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Showing posts from 2007

White Christmas in Austria

We landed at Salzburg airport at 1.30pm on the 19th and Desiree was there to pick us up. It was -4 degrees!!! It was freezing. Hopped in the car and came home to the warmth of Mondsee. The drive was fanstastic as all around us was white snow. It hasn't snowed again but due to the cold days the fields are still white and the tree tops glisten from the frost. It's just spectacular. It's turning into the dream Christmas I was hoping for. Unfortunately Alex couldn't make it:(
Two nights ago Fleur and I went to the Christmas market in Mondsee and the kids from the local school were singing Christmas songs all evening. Christmas market consists of a lot of eating and drinking but I had to resort to the kids' punch! It was a lovely evening and there were loads of beautiful displays.
Yesterday we went to Salzburg to pick up our tickets for the Christmas concert and also got to see the Salzburg Christmas Market which was much bigger with a variety of stalls. Took lots of pic…

Blessing 2008

I am 14 weeks pregnant now and happy as can be. I've now passed the critical 12 weeks so I'm more comfortable to announce that we're having a baby. Baby is due next June and pray be to the Big Man that all goes well and baby arrives safely and healthy.
This week has been full on. We've been taking Mom and Fleur all over town and on Tuesday we drove through Nizwa saw the souk and the fort there before continuing on to the Wahiba Sands. We stayed at the Al Raha Camp which was very nice. The desert was just something else. The golden sands and bedouin camps al around as we drove through it to the camp was just magnificent. It was quite surreal. We were taken up a sand dune to watch the sunset and what a view. What a world that we live in that we get to watch the same sun set from different settings around the world and the experience is somewhat unique and yet familiar at the same time. Mom was like a child in the sand. It was fun to watch Mom make the most of the desert.…

Happy Times

Mom arrived two nights ago which is very exciting. I'm so happy to have Mom here with us and also visiting the Middle East for the first time. We've also just picked up my sister Fleur who arrived from Austria a few hours ago. So now we have an apartment full of loved ones, singing, laughter and lots of smoking from Mom and Fleur. Last night we went to our friends Millie and Ali's place for a party. They were all looking forward to meet Mom and what fun we had there. We didn't come home till 3 am in the morning. Mom had a ball and everyone of course was fighting over the microphone when the hosts turned on the karaoke. It was good fun with good food.

Dubai Sevens Rugby

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Well here we are again in Dubai. We came to support our boys in the sevens. We were proud of course to cheer for our boys from the BP stand with the rest of the Samoan crew from around the Middle East. It was fun off the field just laughing, singing and clowning with all the Samoan sistas and bradas as well as other Samoan supporters who donned Samoan colours to support our team. Our boys lost to England in the quarter-finals and then lost to Argentina in the Plate final. It was a close game nevertheless. I'm not fazed by this because last year it was a similar result and they came back to kick butt in Wellington and Hong Kong. Our boys are strong and there are some solid experienced boys in there and I think we have a winning combination again this year. With the likes of Rudolph Moors as the coach there's plenty to come. We wish them all the best in SA and we believe in you guys.
Much alofa and support from the Samoans top fans in Oman.
The final between NZ and Fiji was a good…

Fragility that's life.

I went to work last night and was told that one of our colleagues got hit by a car last weekend and was barely alive at ICU at a local hospital. They said he was suffering from broken bones and was brain damaged. I just got a call first thing this morning that Kieren didn't make it through the night.
It's so surreal and so so sad. May he rest in peace.
Just a few months ago he told me he dozed off on the couch at work and woke up gasping for air. He said it really rattled him and it made him realise how we could go at any minute. I suggested he does something to relax or get away for a while. He then said that he'd already booked a flight home to England to see his family on holiday before returning to work. He'd been back to work for a few months and he'd just booked a holiday to India for December!!! Some of us at work were well aware that he was on a mission to do as much as he could. He was also trying new things like meditation and other forms of relaxation. K…

Halloween in Oman!

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Purpose?

What is our role in life? I think of this a lot when we encounter other people. I sometimes question our purpose in life. What do we all strive for? Happiness? Reaching a common good of some sort?
But what is happiness?
The definition of happiness may not be the same for everyone. Is it owning a house and a car? Is it having a family and a secure full time job? Is it travelling all over the world? Is it being around people that matter to one the most? Is it following ones dreams and reaching ones goals? Will that bring happiness? Or is just the journey through life that is?
I wonder sometimes if I'm happy. Other times I'm totally content with life and appreciate my place or role in life and others I question my contentedness whether it is a false sense of happiness.
I have had these feelings since I could wonder and ponder about life. I used to escape to our untended backyard where the grass was almost as tall as I was and lie under the guava or banana trees and wonder about it a…

Farewell in Dubai

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We went to Dubai for two nights for Harry and Elva's farewell as they are leaving Dubai for good. It was arranged by the Aiga Samoa(Samoan community) in Dubai which we're part of. It was lovely to catch up with our friends there. Stayed with Lala and Tim which was fun indeed with the late nights with Dan and Trish. The following day we caught up with Alex's sister for lunch and of course slept a lot as I was still recovering from my cold.

The farewell was hosted by Mark and Tania in Silicon Oasis. It was a good time. Everyone made it which was nice however for some unknown reason it wassn't a very lively evening. We all left at one. However the food that was catered was fantastic. The presents for Elva and Harry were very nice. Anyway we slept in the following day said bye to Lala after breakfast and got dropped off at the Gazas' to catch up with them before we caught a cab to the airport to come home.

We also caught up with Rich who is my best mate Nets' hubby.…

Blues

Sniffling and blowing my nose every thirty seconds is not fun at all. I've been down with a cold for two days now and I hate every minute of it. Last night I couldn't go to sleep due to my runny nose and not being able to breathe properly peacefully. What a headache. It doesn't help when I wake up early too to more sniffling and blocked nasals. I hate this, I hate being sick. I hate how my eyes are also teary all the time from the cold. So I end up wiping my nose and eyes with the same yucky tissues spreading germs even more. Just darn great. I don't know what caused it, being around people that have a cold or when I went swimming early a few days ago. I was surprised to find the water was quite cool which of course is too cool for me!!! Yep I've got this thing from my Mom that if the chest, scalp or back area gets chilled then hullo cold. The thing is there are three pools on our complex and I feel so ungrateful every time I look out the window because we hardly e…

Go Puma

Just saw Argentina beat France 34-10. What a brilliant game for Argentina. They played so well and really went hard out. The French didn't quite measure up. Argentinian defence was superb. The Pumas go home with the bronze medal which is well-deserved indeed. They have been an amazing team to watch. I must say the Kiwi referee Honiss is simply no good. In the first half he missed so many things going on and he just lost control of the game. In the second half there was a legal tackle by an Argentinian on the French Jabal who is The French playmaker and the Argentinian was sin-binned. I thought that was ridiculous. Anyway the Pumas scored a try with fourteen men on the field so no worries there.
Alex parents left for Dubai today and then on their way home to NZ in two days.
I practically slept most of the day today from fatigue! My appetite is all over the show which isn't very pleasant.
I better get some sleep now I'm exhausted.(again)

Eid in Oman

It's the Eid Holidays here in Oman and the town is bustling again. It was quiet for the first few days and now people are returning from the short Eid breaks and so the traffic is back to madness again.
The drivers here are just plain mad. Whenever I drive on the road it is just plain scary. I drive defensively everytime all the time. I think it's the only way to arrive to your destination in one piece. Yesterday on the road where it the limit was 100kmph which I kept to, behind me I saw a car gaining on me. It was just scary like watching a thriller except you're in it. The car just sped up right up to my @ss as in a few inches away from me. Of course I had already indicated to get off the lane if there was a clearance which there wasn't!!! I think the excitement of Eid is getting to some people. The result is like last nite we saw a car with it's front left wheel ripped off because the idiot ran right through a round-about!!! I assume he can see because he was be…

Koko Samoa

Koko Samoa e silisili le manogi
Pe a faapau e le Samoa moni
Ta i le apa
Sa'eu i le lapalapa
Va'ai fa'alelei
Ne iai ni palapala

Koko Koko Samoa
Koko Koko Samoa
Koko Samoa
Ma le faalifu fai
Ma le pilikaki too.
(Pese na tusia e se tasi pisikoa na i Samoa)

So I made myself some Samoan cocoa (koko Samoa) that my sister Fotu sent me via my in-laws. What a treat! It was so exhilirating to finally inhale the smells from home. Lovely tasty Samoan cocoa that came through NZ, Aussie, AbuDhabi. Even better due to the long journey it took to get here.

Eid Mubarak

Three more days to Eid here in Oman and other Muslim nations. It is equivalent to our Christmas and it's also the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. People of course are very excited and all out shopping for their families. There was something on at the stadium near our place last night and it was just packed. Drove by to throngs of people walking around and one could feel the festive atmosphere in the air.
Alex's folks arrived last night and now they're out sightseeing and grocery shopping. Got my twisties that I was craving for and the Samoan cocoa from my sister. Got a nice package of goodies from my sister with lots of pictures of baby Maeva and the family back home. I will have to download all of them on to the hard drive and have a good look at them all.
In the meantime Eid Mubarak to all who are celebrating Eid this year!!

The next step

Death: some of us shiver with fear when we hear this word or when it's visited someone we're close to! Recently I thought maybe it's society that has made us fear death so much. I'm not too sure how or why we associate death with fear and negativity but let me try. All my life, someone dying is always associated with much negativity. Why is it we're so afraid of something we don't know? All the afterlife going to hell stories has a lot to do with it. I thought that really we don't know for sure what really happens when we die but one thing for sure is we're all going to die someday. Like birth we die. Why aren't we afraid of birth and yet we're afraid of death? If anything we should be afraid for those born into this world that we live in today however we celebrate the birth of a newborn and commemorate the day we were born ourselves each year. So why don't we embrace death and think of it as just another step of life? This is how I've c…

Books and Music

I've been reading quite a bit lately. I read Marian Keyes 'Lucy Sullivan is getting married' which was good. First of hers I've read and its written like a diary which was quite realistic. However it gave me another perspective on British women! I'll have to ask a few British ladies if they can identify with it though before I make my conclusions! I also read 'White Oleander' by Janet Fitch which was quite interesting. A good read, the writer was excellent with words. Now I'm reading short stories 'Like the flowing river' by Paulo Coelho. He writes about his experiences major or not which is interesting and I thought somehow it's similar to a blog except he's published his blog entries!
My journalist sister Relle is in Melbourne, Australia doing a fellowship concerning the Pacific and journalism and her blog is a good read.
I'm listening to Bruce Springsteen 'Radio Now' which is quite good. His songs are soothing to the mind. …

Rugby World Cup fever cont'd

Well since my last post Samoa played against England and lost 22-44. They played well but they just didn't sustain themselves to the end. Wilkinson proved that he's back with his successful kicking. Our team Samoa saved themselves from being at the bottom of the pool by beating USA in their last game though it was by a small margin 24-21. England against Tonga was also interesting. Tonga played so well and looked as if they were going to beat England but I think England had the referee on their pay roll because there were a lot of questionable calls against Tonga and dodgy English moves that the ref turned a blind eye to. Believe me Tonga is the last team I'd support but yep the poor under-dog small country team were squashed by the big team and their deep pockets once more. Last night Fiji beat Wales 34-38 and it was a good game. It was sad though to see the Fijian goal kicker's knee twist into an unimaginable state which sent him off on a stretcher. That may be the e…

Rugby World Cup fever

The world cup started last week and we have been glued to the TV to watch our team play. Samoa played South Africa last week and unfortunately the referee was not very fair and made a few calls that didn't make sense. The final score was SA: 59 Samoa 7. SA was the stronger team from the onset but the score could have been closer if the referee hadn't smothered the fighting spirit of the Samoans. Anyway last night Samoa played Tonga and amazingly Tonga beat Samoa 19- 14. Now that was painful to watch. Tonga hasn't been able to beat Samoa in seven years and funny how they flew all the way to Europe in front of the world fans to make a statement. Am very happy for Tonga for it is a huge feat for them. As for Samoa I'm not sure what's going on there. I however still have faith that they can play better especially they are up against the reigning champions England at the end of the week. Wish them all the best in their games against England and the US after that. If we …

Our trip to Musandam!

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My beautiful family in a nutshell

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30 days hath September!

VIRGO days! All good here in Oman. The weather is getting cooler, looking forward to so many more adventure-filled, camping and beach days.
Yesterday there was an article on Samoa in the local paper which I think is great. And just two weeks ago there was another article on our rugby team getting ready for the world cup in The Week a popular weekly paper here. Hmmm things are looking up for Samoa. They just need a map next to the article each time to point to where it is though. Because I think people still don't know by looking at the title what or where Samoa is. Anyway exciting stuff indeed. There were also a few articles back in May when our Head of State passed away.

This week-end for my birthday we're planning to escape to Musandam for the night. Musandum is the northern most region of Oman. It's actually separated from the rest of the country by the UAE. So if you drive you have to go through the UAE to get there. Musandam is a peninsula that juts out into the Straits…

Updates

The next to last day of August 2007, time flies when we're so busy. In a few days I will be a year older! What more can one ask for but good health, a happy home and a loving family. This week we received a date card for my cousin's wedding in California, USA for January, a box of chocolates from a friend in Switzerland(thanks heaps) and a postcard from new friends who were on holiday in Moscow. It was so nice to get personal things in the mail for once. A refreshing break to the usual statements and other impersonal documents. I love sending people postcards from where-ever we go because I loved receiving them when I was growing up. So I was happy to get that one from Moscow. I think it's my first from Russia. Maybe soon I'll head that way to look at the Kremlin myself as featured on the photo!
I met two Egyptian brothers years ago in Samoa and we sent each other postcards every now and then. For me Egypt was so far removed from Samoa that it was exciting to receive a …

End of Summer School and Exploring

Summer School ended last Wednesday. In my last class I found the students had brought a stereo with full on speakers to class and set it up at the back of the classroom. So after a quick lesson we had a party. Again end of term party is eating sweets and junk food and this time the boys turned on their music and danced to the latest hits. It was hilarious. They were enjoying themselves so much it was fun to watch. The girls of course did not get up except for one really daring one that got up and did a funny dance move that sent everyone in hysterics.
One boy brought his guitar so at one point they turned off the music and let the guitarist show his talent. So I asked the students for someone to sing to accompany the music. And they all said they couldn't sing. So I said to the guitarist to sing himself. He was a bit shy so his friend covered his face with a book and then he started singing. And boy did I make a mistake. Unlike his natural talent with the instrument his vocals wer…

Photos from the weekend

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The beautiful Al Waha Hotel at Barr Al Jissah.

Posing on our balcony after checking in before going for a swim.

After the day out, a bit sunburnt and tired. A taste of home, picked up a hibiscus in the garden to complement my island beach wear!

Whisked away...

The week-end began with dinner at Lize's. We had sweet and sour chicken which was delicious. We met Lize's friend whom she's staying with; a lovely lady from South Africa as well working here as an English teacher. The lady had a lovely face that's very youthful. It struck me that she spoke beautifully; eloquent and precise. What a good model for the English language, I thought!
We went to bed early and then Thursday morning we rose early and started for Barr Al Jissah or Shangri La, a resort consisting of three hotels which is about a thirty minute drive from Muscat. It is set on a beautiful cove with a stretch of beach and surrounded by the signature brown rugged hills of Oman. Hubby decided I needed a break of scenery from Muscat and from work so I was whisked away to Barr Al Jissah to relax and rejuvenate my senses!!! We checked in around ten and I headed straight for the pool while hubby headed for the gym. I slapped on as much sun screen armed with my book and wa…

Rugby World Cup Build up

Here's a great article about one of Samoa's great rugby players written by a well-known commentator which I thought was excellent and captures the essence of what makes a Samoan star player. One who plays from the heart for the love he has for his country. Our players do not get paid big bucks like players of other teams because our country just doesn't have the money. So when players can get lucrative deals from other teams, most choose to play for the small island that gives them more than any country with millions can't. The pride of being a representative of a tight-knit community or the extended family that is Samoa.

Aug 15, 2007
By Keith Quinn

Every day is countdown now for those of us packing up and heading off to the sixth Rugby World Cup in France.

As someone who has been fortunate enough to have attended all five previous Cup tournaments I am often asked about highlights of matches I have seen and rugby personalities I have enjoyed watching.

Being a Kiwi I cou…

Sign my Guestbook

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Pictures from around Muscat

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The museum in Mutrah

Beautiful sunset over Muscat.

Breathetaking

Entrance to the Muttrah souk in Ruwi. Beautiful place where you can buy silver, beads, cushion covers antiques, all kinds of old artefacts. It really gives you a feel of Arabia when you stroll through the souk.

Long week-end

So once again we have another holiday. So I get a three day week-end which is nice. Just finished my morning classes and what a head-ache. All the kids were in holiday mode I felt like drop kicking a teenager out a window.. choo hoooo. Frustrating. I caught some of them took a test from my desk. To punish them I gave them a test twice as long and will subtract some marks from their papers. What a headache on the last day of the week. And I wasn't the only one, my other colleagues had similar experiences today! So I gave a lot of writing exercises today to shut them up!
I'm working on my Mom's itinerary for her trip up and it is proving to be a a bit of a headache due to changes and unforseen Samoan circumstances. My aunty was supposed to come as well but now she's cancelled!
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Hubby's folks are looking at coming up in October so we have visitors to look forward to soon. It would be good for me cos I haven't been out of Muscat much so this'll be my chance to d…

Life as I know it

I have nothing to blog about but I just feel like writing. So I'm just going to talk about everything and nothing...simply because I can.
Oh actually my evening classes finished this week. I asked the students if they wanted to have a party after the test. Party meaning everyone bringing food and fizzy drinks to consume and just mingle in the classroom after the final test. One of my classes brought so much food and they presented me with a local perfume which the presenter announced was from Saudi. The bottle it came in is really beautiful. I opened the present in the class and took a whiff of the stuff and almost fainted. Hahaha! Their kind of perfume is very different from what I'm used to! So I've put it on display in the house because the packaging is just exquisite!
In the other class the only lady in it had bought a new car the day before and to celebrate she offered to bring the food for the "party" to which all the boys eagerly nodded in agreement...! It w…

Lost Father

A couple of weeks ago as I was driving home from work in the evening "Dance with my father" by Luther Vandross came on the radio and I turned it up to full blast. It transported me back to our wedding in Samoa on the 17th of December 2005. As the sun was setting and the party was still going, my eight year old niece Yvonne stood up on the platform to sing this very song for me. It was her favourite song at the time and she had learned the whole song but was too nervous to sing alone so she did like a duet with Luther Vandross. It was a beautiful moment and I'm sure many tears were shed during that very song. Anyway I looked across and saw my brother in-law Yvonne's dad wiping his own tears.
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I wasn't very familiar with the song before then and as I was driving home I heard every word and I just started crying. It was so weird I just cried and cried while the song was playing partly because it reminded me that the song is about a little girl reminiscing about danc…

Funnies in class

During one of my lessons this week I asked my students to make up general statements. I went around to check their work and was reading one of my Palestinian students work. He wrote a grammatically correct sentence but the content just made me want to run out of the room and laugh my head off. The sentence went like this: "Palestinian people are good at throwing stones." He looked at me and smiled and said.."but it's true" lol. It was hilarious. I had to keep it together to stay composed.
Two weeks ago we were doing present perfect e.g. I have known... This was one of the beginnings I gave them to complete. One student who was in his early twenties asked about what exactly to write. I knew this particular student just got married last year so I said "How long have you known your wife?" And he said "aaaah..." lightpulp moment, he thought for a bit and I was thinking.. How long does it take for one to figure out how long you've known your…

Nasty hangovers and upgrades!

Just got back from Dubai tonight. Tired as. Went out last nite with Alex and Rich, Net's hubby from the UK to the Irish Village in Dubai. Of course a few beers too many later we moved to Rock Bottom... Next thing we were just wasted hahaha Because I was drinking for Nets and I...lol Left the club at 2am and went home. Woke up with the WORST hangover. I was supposed to go skiing at 9am with Alex's sister... I was still in bed by 11am. I was just GONE. Of course famous last words : I am never doing that again...!!! We went to sister-in-law's place and I went straight to bed. Two hours later I woke up revitalised and headed for the mall to catch up with hubby, C and our friends that we had planned to have lunch with. Heh heh! Let's just say I was a wreck choo hooo. And because of it I didn't even want to shop...darn it hahaha! After lunch had a quick look around then went home. I caught the 10.30pm flight back. The airport was packed. I was lucky to get a seat. Got t…

Thursday: week-end

Wow I had 50 visitors yesterday on the blog! That's a record! I wonder why that was. Well it's the week-end here and I must say I'm enjoying it. This morning I woke up at 6am which was new and it wasn't too hot then. The pools looked inviting but wasn't inspired enough to make the effort! I know, hopeless. Ok the real reason: Last night I had one too many wines with dinner and I woke up sick as a dog... cliche but yeah I hate that feeling. It's moments like that, that I vow never to put that stuff in my mouth again! But seriously I wonder why I drink one too many at times. I wish I could just stop consuming alcohol altogether but hmmmm will do eventually.
So today I went to pay bills and do some grocery shopping which was not bad. Just something to do to get out of the house. Poor hubby has been working hard so I let him sleep in and tried to tip-toe to give him peace....for a little while. heh heh! At 2pm we went to meet friends for coffee. Our friends that we…

Check out and sign my guestbook!

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7/7/07

I thought I'd write a blog today on the triple 7 day. We went to Dubai for the week-end to see Alex's sister who lives there and catch up with friends. Alex arrived from work then we went back to the airport to fly to Dubai. We waited at the Crowne Plaza for Cesca for about an hour before Cesca finished work. Because it wasn't very far we walked it! In 35 degrees heat, it wasn't exactly the best idea. 20 minutes later and drenched in sweat we arrived at the house. It felt like a mission due to the heat and the high humidity on that day. What was nice was that, it was after 6.30pm and the sun was setting so the sky was beautiful and we walked through houses where the labourers lived. It was busy and it was so different from the other parts of Dubai. We werwe stared at as we didn't belong there but otherwise it was an interesting walk. From then on we figured out how to ring taxis so we wouldn't walk anymore:):)

Pick-up Story!

Yesterday in one of my classes, I gave the students some exercises to complete and in the middle of it they erupt into a frenzy of Arabic speaking! They were obviously discussing something they felt strongly about so I asked what the problem was and to at least discuss it in English!
One guy pointed at the one lady and said
"She wants to buy a pick-up!" and shook his head.
"So? She lost her car in the flood", I was a little confused about what the problem was.
The lady spoke up, "Teacher, I want to buy a pick-up and they're all saying I shouldn't because ladies don't drive pick-ups"
A classic example of cultural differences.
And the lady continued that even her family were against the idea of her buying a pick-up!!! Moreover when she went to the showroom even the salespeople were discouraging her form buying one!
I asked her why she had decided to buy a pick-up and she said she just wanted one and she didn't see the problem. Though her sister t…

The Two-hundreth Post!

Went back to work last week. It's nice to have an aim in life once more, something to wake up to and sleep stressing about hahaha! Ok not stressful really. I work from 4pm to 9pm which I think is pretty good. The boss has been trying to get me to work in the mornings too but I think I would like a quality of life rather than money. Or am I just lazy...well somebody shoot me... I also have a husband whom I think would like to see me at some point in the day. heh heh. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
So Muscat is still recovering from the remnants of cyclone Gonu and they're doing great. Though there are some areas that still don't have running water however water trucks are sent there every now and then to replenish people's private tanks. Today before class I went to help David move one of their cars to the school compound where his partner works in case there's flooding tomorrow and their cars turn into floaters again. (See David, your name's m…

Back to normal!

Here I am blogging from home once more. The phone came back on last night along with the internet and showtime TV. Just as well as I've just about read every book on our book shelves and have had enough of conspiracies of taking over the world and lawyers making and spending too much money...! I think I should move on to more philosophical stuff for a little while...or not.
Lately I would pick up a book and start reading and if I'm not in the mood for it I would drop it and look for another. Maybe this is normal for others but I never used to do that. I got a list of books from my nephew Ben in Brighton so I'm now on a quest to find them and start reading some more.
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First of all let me go back to work. Hopefully on Saturday our classes will start again. The school was totally flooded and they were working on re-wiring the whole place due to water damage! And air-conditioning is a must as 45 degrees Celsius is not exactly an ideal classroom temperature! I hope for my boss&…

Destruction by Cyclone Gonu

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Photographer: anonymous


Photographer: anonymous

Post-Cyclone Gonu

O lea e lelei mea uma. E leai se mea o faaletonu ai maua. Faafetai i le alofa o le Atua ona o lana puipuiga alofa mo i maua i taimi o lologa ma matagi malolosi. Faafetai foi tatalo mai i aiga ma uo. Ia God bless.
I was in the middle of updating during the cyclone when the internet got disconnected. We still don't have the internet at home but will post some pictures afterwards. We continued to have electricity up to now. Water got cut off just for one whole day. After the cyclone we drove around Muscat and were shocked to find that there was heavy flooding, roads and cars were washed away. Houses were flooded as well. We were very lucky compared to many people around Oman. The damages are estimated at around $1billion! BUT this is an oil rich nation so it won't take long before everything is up and running again. I must commend the effiency of the government departments in issuing warnings to residents before the cyclone. Even their post-cyclone efforts have been remarkable. O…

Cyclone Gonu Updates!

June 07, 2007
It's still pouring rain here. Power is still on and so are the phones so its not too bad. Our bedroom window started to leak through earlier so we're just mopping it every now and then but otherwise all is well. The cyclone is supposed to pass Muscat and head up to the coast of Iran. Due to the dry air from the desert it has supposedly slowed down the winds and breaking up the cyclone so hopefully it'll pass soon. All I know for sure is that Muscat plants are now well watered for the next few days. There's flooding in some areas apparently and our friend by the beach didn't call us back to pick them up. I take it they left with their neighbours as that's what they were about to do when I last spoke to them.
My other friend who lives in a house at the university in Al Khoud texted to say their windows were all leaking through and the trees around the area had fallen and there was debris around the area and she had had enough of Cyclone Gonu! So I sa…

In the middle of cyclone Gonu!

Here we are in the middle of Cyclone Gonu in Oman. It has been raining since about 2.30am last night and its pouring down now. A bit of wind but not too bad. It's cooled down a bit too but so far we still have electricity, phone and internet. The TV satellite is down. The power has been flickering. Compared to what I've been through before this is mild and thank goodness it is so. However I just called friends that live by the sea and I was told that the waves are pretty big out there and that their garden has started to flood. We're waiting to see what the next plan of action would be. Over and out from Cyclone Gonu.

Cyclone Gonu

It's 6.40pm here in Muscat and the country is in a state of emergency due to Cyclone Gonu heading for the coast of Oman. Everyone was sent home from work today to await or sit out the cyclone at home. It hasn't arrived yet and hope it has missed us altogether. It is predicted to hit the East coast of Oman and Muscat would just get heavy rains and gusts of wind as we'll only get the fringes of the strong winds. So Inshallah as they say here it doesn't affect too many people and it breaks up soon. Its apparently unusual for these parts to get hurricanes or cyclones but somehow the Indian waters thanks to global warming has now provided the perfect conditions for a cyclone to form. I am not one bit excited about this because I thought I was far away from the Pacific prone to cyclones and here I am in the Middle East and it has followed me here! Isn't it ironic. This would be my fifth cyclone in my young life! Oh well such is life!!!
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On a lighter note I heard yesterday…

Arrival

We landed in Heathrow at about 6.30 pm then went straight to the hotel to see Rudi. We hung out with Rudi for about 2 hours until Netia and Rich came after work to fetch us. We had a couple of pints at the bar before we headed to Winchester. We got there and went straight to bed in our comfortable beds in Nets and Rich's spare bedroom.
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The next morning after a hearty English breakfast cooked by a Samoan :) Alex and I walked down to the village and caught the bus into Winchester. We got to town picked up a map and followed the walking tour route. It's a nice little town and we had a look through the museum about the history of the area. We then went to the Cathedral which was amazing. Huge and had many extensions over time. And the main architect was named William and the renovator was another William and a diver that saved the church by diving under and replacing wood with cement over a period of five years was also called William!!! Many of those buried in the crypt were arc…

Rugby

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Alex in his team colours

Nets and I flying the country flag.

Afeleki Pelenise after scoring a try.


Samoans in action.

NZ performing the haka after beating Samoa in the finals...arrrggghhh

Rugby

We were woken up by Nets and Rich who drove in from Winchester for the rugby. WE all stayed at the same hotel which was not far from the stadium. Matt and Cherna arrived and then we all made our way to the Twickenham stadium. We met up with other Samoans who lived in England and around Europe and we all sat together to do our cheer together. As Samoans it turns out we all know each other one way or another and some were old schoolmates. Small world this is. The rugby was great, our team won all our games and the people we were with made it even more fun. We went home around 6pm and went to get dinner from a nearby pub which served Indian cuisine. Went to bed early ready for another day at the field.
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We woke up early to catch the huge inclusive English breakfast and caught a taxi to the stadium. Once again great rugby and we were having more fun off the field than on. Our team lost at the finals to NZ. Upside was my cousin Alf was playing for NZ and he had a good game. Our team didn&#…