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Showing posts from 2006

Last Day in 2006

Wishing Mom a very Happy Birthday and many more to come. Missing my Mom on her birthday but wish her a long life with us on this earth. Am thankful for such an amazing mother who taught me so much about life and for being the most peaceful person I know. Chaos can surround her but from her one will only find peace and harmony. Thanks to Mom for teaching me to appreciate everything I'm given in life and not to take anything for granted. For teaching me to always look at the good side of anything and not to focus on the negative. For being there for us and many others who come to Mom to find peace. I'm just blessed to have been borne of such an amazing person.

Life in Twothousandandsix!

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Christmas is gone already and now awaiting the new year. Hmmm now everyone is talking about new year's resolutions and frankly I really don't see the point. It's all to do with making decisions and making a plan of attack before implementing any changes. Seriously I can't think of any one time that I made a decision and followed through instantaneously. Especially when one is inebriated and blurts out a New Year's resolution. My favourites "This is my last cigarette" while buying another pack... and then there's "I will never drink again" meanwhile one is smashed and in the middle of throwing back a few more shots. And then "I will lose more weight this year" and yet head straight for the fast food place to buy some grease to line the tummy. So I've decided not to even think of any resolutions but just try to amend my ways to have a better life... eat better, be less critical, save more... Whatever, I am quite content with my l…

X-mas bash.

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We had a lovely Christmas dinner with some of our friends here in Muscat. Most of the friends that came did not even get a day off for Xmas so we made the most of the evening with carol singing and dancing and of course it involved alot of of eating and sipping.
Hubby and I having a good laugh - enjoying the Christmas spirit.
Millie and Gina showing the lil' ones how to do it right... uh huh uh huh
Our enthusiastic guitarist George.
The United Nations 'special choir' lol. self, Linus(Nigeria), Gina(Samoa), Lulua and her Mom Millie(Kenya)
Self with Kofi and Beatrix from Hungary & Ghana.
Our younger carol singers. Ijoema, Hanan and Okara.
Ali eating the fourth leg of the turkey(private joke, malo Gina) who joined us straight from work and Alex who cooked the turkey...yep yep we know babe, lol.

Manuia le Kerisimasi

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Two more days to go. I hope everyone finds peace this Christmas season and look forward to a good year. I'm looking forward to the new year as a working woman now but also counting down the months to our trip home. And most of all greeting two new additions to our family in April as my two sisters are both carrying. My older sister is having their fourth baby(she reckons the last) and my younger sister is having their first. All so exciting. It would be nice too to see how the other kids have grown in the past year. Most of all this Christmas is our first without our beloved grandmother, may she rest in peace.
Anyway on a brighter note, we're having Christmas Eve with friends here at home and am looking to a good feed... yum yum...and yes I'm only Samoan hahaha! We're doing the pot-luck style where everyone brings a dish for the dinner. Mine dearest is doing the turkey and I'm doing the pisupo hahaha! Ok gott…

Six more days to Christmas!

"And so this is Christmas..." to quote from a Christmas song... Here we go again. We're celebrating Christmas in Oman and missing home of course. Good though that we're working right up to Christmas to keep us busy from thinking of dear ones. Anyway we've already put up our tree and so we feel the Christmas spirit in our home now. It being a Muslim country, there's not too much Christmas spirit around, if I can say such a thing but we're getting together with friends to make our own Christmas fun and full of carol singing!!!
Hubby has been sneaking around once more so I'm left trying to figure out what he's getting me for Christmas. Keep at this rate and we'll have no life savings hahaha But bless him for his thoughtfulness and romantic spirit. We have just celebrated our second wedding anniversary. I came home from work to find a hot bath with candles burning ready for me to plunge into. Enjoyed that for a bit while my blessed hubby went to m…

Dubai 7s Samoan supporters

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While the boys go hard on the field the supporters are busy too.



L-R, Alex & Heineken, English supporter, Lutz the Samoan copper from Sudan and Mark.

Our young supporters.

Tim leading the supporters with the Heinekens heh heh!

Self with Agnes.

Dubai 7s flicks

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Lotu with the Samoan team and the Samoan community in Dubai. The team looking smart in their formal wear.

Mikaele jogs to the try line.




The parade.

Dubai Sevens and Samoan support!

Now back in Muscat after an exhilirating week in Dubai with Clara and her lovely family and watching the sevens tournament when we could due to heavy rains and cold weather. The first day was great; nice weather and the company of everyone we were on the stands with was just awesome. Sipping Heinekens in the early afternoon was what everyone seemed to be doing and enjoying the games. Samoa did really well on the first day. We beat Kenya 54 to 14 and then unfortunately lost to Wales. Then we came back to beat New Zealand by two points. The atmosphere was festive and sheer excitement in the grand-stands. In the midst of all this Clara who has been the liaison officer for the Samoan team for the past 10 years was of course working to make sure things were running smoothly and assisting the manager and coach with anything they needed.
Also we, Alex and I were hosted by Clara and Tim along with Samoan policeman Lesa Lutz who is a peacekeeper in Sudan who also came to support the team. On t…

A job!!!

Its been about a week and a half since the CELTA course and I'm over the break already. Very strange not having anything to get up for. I've been looking around for a job and had an interview last week and today I'm going in to find out more about this particular institution and observe some of the classes I'll be teaching. Really looking forward to it. I start on December 6th. All my colleagues from the course have either started work already or have something lined up... I can't believe I didn't discover this earlier!!! So a piece of advice to those that want to change careers or are not sure of what to do...do the CELTA course or a TEFL certificate and it opens doors that you never noticed before. Its big business and there are jobs advertised all over the world for those that want to travel!
Tomorrow I'm heading up to Dubai ahead of Alex to hang out with friends there like in the malls and such:) Its the Dubai 7s this week-end so that's the hype up …

Party on...

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Before the pina coladas took effect. A shot with David in between mixing the pinas.

Alex the BBQ king with his Dad Jim.

Ok tried to get Karin to look at the camera... never mind.

Jacinta quite happy at this stage and Bianca looking timid... or doing the innocent look right now.

Mr Malo malo... Linus and Beatrix behind the bar!

Renuka and Karin digging in at the buffet.

Ali... the famous tour guide.

The Samoan delegation doing the siva of course. Gina there in blue the one other Samoan lady in Muscat.

lovely, lovely

So its 4 am now and everyone has just left, I've had a few too many pina coladas and am quite happy with how the party went. Everyone enjoyed the pina coladas (including myself) and the magaritas. It was a lovely celebration of the end of our course so it was nice to see my colleagues in a relaxed manner. Our one other Samoan friend came with her lovely husband who spoke some important words in Samoan which went something like this "Faafekai kele lava, malo malo." So I proceeded to reply in Samoan in a polite manner and I got " malo malo malo" so I laughed and said you sure do know what's important...cos he can't speak outside of that... but it was nevertherless really nice to see others trying to speak which I thought was sweet.

Everything g.... comes to an end!!

And here I am alive and tattered after 8 weeks of CELTA in Oman. Today the course was officially declared closed, finito. It is so weird to not have lessons to plan and assignments to hand in. Really really weird. Tomorrow we're throwing a BBQ for the end of the course and to farewell Alex's parents that have been with us for almost a month now. We are also celebrating the arrival of winter in Oman when we can use the blimin' balcony which we couldn't use in the heat of summer.
So let's just say I'm back to blogging for a while yet. Its nice to have nothing to plan for now and just relax though it feels very strange...

...as time passes by...

Its the first of November so we're two months away from the end of yet another year. Hmm time flies by when you're not looking?
Alex's parents are over visiting and we're loving having family up here. As I'm still in the middle of the course I have been busy while Alex has been taking the folks all over Oman. They've already spent the night in the desert called the Wahiba sands and then spent the nite on a beach in the Al Naseem camp near where they went to see the turtles. The weather now is bearable its in the 30s and inland its in the 20s so already there are visitors coming into the country and the expats are heading for the hills in their four wheel drives. I'm really looking forward to an adventure filled winter this year.
I have two more weeks left for my course and am looking forward to it now. Two more weeks to go and if all goes well we'll be out in the real world tp get on with it all. OK its 4pm on Wednesday which is like a Friday in most co…

Growing older and the unborn!

It was hubby's birthday last week. I had bought his present three weeks before and he was duly surprised as he thought I forgot due to being busy with my course. I'm not that bad I think. Anyway as I could not fathom cooking a meal that was befitting the occassion we ordered out instead. It's moments like those, that there is a hint(note I said hint) of wishful thinking that I could cook more than sapasui and rice.
Anyway we have grown a year older yet again like everyone else obviously. So much has happened in the world within the past year. To narrow it down to the past few months, there's N. Korea testing nuclear bombs, Iran well on their way, US still at war in Iraq, the recent war in Lebanon, the recent earth quake in Hawaii the threat of one in Samoa to name a few.
It brings me to the subject of reproducing. One wonders is it worth bringing a child into this world of uncertainty and chaos? At this critical point in our lives of marriage and family life we are fac…

Ramadan

It's Ramadan again. This is the month of prayer for Muslims when they fast from before sunrise until sundown. And I mean fasting with no food no water!!! People like us(non-Muslims) are not allowed(or advised not) to eat or drink in public and all restaurants are closed all day until sundown. It is also a dry month which means we are confined to our houses or those of friends' for the month if you want some red with dinner. As a local guy explained to us this is the month where the Ala fearing people don't drink a drop of water don't eat a bite of anything and pray five times a day. This is the month where whatever wrong was committed in the year will be forgiven if you fast and abstain from any sexual acts even with one's spouse. One must also try to keep all thoughts pure and not pat an eye lid/lash at the opposite sex or whatever that may corrupt the mind.
I thought "If you can do it, tell me how".
You can't be seen chewing (gum) in public otherwise …

Fiji Day in Muscat.

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Last night we had the Fiji day celebration at the Lee's here in Muscat. All the Fijians turned up in their island glory and it was a lovely fun evening. Lots of island food and of course the grog (ava/kava) was flowing free mixed and served by the grog master Qorio. Queen Mary, Lynn and Bubu lead the dancing show with all the kids having a ball. It was a lovely evening with great Pacific atmosphere in Muscat.

The Fijian kids.



The Fijian ladies.


Qorio the grog master.


Clem and her lil' modela Caydens.


Queen Mary and Aunty Lynn leading the dance.

A learning curve for who??

My blog is looking rather boring from the lack of entries already. Its late and still burning the midnight oil supposedly on an assignment but the internet is a lovely procrastinating tool. I was up late last nite as I had a lesson to teach this morning which I passed thanks be to Le Atua.
It was quite a frustrating lesson. I started off trying to set the context through generating interest from the class about their favourite bands and singers. No one responded. I felt like hitting my head on the whiteboard but collected myself and proceeded with the task at hand. Its funny I wrote it as an anticipated problem in my lesson plan that due to cultural or personal choice the students might not be interested in bands or singers. However I thought a couple would show interest but zilch, nada. It was the case of who cares what Madonna or Lionel Richie does? I guess it didn't help that only six people showed today normally there are twelve students.
The lesson was a listening comprehensio…

Stressful or what? *#^@-

True to their word the course coordinators are following through. Two days into the course and we had to teach a practice lesson and had an assignment due on the fifth day...arrrgghhh. Already had one all-nighter...this time its not from the usual last minute but its from 'not enough time' to do it all...arrrgghh. Next week we have to do 2 lessons already..hmmm have to be on top with my grammar and what not. No 'I is going to' but 'I am going to hahaha! Its fun though, the people in the course are cool and we're working together to make it through. 11 females and 1 guy...We thought poor guy but he said he's got 5 sisters and is not perturbed by it. Lucky for him:) Its a multi-national class and we're learning to teach English to adults. Refreshed respect for teachers from this course. Teaching is full on. We're learning to make classes interesting as well and not just rattling off while the students are bored to death. This past week has been wake u…

Back to school!

My course begins in two days so it looks like I might not be able to blog for awhile. We'll see if they can keep this blogger away from the keyboard!? I've just been doing pre-course work and definitely have to expect lots of work when the course starts. Back to school for me and am really looking forward to it.
Went for a swim today dowstairs and try to get a bit of tan. Its been too hot to swim and now the heat has finally subsided that it was not too bad swimming today. Will try and do it again tomorrow before the course starts as I might not be able to do it in the next two months!
I was reading the Time magazine about the boom in India. Amazing though in the city of Bombay they have rich people like Bollywood actors and poverty stricken people at their doorsteps living in slums. Alex flies to Bombay though they don't overnight but the first time he flew there he reported that as the plane was taxing in he was shocked to see right there near the air-strip are slums with…

"iPod it yesterday!"

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Yes I had a lovely day yesterday on my birthday. Hubby woke up early and got me my pressie in bed though I was still trying to see through the cobwebs..lol. As it turned out he got me an iPod 30 GB. Yippee..! So I was up to get it working on the computer all day hahaha. Am one happy girl. And to top it off the day I emerged from the shower to find the whole apartment candle-lit! Very romantic and I felt soooo special and happy. Hubby sat me down with a glass of my favourite wine while he ran off to serve up the entree! Then he made my favourite main: Rib Eye STEAK heh heh and it was just perfect. The master chef did it again. That steak melted in my mouth...yum. Rounded off with tiramisu for dessert that hubby made himself of course. That was a superb meal and it was a lovely evening indeed and yeah we had music streaming from the new iPod! So hubby has done it again! God bless him always. Here's a pic of self last night but the camera couldn't capture the atmosphere and my e…

Its my birthday...

Its now the 10th September which is officially my birthday. My Mom never mentioned what time of the day I emerged into this world but then frankly I don't care at least I came out in one piece. I know for sure that Dr. Peter Cafferelli from Siufaga was the one that delivered me. Funny but we had an old huge atlas that Dr. Cafferelli wrote a note inside the day I was born and that was a memento that I always had growing up. It felt amazing when I looked at that inscription because it was really something from my birth when I was unaware and yet here is evidence that I was once an infant and really was born from my mother and father. It was close to being a photograph of my birth really. Come to think of it, I better steal that atlas from Mom's place next time I go home! Hopefully its still there. Today hubby has been extra secretive with his shopping though I wonder what's up with the last minute shopping heh heh! Tomorrow I'll find out what he got for me, makes me feel…

A journey home!

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On this trip to England we realised that Hereford was not very far from the Isle of Wight, where my father lived when he was younger. To kill two birds with one stone we decided to go there to visit after Hereford and to see my oldest sister Leo and her husband Neil. We left Hereford and drove south to Lymington where we could catch the ferry to the Isle of Wight(IOW) which is an island on the South coast of England not far from the mainland. All our lives(siblings and I) when people enquired about our father's origins we always said the IOW and none of us(Mom's children) had ever been there before. So I was the first Samoan Jackson to make the journey to my father's almost homeland. My father passed away when I was 5 so I have a few memories of him and most of the things I know were of what Mom and other people told me. For me it was enlightening to see my sister and hear all her stories of our father as she grew up with him for most of her childhood years. My sister took…

Been to London to see the queen!

My uncle Loli Satuu who is a coach for our village and district rugby club in Savaii was in England for the past six weeks. About 20 coaches from the Southern hemisphere were invited by the English Rugby Union to come to England and share their knowledge with their young budding rugby players from the ages of 6 up to 16 years. Talking to my uncle during his first week in England he had some funny stories to share. When they first arrived in England they were put through workshops such as Child safety(What is that to a Samoan?) where they were told under no circumstances are they to touch the boys or be seen near the changing rooms of the kids. (hahaha!) The Samoan coaches are succesful because of the discipline (slap) they give to their local boys and here they were told not to touch a hair on these kids... So Uncle said it was a very challenging first week. Some of the kids he wanted to pick up and drop kick but kept his cool and ignored them. He said it was a good challenge for thei…

Pictures from England!

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Uncle coaching the Herefordshire rugby boys.

Jammin' at the hotel Merton garden.

Fleur to do the siva of course.

Isn't that very English, this was taken at Bonchurch on the Isle of Wight.

Children of the Lake..lol

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This Fabian, Jorg and Inge's son. He's 2 years old. He was really shy at first but give him time and he was playing all over the house and the garden and making friends fast.

Oliver is Nicole's baby boy. He's very friendly and hardly needs an introduction. He came straight up to Alex and I and took us around their place to show us their animals and toys. He's a real chatterbox and takes no slack from no one.

Princess Nadia is Marc and Sonja's baby girl. They arrived just before we left. Acted shy for abit but then was friendly not long after. She is Daddy's lil' girl. Her parents told us when she's in her Dad's ferarri she tells her father to "step on the gas, Papa...!" Have you heard of a ferarri with a baby seat in it!? lol.

As the evening progressed.

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Don't cut me out... lol

A pic with our friends Jorg and Inge.

Alex is fairly cosy in his lil' corner... with his mate Bud

Lovebirds Iris and Peter...

Fiafia time...

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We invited our friends in Austria to come around for the umu and to spend the evening with us as it was raining and the festival was cancelled. Out came the guitar, the flute and of course the Samoan cds and began the talent show of the evening. After Fleur, Alex and I performed the Samoan siva of course, Peter then not to be outdone drove all the way home to bring his flute to share his music with everyone. Iris managed to come out of her shell and sang a few old favourites and of course as the sonnhof wine was flowing pure and free the more performances there were… choo hoo
Even more special on this day was to see my friend Jorg again. Jorg and I were good friends back in 2000 when I was in Austria and I managed to persuade him to come to the hidden secret of the world being Samoa in which he did and he enjoyed immensely. As our cultures are quite different Jorg says that was quite an experience for him. Though the clubs shared the same values… one tequila, two tequila….. heh heh. So…

Lake festival in Austria with a Samoan touch!

While preparing our trip to Europe I told my sis in Austria to please stock the fridge with pork bacon, pork chops, pork sausages and whatever to do with pork. Living in a Muslim country, pork is not widely sold in supermarkets though there are a couple of shops that have them. They do cost quite a bit and plus I think they've been frozen for a while that by the time we buy and cook the stuff it didn't quite taste like pork (or maybe not like Samoan pork anyway). Back to my story my dear accommodating sis emailed back and asked if we wanted a small whole pig... Miss piggy(self) jumped to the suggestion and said yes and better yet let's make a umu in her garden. Our cousin had done it before there and sis said the rocks were still there for it. So after deliberating for a bit with hubby who (hadn't done a umu only hangis before) and self who never really did one. nb. In my country we are princesses so it is not our place to go to the umu area... There are boys who do th…

The UMU

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Alex dug the hole near the terrace where the umu was going to be.

Starting the umu.

The pua'a dilemma The day before we were to do the umu, we got a call from the butcher that the smallest pig they could get was a 25kg one…arrrggghhh
Here we are, amateurs and as you can see it was a huge pig... omigosh what did we agree to! Here's the pig dwarfing Oliver(right) and his friend David(left).

The pro's at work heh heh. Our uncle who's in England called up and I told him we were doing a umu and he exclaimed, "Kalofa e ia Alex" meaning poor Alex. He gave us some last minute instructions on what to do and off we went with some confidence coupled with apprehension..lol. Ia gale kaalo a le keige Savaii, choo hoo!

Substituting by covering the umu with blankets and oak leaves from the garden.

A few beers and two hours later we uncovered the umu to see how lil' piggy was doing!

Carving the puaa and munching on the pa'u mu(crackling) at the same time. Yummy. While Pete…