Wednesday, January 27, 2016

my sewing machine is operational again,

thus my blog absence.

Here's a lil fagogo about the sewing machine struggle-nation.

My mother sews like a bawse, or rather, like a 11 year old Bangladeshi. She is brilliant.
I blogged before about how I was a nightmare diva when she sewed us our dresses for White Sunday.
Makua'i faigaka lava o a'u designs ga I lo'u ulu I la aso.
Anyhow, fast forward to now and my 8 yo has turned out to be a mini me to my mother.
She sketches her dream design on paper, coloured even and then asks me to sew it.
Here's the problem, my sewing qualifications is like, non-existent.
I did a year with Yuri at Logoipulotu and that was it.
Then the rest of the time, I've done things with mom helping or her cutting while I sewed.
Otherwise, I am not good at it.

But in the last two years, I've had NO choice but to learn. Mom is busy and when she's home, she is busy on the solitaire lol.

One of my grand goals, aside from getting a boob job, is to enrol in a sewing course.

But for now, yours truly will just struggle along the way....

The weight of the Australian Dream

This speech my Stan Grant went viral in the lead up to Australia Day this year.

Have a watch, listen:

It is a beautifully presented perspective and worldwide that white Australia tries to sweep under the mat.

Friday, January 22, 2016

My brada demonstrating how to do a umu

Friday, January 15, 2016

MUST READ: Sex Lives of Cannibals

I keep forgetting to recommend this intriguing read,
People who will love this book would be:
Pacific islanders, those who are into anthropology, languages, travel, atolls,
those who love a good yarn.
smart people
strange people and people who love reading books that are memorable.

Copied off Amazon:

At the age of twenty-six, Maarten Troost—who had been pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock of life by racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs—decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better.

The Sex Lives of Cannibals tells the hilarious story of what happens when Troost discovers that Tarawa is not the island paradise he dreamed of. Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles through relentless, stifling heat, a variety of deadly bacteria, polluted seas, toxic fish—all in a country where the only music to be heard for miles around is “La Macarena.” He and his stalwart girlfriend Sylvia spend the next two years battling incompetent government officials, alarmingly large critters, erratic electricity, and a paucity of food options (including the Great Beer Crisis); and contending with a bizarre cast of local characters, including “Half-Dead Fred” and the self-proclaimed Poet Laureate of Tarawa (a British drunkard who’s never written a poem in his life).

With The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Maarten Troost has delivered one of the most original, rip-roaringly funny travelogues in years—one that will leave you thankful for staples of American civilization such as coffee, regular showers, and tabloid news, and that will provide the ultimate vicarious adventure.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"The risk of relying on stakeholder engagemment for the achievement of sustainability"

E. Collins, my former supervisor wrote the above paper / journal article.

It is one of the most influential pieces of writing in my work to date.

Personal reflection

I find that when it come to consultation process involving Pacific people in Samoa and NZ, we follow the belief/process that we need to consult with communities.
That those communities' views are valuable in informing the work we do.
BUT, what if, the consulted community's focus is about guarding or retaining or controlling power for the benefit of those in power? and what if their motive is not in favour of sustainable outcomes?
Therein lies the problem with relying on stakeholder engagement.
And another obvious problem is that business will choose to hear/use the answers they already want to hear. Just sayin'
bye Felicia

Friday, January 08, 2016

There is something sick about us.

there is something sick about (some of) my people

... one of those things is their nonchalance about caring for and the wellbeing of children.
We brag about children as our blessings from God and whatnot, but it makes me sick when I see people of my ethnicity who: fail to care for their young.
Who look the other way when children are violated.
Who feign ignorance when children are left to roam uncared for.
...sent onto the streets to sell goods instead of being educated.
Children let into the water to drown while adults snooze and sizzle turkey tails on makeshift bbqs

There is something sickening about how we feed our children food that we know is unhealthy.
We buy them
Red Bull'
V Energy drinks
And fizz
And twisties - blinding ourselves to the fact that we set them up for a life of problems.
We do this. Knowingly.
We love them, while we feed them to death.

There is something vile about my people where our pride is bigger than our resources, our ability, strength and sustenance.
We thrive on our pride.
Our chests widen as our names and monetary donations are announced at the pulpit on sunday, but we shrug off having to pay for our children's school donation/fees/medical assistance.
'Proud to be Samoan' 'Samoa for Life' "I love the faasamoa" 'Samoan Pride' cluttering social media, table cloths, ie lavalavas, car boots and. Forearms.

There is something heart breaking about our perchance for glamour on social media while in reality, we are too cowardly to face our fears. To talk to someone. To communicate. To place our phones aside and see the world around us.

There is something sick about a people who appropriate culture to justify actions. "Leaga o a kakou ku ma agagu'u lava"
There is something sicker about an enthicity who cry foul about racism and hate, but who fail to look within themselves, within their own lotoifale for solutions to the problems they refuse to admit, exists.

There is something sick, about us.

Seasons Greetings and realities

It's been a chaotic fun filled, food overloaded and exciting season with family and dear friends............................


I don't know about you but I can't tolerate people going on and on and on about how amazing their holidays were. In fact, I mentally shoot people in the head when they pull out their photos and show their trip picture by picture. Really, I can't stay focussed through that.
I (mentally) get out a special weapon, a faga meme'i to be exact and zero in on the person's forehead while they're bragging. ....and the. BAM. End of holiday story.

So, Now that we're on the same page (or hopefully I've lost those above), lets get back to reality.
Some of my realities are as follows, and I assure you that this update will leave you smiling and realising you're not doing so bad after all):

1. The Holiday season for me brings out the gorilla in our familial relations. Something as simple as organising dinner ends up sounding like Kennedy negotiating with the Russians and Cubans to please please don't nuke us to smithereens. Somehow, emotions run high when we plan food. choohooo.  There are so many nuances and drama-filled moments that unfold long before dinner is served. Thankfully, while I love my family, I also don't live with everyone close by, so I always think ahead and mentally say, ...this will all be over soon.

2. The holiday season is the one time where I wish I was Chinese, and where I wish Mao Tse Tung invaded Samoa in 1920 and enforced a ONE, ok, maybe that's too harsh, a THREE (max)child policy.  Three children maximum per couple. And obviously enforce that work ethic which is largely absent. If this was done, we wouldn't have to stress about presents for a gazillion children. But, we are Samoan, e kiga lava le makiva ae oi aue....

3. Church. Donations. Nuff said.

4. Food wastage

5. Tis the season when it floods and cyclones rage in the Pacific, so we're sometimes on edge because Mom lives in the

6. Refer back to point 1, about familial relations and in particular, people who continually let others down. and i'll end my list here or else the familial standoff will overlap into February hahaha.

The highlight for me though,(and this is now your turn to mentally nuke me) is that I got to spend a lot of time with my mom.  She went to Geneva for a conference in Dec, but the clowns who organised her travel buggered up her travel itinerary in a grand way, as in she had no accommodation for some of the days and the route she got what the longest and most ridiculous times ever. When she got back, she was knackered, but after a few days of recuperating was back to her ol' self.
The last few weeks of having her home reminded me how damn grateful I am that she is around, and her knowledge and recollection of events - even in her early years are brilliant. My two loved having her over, and she had built a rather special relationship with our troublesome 4 and a half year old.
I (and mom) named him after an ancestor of our family, who many believe is half human/half aitu(ghost) and even today, despite my mom's Christian faith, believes that tis ancestor protects us. So when she is with our boy, she tells him all these stories about the namesake. The boy is already a ulavale and le kea kid as it is, but after hearing mom's stories, his eyes light up and he acts a little too much on the mimika side.
Anyhow, she's home again, along with the omanis - who are posting non-stop pics of their holiday at amanaki, we miss our little Manu who is the most sincere cheerful loving boy I know(opposite of the 2 older boys:)

Our next lot of family we are looking forward to are the Niueans who are coming over after the season of madness.

Followed by, the SamoAmericans who are visiting their uncle Obama. They also have with them the most precious new addition to our family, our beautiful Toa boy. Safe travels errybody!!