute positively to your life?

- Live more in reality and less in unsocial media spaces.

Thank you,

Goddess of Faikakala baad!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Samoan ghosts can travel

There are ghosts everywhere we go, they walk beside us.
They stroke our feet at night,
They scorned at our lack of care for their (non)-existence.
They slap us in the face when we don't respect.
Ghosts are around us. Ghosts make us sick just to punish us, but more so to send us a message. 
And the only people that can reveal that angry ghost and their message is a Samoan healer.

Now this is another spin off of the book I mentioned last week, but I'll just discuss something about ghosts in Samoa for today.

Did you know that Samoan ghosts can actually travel to overseas countries?
Eio....they can, I'm not sure if they travel economy or do the whole ghost time travel thing but the fact is, they do.
I say this because some people left Samoa thinking that they can leave their ghosts behind, only to get deadly sick in New Zealand, or Germany or Alaska because their ghost followed them there.
There is some reprieve in that there are now Samoan healers in many of these countries, but for the most part, you have to return to Samoa to face the music, with your ghost.
There are also friendly ghosts (spirits) phew!
I remember a friend of an ex-friend, who went to Lotofaga to spend the night at a good friend's home by the sea. 
Her friend who owned this majestic Samoan afolau casually mentioned over dinner that her family women tend to be around during the night, just to keep an eye over her, so don't be afraid, they might give her a fofo (massage).
Bless, they had just consumed copious amounts of red wine, so the comment fell on toxic ears at this point.
But during the night, she did notice two women by her bed,
Naturally, she just about shat her undies while she laid there frozen with fear, but recalled her friend's comments about them being friendly. 
One went to the one end of the bed and massaged her feet, the other, her head.
You are probably laughing about how this sound silly and unreal, but it is true.
She woke up refreshed and at peace, and continues to return to this place because she loves being around these calm and peaceful old ladies. 

I'm talking ghosts today because there is an entourage of people in Samoa today seeking reprieve from an ailment which they have decided is a ma'i Samoa. But in their particular case, I believe it ain't a ghost.
And NO fofo Samoa can heal this particular problem.
To save them the hassle of seeking more healers, here the message from the other side, telecast free by yours truly. This is a special I am running for today only, but hurry, limited slots left.

"Stop being bullies and walking all over other people. Particularly people who have done so much for you and yours. Think of the future and of peace. You can't take your glory and your riches to the grave. So brighten up, smile and have some manners. Throwing a tantrum aint going to make a damn difference. Think about your children and make sure they grow up in an environment where they are loved and respected by their families, not hated because of your actions. Best wishes from the other side"

There you have it folks, ...have a great day to you and your ghosts.

Goddess of Ghosts.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The role of the Samoan man is ..

Traditionally, the Samoan man had a very important role.

He was the protector of his sister (and of his mother And then his wife, ... In that order:)

So much so that it was accepted that a man will put his life in harms way to protect his sister, who is his covenant, his feagaiga.

When I think of the word feagaiga, I marvel at the depth of our language.

Feagaiga means to face, just picture two people facing each other.

It's a relationship, a balanced relationship.

When missionaries came to Samoa, they wrote in their journals interesting practices relating to this feagaiga.

John Williams wrote of women being carried on platforms and treated with utmost respect by the men around them.

(sigh- I am definitely born in the wrong era).

Central to this feagaiga is the va tapuai, the sacred space that ensures peace and harmony.

When you hear people say "Teu le va"(Protect the va) it means one thing, ...you have or are about to breach that sacred space.

Doing so will upset the va fealofai between you and those around you.

*Granted, the missionaries had to reign on our PO fiafia and take the feagaiga from us, giving it to their church servants instead and sending us to the kitchen. The nerve!

Now, before you roll your eyes and ask why I'm boring you with this munted Samoan fagogo, I actually have a point to make. (Alleluia).

Today, as we move so surely towards Palagi ideals and worldviews, it is of utmost importance to still keep hold of the values that assured peace and harmony for us and our loved ones.

I wish sometimes there was still this emphasis on the feagaiga between a sister and a brother.,

It makes me wonder, how so many Samoan women today would have benefitted from the protection of their brothers.

How many Samoan women have lost their mamalu and have become exposed to unfortunate situations because they are not malu, 'sheltered' by their brothers?

Something to think about.


Goddess without a Platform.

PS: I am not a historian, or a self proclaimed Samoan expert, so please don't take offence in my personal interpretations above. They are my interpretations. Faamagalo le sui pea iai se upu ua Sala. Amene,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Samoans get fat together

I stood in front of the unforgiving mirror and scorned at my added weight.
My ass has increased, but not in a JLo like of way,
No, in a Samoan sort of way, here there, everywhere.
Throw in the hips and the thighs,
Auoi kafefe, I have a lot of work to do before I can hits the catwalks of Milano this summer (in like, Never).
So I decided that today, would be the start of my health regime, ...nothing drastic, just eating healthy, exercise after work and going to sleep early, eating dinner earlier and reduce carbs.
I was in the right frame of mind, and spirit: I am on the right track. Wooohoooo!
Then the door opens and Aunty Evo noisily plonks her shopping on the table:
She's brought some breakfast: Panipopo, pagikeke and .....suafa'i (which I hate with a burning passion).
Now this is where I can confidently say that Samoans don't just get fat.
They like to get fat...TOGETHER with other Samoans.
I had these angry thoughts and tell Evo off that I am trying to have a healthy lifestyle.
She smiles and drops 2 panipopos on my plate "Eh, don't waste the food, these ones are really hot and dalicious, just have a bite".

...Goddess to Base: Healthy Mission aborted, Start tomorrow.   

Monday, January 14, 2013

Phone thief, reward for relevant information

A person stole my work phone in December during the holidays, she/he called Tonga and racked up $3000+ phone bill. The number most frequently called is +676 8896191 and an Auckland cell phone 0220638320. Also, 35051(Tonga) I will find this person. if you have any tongan contacts, please let me know, but in the meantime, I will publicize all the phone numbers shown and do what I need to do to FIND the thief, legal and otherwise.Thank you.

Angry Phone Goddess:

Click on this link to see the phone numbers, and more details about who they called. 

Other phone number dialed include:
021-2746431 (AUCKLAND)
022-0628320 (AUCKLAND)
If you have information, please email jtiatia@gmail.com, this matter has been referred to Police.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Samoa Jan 2013


Virgin Cove, Sa'anapu

On route to Sauniatu

Banyan recovers beautifully after Cyclone

Papapapaitai Falls now totally exposed with rockfall and new  streams on the sides...still stunning but a  bit more exposed.

Beach bum

Sauniatu Falls

Strawberry and Moelagi, best mates after 4 weeks

The Bucket leaks

As I was clearing the table of clutter from the holidays, I found an envelope, with scribble all over it.
I inspected it closer and discovered that Frenchy has been compiling a bucket list
The list had some of the things he's always wanted to do, like 
  • Skydiving
  • Marathon
  • Coast to coast
  • Rugby academy 
  • Sea Kayak fishing
  • mountain-biking
  • South America (we keep planning this but I got knocked up both times, reschedule)
  • Learn to play the ukulele
Then there was a line beneath the list,
Like so,

And then, the list continues: 
  • Barbie DVD
  • Breast pump (for CJ, rest assured)
  • swim nappies
  • Pamol
Oi aue,
Le eseesega la lega.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Im not gonna bathe, in the river

Last week, I found myself in Lalovaea, watching the stream in front of the house, now clogged up with breadfruit trees, banana stumps, debris and all other rubbish from the motherbitches upstream. Pardon the oratory lingo.
What pissed me off even more is the plastic foam (polystyrene) flowing through most likely from the Chinese construction group at Motootua Hospital....Im not hating the Chinese here, just making an uncertain accusation against the most likely culprits.
In any case, it was a mess and our wee ford in the front is now becoming clogged and the rubbish is an eye sore and beginning to stink.
Everyday, the rubbish is collected (plastics) but the next day more come through.
Anyhow, after a moment of angry thoughts, I had an epiphany (because I'm spethial, remember) and I got a rake and went to work trying to clear the ford.
I am not going down the road of certain good samaritans  from NZ who facebook themselves doing their great work and patting their own backs...No way.
But I will blog about it....I went to work (alleluia) and then all the men in the house came to help, with rakes and machetes and manpower.
Then I realised, they were more effective than me and so I supervised and collected loose (light) debris.
Then my mother came along and supervised me and the men, and then on the 3rd hour I asked myself 
"What was I thinking?"
This was so much easier back in high school, you just pay 8 year olds from down the road $2 each and they hopped in the water to clear it. (Despite none of them knowing how to swim, minor detail).
In any case, the river is flowing again through our madaken little bridge and now the chinese polystyrene and rubbish is flowing smoothly ...downstream, 

All is well in the universe for now,

River Goddess
 She's unhappy about the bridge after Cyclone Evan. Photo by Cherelle Jackson used without permission.

Latest Update: 13th Jan: The bridge is half gone from yesterday's flooding.
...on the bright side, .....errr,nevermind. 

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Savaii birthday celebrations, done. phew

Mom's birthday celebrations went as well as any samoan affair can go, full of laughter, food, noisy children, faiga lotus and a price tag...but otherwise, all went really well.
the children enjoyed playing under the mango tree, eating fruit and snacking on taro and whatever was given to them,.
Lots of hours spent at the pool, or beach or any other water hole we came across.
Savaii was not really affected by the cyclone, so the christmas spirit was still evident, volleyball nets struck and kakao games by the roadside.
now we're back to Apia, CJ is not far from her due date.
We are secretly hoping her births before we leave.
okay, not so secretly....we WANT her to have the baby while were here, No pressure at all.
Heres hoping we all have a healthy useful 2013.
Much love, 

Sunburnt Goddess.