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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Christmas Fun 2016

We had a lovely Christmas celebration here in Oman. In the morning we woke up to our boys excitement that Santa had arrived the night before. Everyone opened presents and played with them. After breakfast we proceeded to get food ready for friends who were joining us for Christmas lunch. We invited friends and for everyone to bring a plate. Alex, Mike and Koni prepared the umu in the backyard and they started cooking from 8am. We had taro, cassava, pork, lamb, chicken and beef cooked in the umu. The smell of the umu on Christmas day was reminiscent of home and knowing it's a special occasion when you smell that earthen cooking in the air.
I baked pavlova and coconut buns and made a salad and set up the place for our lunch. Everyone arrived with arms full of food. There was so much food. There was beef curry, prawn curry, potato gratin, cheese pie, more salads, tiramisu, trifle, cole slaw and all the meat from the umu. There was a lot to eat. There were also a lot of kids in the yard playing and it just made for a really festive fun day with everyone having fun. A few party games were played much to everyone's amusement and just a good fun day with lovely people from all over the globe. Everyone with kids started leaving around 7pm and other friends joined us in the evening. The festivities continued until I went to put my older son to bed and went to sleep as well at about midnight. It was a lovely day and it's always awesome to have it with friends when we're far away from our families. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

December 2016

This year we're staying in Muscat for Christmas so we're making the most of it. A lot of our friends have left town to spend Christmas with their respective families so it's a bit quiet around here. School broke out last week so it was a little hectic as there were Christmas parties, fairs and kids programme's in school to attend and to remember things the kids had to take. There were also local charities to give to through the school so my mummy brain was busy trying to make sure everything was handed in on time and the right thing was given to where! Am sure everyone was apprehensive when the final day of school finally arrived.
Some sleep ins here and there and no school lunches for three weeks yay. Christmas fun has started at home. We've put up our tree and we've decorated here and there. We're hosting Christmas lunch this year inviting a few of our friends who are also staying back. So far we've had an outing on the beach yesterday with a few families and the kids had loads of fun. The big kids had fun with water guns running in and out of the waves and climbing trees and the little ones enjoyed sand play for hours. Came home with two tired boys and the little one went straight for a nap.
Preparing for our Christmas lunch is exciting. Trying to buy the right stuff for the food we're having so there's no stress. I did my Christmas shopping awhile ago so all good on that front.
Missing the family back home as we'd had Christmas with them the past 3 years. However it's also a relief to not be travelling during the busy season.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy NEW YEAR and prayers for those who are in need and in strife. We're never too far from the grips of despair. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Disney's Moana

A private viewing of Moana the movie by Disney was arranged by a few of us in our Pacific Organisation this past Saturday. All 94 seats were taken so the theatre was full of excited parents and kids. Some of us dressed in our Pacific colours, pales, flowers and necklaces to celebrate this significant feat. The fact that mainstream movie makers were featuring our culture and our part of the world on the big screen. Dressed both my boys in their Samoan attire of which they were excited to wear and they chose which beads or shells to wear with their shirts. My eldest wanted to wear his newly acquired shell necklace given to him from his performer and Samoan culture spokesman Uncle Chris. 

We arrived at the Cinema foyer and some people were there already and there was so much excitement in the air. I had promoted the significance of the movie to those who asked me about it and one dad came up to express how his kids were more excited now that he told him why the movie was special to the Pacific. 

Well when the movie started I was bursting with excitement and curiosity on what was coming! As the movie progressed I was lost in the island life that Disney portrayed which was exactly how we know it. We grew up reading those island life kind of stories and experienced a lot of it as kids so it was amazing that they portrayed it beautifully and in it's simplicity. That Moana wasn't a princess in a castle as such but an island girl whose palace was the rich land around her and the ocean that surrounded them.
The music was beautiful. Te Vaka sounds throughout was the sound of the Pacific. It was just right. 

My favourite character was Moana's grandma who was depicted beautifully. The wise old lady who listened to everyone big or small. Aside from being depicted as crazy I liked that she was the voice of reason. We all grew up with a wise old lady in our lives who was partly a rebel and actually made sense of all the rules and why adults acted a certain way. She was a heartwarming character and how she guided her granddaughter was beautifully written. 

I must admit when I heard of the Maui character and how he was prominent in the trailers I was worried that he was taking away from the heroine's role. But the movie fixed that, it put my worries to rest at how it turned out. Beautiful animation and thanks Disney for recognising our Voyaging Peoples.

*Half my family haven't seen it yet so I don't want to ruin it by saying too much about the movie)

Friday, May 06, 2016

Dublin, Ireland 2015

Since I called this blog our travels I better mention where we went this past summer. In the end we decided to visit friends in Dublin and to see the Republic of Ireland and what a good decision that was. Our friends hooked us up with and what an awesome heads up that was. We got an apartment in the center of Dublin which was walking distance to a lot of fun things. We did the Viking tour which was on a bus that later went on water. We were given Viking helmets and were asked to do a lot of roaring all around town. The kids are supposed to love it but our kid wasn't that excited about it! But I enjoyed it and the other kids on the bus seemed to enjoy it. Nevertheless it was a fun way to see Dublin. We found beautiful parks with playgrounds for the kids to play. We managed to do a few historical sites then catch up with our friends we went to see. Its an awesome walking city, you see a lot within a walking distance and places to eat everywhere. In the main centre near where we stayed we were hard pressed to find local food whatever that was..everything in town was international food! However we managed to find some nice places for a pint and a bite. I'd totally go back to Dublin! 

Summer 2016

How time has flown by. It's almost mid year once more, when I've just wrapped my head around the digits 2016! We had a long winter but last week the heat hit hard. It was into the late 30s last week and well, I forget how hot it gets here. We've been very lucky having nice weather with rain fall here and there. The new worry is that there may be some cyclones as the weather is warm and sticky...depression build up kind of weather. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Alo, alo lau foe...

OK no paddles involved but went on a boat yesterday in the 42 degree Oman heat! We made a plan to be at the marina at 8am...and the islanders we all were we finally launched at 9am so it wasn't to bad. This was to beat the scorching heat as it is still the height of summer in this gloriously sunny region! All our boat drivers...hubby and two mates are kind of first timers to driving/captaining a boat so were trying out the speed of the boat much to my dismay and wished from the back seat that I had darts to play find the bulls eye on the captain's back! The sea was a bit rough so the ride left a lot to be desired. Basically I was just worried that my two year old would bounce off the boat and none of us had life jackets and they were sitting in the back of the car! Responsible parents we are not, but I blame the heat because we forgot some life saving sh!t in the car! We didn't forget the coolers with the beers though haha. It's all about hydrating in the heat. We found a quiet spot in Bandar Khiran parked up and had a fabulous time swimming. The kids and I swam with the aid of boogie boards to the beach nearby and had a little play there before returning to the deep near the boat.

The fun thing about going out in a boat in my virginal boating experience, is that you can swim and float in the deep right near the boat. Now better yet if you have inflatable toys to help keep you afloat and it's the best way to get a tan(sunburnt). The sun reflects off the surface as well so there's no escaping the sun's rays. To avoid getting burnt one must apply sunscreen every hour..this requires getting out of the lovely water and scrounge around the now mess of things strewn all over the boat for the suncreen that has now been heated in the sun and reapply. So you sit for a few minutes on the boat sweating profusely while the said sunscreen drips off you then you decide to bugger it and jump back in the sea. It also helps to wear a hat to protect thy pretty face. That is awkward while swimming but it does the trick.

One day I will take a fishing rod to see if we can catch bait or just to keep the kids busy for all of 10 minutes but something fun to do while out there. Anyway so we came off the boat all a bit red but with constant application of aloe vera we're good as gold this morning! Aloe Vera is the magic treatment for sunburn so I make sure we have stocks of the stuff plus it grows well here so we have it in the garden too! Soifua ma ia manuia

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Back to School 2015

So my seven year old started back at school 3 days ago and it's already the weekend! We survived the first three days and he's been enjoying going back to school. Of course the first morning of school and he announces that he's too tired and may have to stay home, to which I replied he may not! We dropped him to his classroom and his new teacher took the time to engage with him to which he answered her questions nicely. When he went into the classroom, relief was all over his face when he saw his usual friends and off he went without a look back at his parents. Three days in and he's happy with his class.
My little one will start at a creche nearby at the end of the month so that will be good for him also. Today after we dropped off Master Seven, Master Twe and I went to the park and he played for about half an hour. I love the park as only the two of us were there and with the shade under the big trees it wasn't too hot. Later on I took him to the Children's Science Museum in town and he had a ball playing with everything he could reach and see them work. A few home mornings with my baby boy before he's off to creche. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Off on another adventure tomorrow.

Tomorrow we're off to Dubai for a couple of nights before we go on to see friends in Ireland and onwards from there. I can't wait to visit Ireland. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Wadi Shabb Hotel Stay

We drove down to Ras Al Hadd to see the turtles with our 6 and 1 year olds. We stopped at Wadi Shabb Hotel for the night. We enjoyed the hotel pool and had a swim on the spectacular pebble beach in front of the hotel. We took my SUP board so did a bit of paddling along the beach. It was really calm so it was a beautiful relaxing paddling session. There were a lot of fish and I saw a stingray which darted off as I came closer.
The downside was the plastic rubbish strewn everywhere which was just awful. There was plastic in the sea and along the beach. The rock face on the West of the hotel was just beautiful as the sun set. The hotel was empty that night so we ate alone and the food was delicious. All the staff par for one receptionist who was there in the morning were non-locals. The place lacked any personal touch and just felt bland though the rooms were clean and spacious and the food was yummy. 

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Happy International Women's Day

Manuia le aso e fa'atauaina ai tamaitai o le lalolagi.