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.