Saturday, March 30, 2013

Justice is a wonderful thing...

Red Cross ruling

E le falala fua se niu., fai aku ai fo'i.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Want some Pasifika inspiration?

Follow Sia Figiel's journey on Felatusi (:
But be prepared, she is not your lovey dovey soothing inspirational type but more of a "kick up the ass and do something about it" sorta way.
Just what a Lot of us need:
Thank you Sia Figiel for sharing your journey, I am learning so much about the evils of diabetes and in awe at how driven and 'straight-up' you are about the issues...seki a!

Today's updates:

So....HELLA crying!!! Ocean pouring. Flooding the halls of the West Valley Public Library! A nice woman came up to me and said, Sweetheart, are you ok? I heard you sobbing. Her son looked at me with concern also in his eyes. Are you ready? I went in this morning to see my doctor. He was on sabbatical (didn't know docs took these, but whateva). Anyways, a Dr. S was in his place and she looked at my chart and started beaming at my progress. I have consistently maintained a blood pressure of 122/74 over the last 5 months. Which she thought was ORsome and congratulated me on my weightloss. Now. I've been so caught up with my School Policy Translation that I'd forgotten to go in for my Blood tests. So right after she examined me. Did that test they do on feet and found that I could still feel but she did warn that with nerve damage, it can not be reversed. So, she told me to continue what I was doing and gave me a slip for the that I could check my A1C and Kidney Functions. Went down to Labs, took them at 11.30 and came straight to the library afterwards. It was at 4.30 that the phone rang. Dr. S says, are you sitting down? I'm like ummmm yeah? She goes girl, your A1C in November was 11.5. That's bad. Your A1C today is 7.1. Your kidneys are functioning normally. And you can jump up and down now because I am so so so (sic) proud of you girl! Dayam. I had to leave the chair where I was sitting...go to the Mystery/Fiction section and started balling. Like hella balling. And that's when that nice lady came up to me. When I told her what was happening, she goes: Well, darling. Those are tears of joy! Come here. You need you a hug girl! I have worked my ass off to get these results. So I know for a fact, that when you put your mind, heart and soul into your own healing, it can happen. It SO can happen. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Now, I think I'm wearing my cape too. Hmmm don't trust those kids throwing it in the laundry. So I'm flying off home so that Debs can pick me up for a session at Gold's! BTW, the woman that hugged me, just left. Congratulations again, she says. Congratulations. And that's the latest from Warrior/Malaetoa Central. Shine bright like a diamond y'all. Now, less go kick some okoles brada!

The only other event in my life that equals todays fabulousness was when my editor, Tony Murrow of Pasifika Press, told me to sit down. ( Why do people always say that to me? Sit down Sia..we gotta tell you something...honestly!). Anyways, Tony told Mary the secretary to walk backwards and for me to sit down. Hmmmm....Then he proceeded to say, We've got some news from London. Where We Once Belonged has won the Best First Book for the South East Asia - Soiuth Pacific region of the Commonwealth Writer's Prize. Tony is a 100lbs pakeha. I think I must have lifted him up and threw him in the air while balling! And while the four of us were all in joyous noise. With Mary stepping forward with the most beautiful bouquet of gorgeous spring flowers I had eva laid eyes on. I had to tell someone. You know how we are. I ran across the street to where brada Mua Pua-Strickson was teaching a Creative Writing class and lifted him up in joyful noise. And when he hugged me and said Malo suga! That's when I knew, we knew. You know? Thank you all. Like everything here at Malaetoa Central, this is not my victory alone. This is ours! YayA! A-huh! Doin' the gangum style! Whop..Op..Op..Op..Op!....Gym Toime!!!!!!

Please help a friend.

Please help Mona by donating through HopeMob. She has been diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer and undergoes surgery today. ):
She is a beautiful person who you would hear long before you see her. (:
She has a big heart, a bigger personality, a hearty laugh, a mean as sense of humour and such a positive happy go lucky sorta person.
I am struggling to write this in a compassionate way because she will probably go through this and laugh through it and make fun of me for writing all this and for being one of her gazillion fans.
But in all seriousness, please support this worthy cause for someone who has the world to give and more.
Go Team Mona! O ou mama na and we are thinking of you today.

To donate:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuiga at Polyfest

So after a month of mean people online, I came across an image that reduced me to tears.
Happy reflective relieved reassuring Viia le Alii kind of tears, 
When I see this, I am reminded of why I started this tuiga journey
I love the joy, the celebration and fanfare that comes with wearing one and being surrounding by your loved ones and thank you, to Moana for wearing this with pride and class and beauty.

Image copied without permission off SuaWilliam Sio's Facebook page belonging to Lealaiauloto Elsie Ropati.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pasifika Education and the hunger to succeed.

This morning, we were in an assembly at a local high school. 
We were discussing how students can be prepared for tertiary studies.
Several were chatting without a care in the world, but stopped when the Career Adviser asserted:

"Wake up and smell the roses because at the rate you're going, the roses are. Dead"

Needless to say, no one else spoke.

Sometimes, one needs to get tough to get a response.

This is also a reminder that we can't all be enthusiastic and interactive and fun, because no one is going to walk into a Uni lecture or onto a construction site or workplace and get amused and entertained. 
I find that many students here are very carefree and laid back about studying and getting somewhere. 
Where I come from, we had no other option, it was either Education or nothing. 
This was drummed into our heads from day one, and every chance to get ahead was not taken lightly.
I look around me most days and think. "Wow, these kids are darned lucky, they had a smorgasbord of options, support, resources and care thrown their way, yet they choose to skip hop and step over it, what a waste of opportunity".
What is the difference?
I don't have the answers but I feel that they are not as desperate or as hungry for success or achievement.
They are not as driven because they know there is someone to catch them when they fall.
Eh, kailo se, .....
But here's what I feel does not work:
-Making Pacific students think they are victims and that the world is against them.
Rather, make them know that they have the same chances as any other child of any ethnicity in New Zealand. 
If someone told me in Year 13 I was a victim and that the system was made to go against me, I will just hate on the system and think "why bother, the odds are stacked against me" breeds negativity, but I guess that's just the Year 13 me. 

So if you're a Pasifika student reading this:


Thank You,
Goddess of Fuarose

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Domestic problems

If you have read my blog before, you would know that
1: I'm amazing
2: I'm a Goddess (meaning I can also see you rolling your eyes with disgust from here, stop it).
3: I'm spe'th'ial.
but what you don't know about me is:

I can't wind a f@:.&?/ bobbin. 
And before you say, Google it...
I have.
I googled it, Youtubed it and followed everything the smug domestic sewing superstar bitches say in the YouTube you should do.
Argh......I have to finish the Tinkerbell costume for Moelagi before 11 am tomorrow or she will turn into a grumpy piece of shat. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Too many professionals, not enough slaves.

So, this is a vent-a-thon. Feel free to walk away now and remain positive.

Sometimes, I feel that Samoans are the worse critics around, 
which is fine, but most of the time, I am sad that for many, that is it,
Just criticize but not prepared to give ideas, help and provide constructive criticism.

Example: A group are asked to translate a document, NOBODY does it.
5 weeks ago, I saw the deadline looming and offered to do it. 
I sent it to the group and asked everyone to read through and please change/delete/improve.
Only 2 people did it. Thank you!
Nekk minut, it goes beyond our small group and suddenly, EVERYONE is a professor of the Samoan language and questioning the terms and structure and so forth.
And in my head I am thinking, I should have inserted this as a final line:

"Ga fai aku lava kou ufa e fa'aliliu le pepa ae le faamaga mai se isi ae o lea ua kou fia Falealili fua ma fia aia mai i luma o kagaka? ....Aikakaaaaae"

Vent-athon over.

Have a wonderful week everyone and surround yourselves with people who challenge you, inspire you, and not those who just criticize criticize and criticize. 

Thank you 

Goddess of Lost in translation

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A new Pacific author, new book "Illumine Her"

Illumine Her, by Sieni A.M

I just bought this on Amazon, $2.99 at the moment.

Looking forward to reading it, and congratulations Sieni on this achievement.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The village that was her,

Every now and then, 
I get the message from my relatives or other villagers about an old person from our village who has left this life.
And despite having no communication with the person or connection in recent years, I feel shattered and sad because that person represents the village that I love and hold dear to my heart.
She is village to me,
And my memories of the village revolve strongly around the old people that gave it meaning and soul and noise and community.
But most of all, they gave my village something immeasurable and powerful,
Mana in that they were the strength, the constant and the history, which no young person can replicate.
Today is a sad day for my village,
We cannot retain her/his/their immense knowledge of the place we call home.,
Nor their understanding of our tuaoi and where boundaries lie,
They take with them their wisdom and their humility, the very things that we struggle to attain early on in life.
For this particular woman, she is the few of my grandmother's generation, who were my constant as a child. 
She was small in stature but a giant with her generosity, caring smile and heart.
She carried a basket of hibiscus in the morning, to make floral arrangements for the house. 
She was sincere and adoring of the children (me and Lagipoiva to be exact because we used to invite ourselves to her home when their meals were served...silly children!).
She let us pick mangoes and apu (the ones that your ofu gets ruined when the sap gets on it) from the tree by her house.
She used to visit my grandmother and sit for hours at the old fale talking, praying, singing and listening to 2AP.
She was a member of the aualuma, the church, her own immediate family.
But more so, she was the village to me,
Ia Manuia lau malaga i le lagi 
Faaopeaga I'amua Ah Ching
Image copied from her granddaughter Lagituli Tuupo Levaula's Facebook page. Thanks Lagi (:  

Monday, March 11, 2013

O se fa'asa'oga faamolemole

Last week, I saw a tuiga image on a design made for a group.
The image was of a Tuiga I made.
Naturally, I was confused, because I made it and someone else is claiming it as theirs....but as you would have it, I got burnt for even asking, and I got called several unpleasant things on facebook and in private messages.
So here is the explanation from the graphic designer from Amelika Samoa who 'created' that image below:
Hello there,
I am so sorry for the inconvenience this humble designer may have caused you. In true and honest words, I did not take a single picture from your Tuigas to make the Tuiga presented in the design.

If you look closely, the Tuiga is a little cartoonish. This is what we designers call a "vector design". I order to make a vector design, we draw the picture from scratch. Using basic shapes and colors until we make what we want. I will be honest with you though, I did look up the term tuiga on google, but I found hundreds of pictures. But when I do this, it is only to capture a simple idea. Like for example, by searching up Tuiga, i learned that:

the basic colors of the Tuiga are red and and brow(for the fala)
that the tuiga always have either a circle or a diamon as jewelry to make it look nice.
these are some of the ideas I picked up by searching up the term "Tuiga" on google.

So maybe I came across a picture that might have been yours, and it got stuck in my head, but I assure you the tuiga in the design is not a "copy and paste" tuiga.
Ma lo'u loto maualalo lava, I say again that the Tuiga in the design is not from your gallery.

I really hop this resolves this.
I will give this to you tho', since you claim that it might be yours, I am willing to change the design free of charge for *******, and do another Tuiga for the design. It will take me some time (and i'm not getting paid for it) but to keep the peace, I am willing.

'O le filemu 'o le 'auala sili lava lea. :)

So jut let me know, and I will get down to it asap .
I am so sorry again if this design has caused you any trouble.

Thank you so much for putting your time out to sort this out, because I believe that this had the potential to get out of hand, but you decided for it not to. :)
Hope to hear from you soon.

'Ia manuia lava toega 'o le aso.

(I then sent him the image that I took and the fact that his imaginary creation was a cut and paste of my image, but, I told him I didn't have time to waste on all this, so whatever, forget about it and move on. While he is a sincere apologetic person on private messages, he was NOT in the general as far as everyone was concerned, he was the champ and I'm the deceitful person claiming what's not mine, and still i continued to get hate mail):

They are identical ! This is interesting.

But I myself can spot big differences from this and my design.

and I did not use photoshop to make the design, I used Illustrator.
Although you do have a point. I admire your love for the culture.

You have the right to accuse me of so. Humbly, I will not fight this. I'd rather save everyone's precious energy and time, and make a new design. Maybe this time i'll record myself and how I come up with the art that I do. :)

Thank you again for your time. You are right, your tuigas are beautiful. My bestfriend's mom (In Fagasa) does this for a living also. Such talent.
Fa'amanuia atu Le Ali'i ia te 'oe ma lau taleni fa'apitoa.

My final message to the graphic designer (again, ongoing angry messages coming thru):
Hi K**** L** Y***,
They are so identical that even the feathers blocking the left stick matches your creation, as well as the shells, and the hair on the please stop playing victim on the comments and apologise to(the person who bought the design) ****** about the fact that you have used my shame in admitting bro....and FYI, I am getting hate mail all because you continue to deny what you have done.

Okay, I've said my part, thank you and any more angry messages, please email to

The tuiga I made with my two hands in 2012, but hey, I'm just making stuff up...remember? ):

Friday, March 01, 2013

Rediscovering our childhood books.

When we were in Savaii in December, I spent a day going through our old books (well, and through all the drawers, cupboards etc).
I found so many from when we were younger- some from primary school, my siblings exercise books and books that guests had donated to our library.
Many of these books formed a lot of our understanding about lots of things.

Like that Teen book which my older sibling first learned about sex.
But it had things like "Have a talk with your family about these issues and they will be able to discuss this with you" This author clearly has not met my uncle, or the rest of my family for that matter.
The whole sex discussion would have gone like this:
Me: "Hi Uncle, I want to know about what se......"
Sudden back-hand to the chin, girl slams into the wall and sex talk comes to an abrupt end:
 "Ia tatou tatalo....Ua soona olioli nei"

We all had a wee shock with the Red Cross Manual which had illustrations of how to help a mother in labour....I remember thinking, WTF! a baby comes out of ttthat?

Mom helped the team from National Geographic when they came to Samoa in the 80s, she asks them for any books to be sent to us. We own a comprehensive Encyclopedia set and as we grew older, lots of the village kids used it too.

American States
I am not sure if this is also a National Geographic gift but for some reason, we have a set of books about every American state, what each is well known for, history, geography, economy etc,.
Great books to have a leaf through when one's england was a little err, nonexistent.

Foreign Books
Nothing pissed me off more than finding books by well known authors but all in German, French, Spanish or where-ever the guest came from.

Small Islands Big Issue/-Conservation - Environment -Mangroves-SIDS-NGOs-Red Cross-Eco-tourism
 From all those conferences Mom attends, wow - we really did get exposed to these early.

Song Dedication Books
 Okay, so my older sisters were the queens of these, esp the eldest....a book with all the lyrics of the songs and cut outs of Cindy Lauper, hahahah....and lots of sayings and dedications to her besties, auuuuu...aikakae!
This was the era before digital and was tuning into the radio and memorizing the lyrics and if you had a tape recorder, then it was press play and stop, copy words, rewind, replay....tape get tangled, open and fix tangle and resume copying.
Oh my lord this is funny.

Bible belonging to little sister 
 We all owned a Bible each and on the front and back pages, it was littered with encouraging messages from friends. The one I found belonged to my lil sister when she was in Samoa College Hostel. Funny messages there too...and lots of 'gangs'...when several friends create groups after their initials....fefe e i le au ai suavai! haha.
As an aside, we used to take photos in our Bibles so we could pass it around when our heads were bowed in prayer at church....I remember the show offs with the pics of their "cousin in America" ...even though they have no idea who the person is.  choohooo!

Okay, that's enough, I am shaming my siblings enough as it is, but in my defence, some of them deserve it because they are posting very unflattering images of my highness on bookfacials. Kae.

The Panty Thief

There's a boy in my village 
Who likes to sniff panties. 
Anything that touches the body of a woman. 
His name is Ulia. 
Why do I know this?
Because everybody knows. And that means someone told somebody who told nobody who then told me. 
Ulia therefore, is a panty sniffer.
We taunt him so and he throws rocks at us for saying so.
But why in the world will he lie, when Moaga  saw him with her own two eyes running off with her panties one evening?
Why would anyone want to steal Moaga's panties that are the size of a mature sting ray?
I really don't know why
But I want to find out because I'm missing a few from the line.