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Sunday, December 31, 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.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Life in Twothousandandsix!


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 life at this point in time. I have a lovely family that I care about and they KNOW I care because I try to tell them as much as I can. I have a nice group of different people that I call friends whom satisfy different aspects of my life and I theirs'. I have a job that I am enjoying at the moment. Most of all I have a lovely man that I share everything with. So as the New Year approaches I would only but thank God for the blessings I've received in the past year, for all the lovely people that have entered to become part of my life to replace those that have ceased to exist or moved on. My only wish is that I would have this feeling more often than not in this lifetime. Goodbye Old Year and Hello New Year.

X-mas bash.

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.

Friday, December 22, 2006

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 gotta go get some sleep, a bit too much partying this week-end. Its allowed its CHRISTMAS.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

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 make us a lovely home cooked dinner. And I said a silent prayer of thanks for we are now embarking on another year together and very happy in our union. Amen.
I have now started at an institution teaching English to locals and other foreigners. My class at the moment are made up of all Omanis except for one Morroccan. They are a joy to teach and I must admit I am enjoying my first teaching job. They are polite and really enjoy learning which is great. One student has taken it upon himself to serve me tea during breaks though I refuse the offers outrightly but he just sets it on my desk:) Having said that I did one day with another class whom a few were a couple of spoilt brats. They started speaking their foreign language in the class loudly and it was like trying to control unruly children. In the end someone else took over the class to my pleasure and am quite happy with the two I have at the moment. On the week-ends I teach kids. I did not want to teach kids at first but their teacher had left on holiday. They are quite fun too and well behaved kids as long as there are activities to keep them occupied.
Hubby is working his shift hours and sometimes he comes home with a big smile and sometimes a scowl. Such is life in this world of ours, "we win some and we lose some." Let's just focus on counting our blessings for the moment.
In the meantime have a warm Christmas dear bloggers and readers and a Prosperous New Year. Ia manuia tele le Kerisimasi, ma se Tausaga Fou fiafia. Ia ae manuia le au inu pia...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dubai 7s Samoan supporters


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


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.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

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 the second day of the sevens it rained cats and dogs which is unusual in these parts and worse yet it was freezing. For us who have lived in the heat of the desert it was a shock to the system. For a while there it felt like we were in Auckland instead of Dubai. Anyway 2 hours into that madness and after watching our team getting unfair treatment in their game against South Africa we decided it wasn't worth catching a cold over it all and went home to watch it from the comfort of our friends' lounge. As our luck had it, there was a power cut(due to the rain) at the field so they couldn't broadcast some of the games that afternoon. So we had warm showers and then had a nice nap before getting up and headed for the nearest pub to watch the finals from there. We watched Samoa go on to win the plate against Australia and South Africa give NZ a good beating for the Dubai Cup. Our boys did really well considering how cold it got and that they couldn't go back to the hotel for a rest as it was too far for all the teams to leave the field. In the end Clara rushed home in between games to put the boys' jerseys in her washing machine and dryer so they could play in dry clothes in the plate final(Only the Samoans have the one uniform)
I must commend Clara, Tim and the Samoan community in Dubai for all their support for the team. We had a lotu together with the team and the Samoan community in Dubai before the first game which was really nice. Each year the community up there make a donation for the boys pocket money. This proves that no matter where we are in this world the Samoan loto nuu ma aiga spirit shines through.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

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 our way at the moment. Alex will join me in two days after he arrives back from his flight. We're really looking forward to hanging out with all the Samoan crew in Dubai and whoever can make it and of course put up a good cheer for our boys. Tough one though Samoa is playing the All Blacks on the first day...darn...and my cousin just emailed that he made the cut for the All Blacks team. Well, sorry cuz but I have to cheer for Samoa first.
Yesterday I went to visit good friends of ours whom I'd neglected during the gruelling weeks of studying. They have a beautiful garden and after we ate our fill we sat on their patio overlooking the garden and just enjoyed the cool breeze while watching the parakeets swarm around a nearby date palm. It was just one of those moments of sheer contentment and beauty that one's mind is clear of all worries and the world drops away as one enjoys what is the NOW.
Then the phone rang and my dear friend and I had to break away to pick up her kids from school. I sat in the car while she arranged all activities with her three daughters and their friends. And I mean all 5 girls telling her their programmes at once. I sat there thinking where did that peaceful afternoon disappear to. My friend laughing knowingly turned to me and said, "The joys of motherhood Omega, you will experience it someday!" hahahaha! nice one...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Party on...


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.

Friday, November 17, 2006

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.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

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...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

...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 countries and its been a hard week. I better go have a nap because the eye lids are drooping.
Tomorrow we're heading for Jebel Ahkdar for one night. Jebel is in the hills of Oman and we'll be staying in a hotel there for one night before heading back down again.

Friday, October 20, 2006

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 faced with these important questions. Is it selfish of one to have children knowing what one knows about our world or is it selfish not to have any and giving them the experience of living? Could it be plain denial of not wanting to be bothered raising children? Or is it being smart to quit while one's ahead? One wonders...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

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 you are subject to some aggressive and disapproving looks. So lets just say to drive around in the afternoon is a bit scary as people hadn't eaten all day by then. The breaking of the fast at sundown is called Iftar. A lot of sweets (local sweets, dates, etc) are consumed and people visit each other during this time. Next week is the end of Ramadan followed by Eid which is the celebration or a festival time similar to Christmas time for Christians. Presents are given and received and this is a time to donate to a charitable cause such as giving money to those less fortunate.
During Ramadan it so happens that all the beauty salons are booked out by the ladies beautifying themselves.
So this blogger can only wonder about the impure acts that will be committed during Eid. Never mind all will be forgiven next year. Happy Eid all!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fiji Day in Muscat.

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.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

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 comprehension and there were all these bands that were mentioned that even I had never heard of. Anyway in the end I spent too much time trying to generate interest but pushed on through the lesson. I managed to conduct all my tasks after that and met my lesson aims which I am thankful for. Next time I must LOOK at the clock and stick pictures around the room instead of trying to hold up flash cards when they were obviously not interested. Hey I'm learning, give me a break. I ended up talking way too much than anticipated. The key in these lessons is to let the students discuss amongst themselves and talk more and the teacher just monitors and sets tasks. The more the students speak the more fluent they become and they get to practice the language.
Better luck in the next lesson.

Friday, September 22, 2006

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 up at 6.30am go to class, stay in the library afterwards till 6pm come home shower eat and back to work till late hours of the night. I have a feeling I might look a few years older after the course...arrrggh. It was funny though as the week progressed everyone looked more and more tired with bags under their eyes and red eyes(like mine) hahaha.
Received two parcels this week in the mail which was lovely. Samoan songs and artwork from sis in NZ and German pop music with photos from sis in Austria. Thanks guys, am enjoying the music on the iPod. At least I know also that the mail system does work though its very delayed but its better than nothing. Ok I better get back and do some reading.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

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 people doing their business while watching the planes land!!! Now ain't that something! To quote a Bollywood director from the article he said, "Bombay is the only city where the rich work out in the gym and exit to find malnourished children outside the door!" However they went on to say that India is trying its best to better the lives of everyone and fix infrastructure and all. I can't wait to go to India to see myself.

Monday, September 11, 2006

"iPod it yesterday!"


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 elation!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

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 like I'm 12 again. But on my birthday I am thankful to God for all I've done in the past year. I got married (again) to my lovely husband had Christmas in Samoa with mine and Alex's family which was beautiful. We went to Egypt, Europe and England to my father's homeland. In April I went home to see my grandmother who was very sick and spent ten days with her before she passed on, may she rest in peace. For all this, I am thankful to God for all the people in my life though they come and they go, it is the experience that leaves me enriched to face the new year with more passion and appreciation. Happy Birthday to me and to all those who share the same birthday.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A journey home!

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 me to my father's old work place which is now a home but the people there were friendly and took us all over the house. It was amazing to be retracing my father's footsteps. We also went to see the apartment and the house in which Leo and Dad lived in before he left for the Pacific. It was quite amazing because I heard the stories through Mom of those times. The IOW is beautiful and we walked through some old churches and graveyards which were ideal settings for those Sherlock Holmes mysteries. We walked along the water's edge and I just marvelled at how much it reminded me of Savaii. I could see why Dad really liked Savaii plus the warm weather. The next day we trekked through Bonchurch village and through the woods to see the land slip due to erosion and ended up at Shanklin beach and village. We had a wonderful time with Leo and her lovely husband and definitely will go back for a visit.
The ferry to the Isle of Wight.
The south coast of the island also a land slip.

Friday, September 08, 2006

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 their patience! Each week they were posted to different local families and these families are well-to-do folks as rugby is a rich man's game in England. He said they were really cordial and he had a good time with the families.
So Fleur and I decided to go see uncle in England unfortunately poor hubby had to work so I met up with Fleur and nephew Marvin in London and drove to Herefordshire where uncle was working two weeks ago. He knew Fleur and Marvin were coming but was duly surprised when he saw me so that was fun. We were all happy to see each other as it has been a long time. We spent the week-end in Hereford and on the Friday we went to see him coach 10 year olds. It was really funny to see him with all these blond kids. Just didn't look right! However talking to him he seemed to have learnt alot from the experience and he thinks the kids learned alot from them too. We went to see the prize giving in which the English kids they coached did the Haka and the Manu Samoa siva tau(warrior dance done before a rugby match by Samoans and Maoris.)

Pictures from England!


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.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Children of the Lake..lol


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.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

As the evening progressed.


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...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Fiafia time...

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 I hadn’t seen Jorg for 6 years and most of all he is just recovering from chemo treatments in which he almost died last year. Jorg came with his lovely partner Inge and their cute boy Fabian. So it was truly a celebration for us to see him again. Moreover the same week-end our friend Nicole came down from Vienna for the weekend with her kids. Our umu night was filled with joyous laughter from the kids and the drunken snorting from the grown-ups.


Siva time...


Peter playing the flute and Iris trying to distract him I think... lol


Fleur with Nicole and lil' Oliver

Sunday, September 03, 2006

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 that heh heh! Ok I have helped to ofu luau, valu the talos and eat the pork but never really can say that I myself made a umu. So ambitious and sure of one self I persuaded dear hubby that we/he could do it from my memory of watching the boys doing it back home. heh heh! Here begins the story of the pig/pua'a in Austria...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The UMU


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 Peter(in red) and Marvin(background) looked on.

With all the pork he could dream of, lol.