Saturday, January 31, 2015

Yay!!! We made the Top 10 in the world in....Oh freckenswine, nevermind.

We need to talk. (Ioe, you, me, and our corned beef)
And its not about climate change or the is this:

10 Most Obese Nations (%)

American Samoa 74.6
Nauru 71.1
Cook Islands 63.4
Tokelau 63.4
Tonga 57.6
Samoa 54.1
Palau 48.9
Kiribati 46
Marshall Isalnds 45.4
Kuwait 42

Let's face it, we have a big problem.

....and before you get defensive and say BMI measurements aren't fair and all that, ....get this, 

Okay - so I am no saint, being the God fearing, mamoe eating, mayonnaise loving islander that I really am, but my goodness, this calls for a major wake up (from our sunday afternoon snooze after to'ona'i of povi masima.

- It reminds me of working for a health provider and we visited churches to run demonstrations and do cooking classes with the aulotu - we would measure the fat content of pisupo, learn to read labels on cans, and do an exercise session.
At the end of EACH of the sessions, we were invited to sit down and have a meal with the church leaders....the food was always always the 

What is very sad where I live is the number of small Pacific children who are obese. 

It's just so tragic ---- and sad, to see a little child having a poor start in life and who will grow to emulate and learn from those they love, and an unhealthy relationship with food. Aue.

It's all so sad and frustrating. 

Why do we get fat faster?
1. We enjoy eating. 
2. The food we enjoy eating is higher in fat, carbohydrates and sugary content.
3, Our societal setup revolves around community and being together and sharing. When this happens, we eat. 
4. We are big fakkas anyway, so eating is err, what we like to do to sustain our big frames.
5. Being fat has become the norm (and no fucken kidding, I mean, imagine being a slim American Samoan (74.6% of the population are obese )...I bet they would feel left out!
6. Exercise is not part of our daily lives on the most part. There's exceptions of course, case in point: Le Mamea Sefulu Ioane who walks every morning, and Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese who walks a lot. And the marathon gentlemen. And Koko from my village.
7. We have a learned culture of 'bigger is better" ---the more food you give, the more generous and loving you are. The more pigs you kill for your church building's faaulufalega, the more blessings ye shall receive.
8. We were introduced to bad foods by parangs and then we have continued to eat these food long after we became independent.
9. We don't have enough role models who are healthy and fit.
and last but definitely not the least:
10. Many of us, including our leaders, do not recognize that we have a problem. We don't realize the enormity of this 'tragedy' because we are so busy worrying about climate change. Poverty. And our next plate of fried chicken and taro with coconut cream.

Coconut Oil Phenomena
In the last few years, virgin coconut oil has become this so called super food, celebrated all over the world. 
Coconuts which are falling onto the overgrown plantations all over the place.
Every island in the Pacific celebrates the coconut tree - considered the tree of life for its many uses,....but now, we harvest and bottle this now into pretty jars destined for a first world country to be sold for seven times the price (case in point, coconut yogurt in Christchurch).
And are "we" making the most of these amazing natural foods available to us? Nope.
Tracy Berno of Lincoln and Robert Oliver,(chef) are doing something amazing in this area - promoting the use of local produce in the Pacific.

E toe fa'aauau pea.(To be Continued).

eh, ia ua lava ga kala ae se'i o'u alu e ai sa'u falai moa lale ua vela mai.

malo le eva,.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Have you ever heard the Samoan National Anthem sung? ....well,

You have not heard this version from the netball game 2 days ago:


Monday, January 12, 2015

my mom has been home for a while now., and man, she is driving me through the walls and down the gutter with these habits:

I'd ask: "Mom, do you want some breakfast/lunch/whatever?" ...Response, "Eh, lava ga meaai, i'm not hungry"

30 mins later "a'o se meaai foi se, ua ka mole"

Then at EVERY MEAL...."that is far too much food, kua kou faama'umau mea'ai se"....shortly thereafter, all food goneski.

and then there's the "who took my perfume?" (recovers it in the purse which is in the handbag that is inside the toilet bag in her carry on tugged away in her 3rd suitcase).

Aside from those small irritations, I love my mom. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

My non-resolutions

When I was growing up, my last 2 hours of the year was spent inside our EFKS church, head bowed, thinking and willing myself to do better, be better and excel in the year ahead. I set myself these mental goals: Do well in school, get a boyfriend (jokes), get a boyfriend without my brother and uncle and mom knowing (not a joke),  be nice, be kind to others, help others, go places, do well, make my granma proud and do well. 
Then, we as a congregation would hug each other and be very civil  and promise to be better people.
By mid January, that sense of betterness slowly seeps into bitterness.
Friendliness becomes angriness and and and...ah well, you know, reality hits. 
Our sense of renewal and hope and change evaporates as the months bear on us - or rather, me.

And so I lost faith in such things as resolutions and setting goals in a one off silently praying posit. 
I needed to have my goals set ALL the time and not when egged on or facing the quilt trip stare of my mother.

Fast forward to today and I am grateful that I've achieved everything I needed to achieve when I was 17.
I have a family that loves me (most of the time haha) and a family I love (most of the time), everything else is an added bonus, yay.

So while I didn't bow my head in contemplation on NYE, I have spent the last few days reassessing my ongoing goals:

- I want to continue spending more time with my family, especially my babies. But I need to do more to make this happen. 
- I will continue to drink wine in moderation, but I accept that every now and then, I will over indulge and fall off my seat or hug a toilet at some point this year
- I will do my best to be good to people and see the good in people, even in trying times, because being mean is not good for my complexion.
- I will continue to laugh and be a clown and surround myself around the great people who are in my life now - because each one has contributed to my wellbeing, my sanity and also my insanity. Thank You. Sometimes. 
- I will continue to try and think before I speak. Because as my epld, uni and pilot colleagues will attest to, I fail at this spectacularly. In front of people.  My thoughts are excellent and the stuff of a Nobel Prize, but when the words fall out -  oi aue. 

And Lastly, here is my usual advice for you all, because I am full of brilliant advice which I personally don't follow:

1. Don't take advice from people. Like me. 
2. Smile, smile, treat others as you'd want them to treat you. 
3. Get off social media every now and then and live a little. a lot. 
4. Be happy in the skin you're in, and celebrate the small victories. We are constantly bombarded with images and stories of brilliance and shallow 'beauty' and wealth, yet - all around us is - beauty. Be grateful for what we have. 
6. And lastly, for the women, be real with your expectations, it is now very very unlikely that you'll wake up with Channing Tatum between your shapely legs while you gaze up at a pohutukawa tree or to the men, to have Megan Fox wake up you wearing only her jandals and a tray of pancakes, corned beef and whipped cream. But - that's why I leave you with my last priceless tip: Keep dreaming.