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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 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

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


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 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.