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Friday, February 23, 2007

We're coming home! (for a visit)

Counting down the days, the hours and soon the minutes to our trip home to our Mommas and Dadda. We're heading home at the end of next month to revisit our homes and to see our families. We're looking forward to all the little ones who have grown an inch or two since last time and who now have a few too many words in their vocabulary and lots of ideas on what we could get up to. Of course we will also greet the new members of our families (babies) who are due in April and those who were born while we're away. My two sisters are due in April and Alex's cousins have had a few babies in the past year. So, its exciting. Of course I dread being asked over and over when we're starting our own team but well that's what families are all about: to love, to cherish and annoying at times.
Our dear families and friends who read this: We'll be in Samoa from April 5th to the 15th and in Wellington, NZ from the 16th to the 22nd, we'll be in Hamilton and Auckland for the rest of April until we leave. So make sure you make your way to see us while we're there(uh huh). We're hoping to organise a get-together at both homes in Samoa and Wellington so we can catch up with most of you. Unfortunately we don't have the time to visit everyone but we'll try our very best.
We made it to church today and the pastor gave a thought provoking sermon about not giving in to temptation. He was reiterating that we all have a tendency to do bad or choose badly but its a matter of being prepared to recognise and fight off the temptation that we come out winners with no regrets or sadness, Amen. God bless us all. Have a lovely week-end everyone.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


So another week has ended and whew what a relief. I'm now tutoring history to a teenager in the afternoons and I'm sort of enjoying revising what we learned back in High School. The student has to sit his O level exams this year so I hope to help him pass his exams so he can get on with his life.
The week has been hectic. Being a new teacher certainly has its trials and tribulations. Like any other job one learns as you go along. Somehow for me it feels harder than it should be. I wonder if its to do with the fact that I've been out of a job for awhile that's making this working life seem harder than it is. Basically I'm being a B!G B@BY. But hey its my life and my free space so I'm going to howl as long and as loud as I want. heh heh! I don't even have time to go to the gym these days.
I'm a night person, all my family are(I think) and while I was loafing at home (pre-job, post-uni, desperate housewife) I stayed up late and slept in. Now I'm trying my flailing best to sleep early and get up early. So far I go to bed at 11pm if I'm lucky and get up around 8am. More like the alarm goes off at 8 and I stagger out of bed 30 mins after that. This morning I thought to myself 'I can do it' and off I went to the gym. In my head was hubby's voice "just 20 mins of a good work out will make a difference." Nike swoosh came to mind 'Just do it'
I got onto the running machine and decided to go for gold. Me who hasn't been working out much lately, I went hard out doing interval training. My head felt like it was going to burst and my heart was beating in my ears. I thought wow I'm really pushing myself. Normally when I feel that, I would then lower the level of the machine and just about stroll for the rest of the 20 mins. This time I thought again "no, I can do it."
Well, 10 minutes later I thought it was enough, time to go to another machine plus I really didn't feel that good. I got off the machine and just about fell on my face. I felt so dizzy and close to throwing up. I made it to the closest bench and sat down to regain full conciousness and managed to think "what an idiot." Like all those fitness books say 'Do not push too hard when you haven't been for a long time because you're not as fit as when you last exercised.'
So working girl waddled back home to hubby's surprise hahaha! I thought it was hilarious though it was not very smart but then really what is pushing too hard and what isn't. I must email some fitness guru about this:)
It's now after midnight but its my week-end as I'm only teaching one two-hour class tomorrow so I can relax a little bit. Hubby is at work and he's gonna freak when he finds me still up in front of the computer(like its something new lol). Well better say adieu because this working girl wants to make it to the gym tomorrow. God help us all. Amen
Oh and one last thought I wanted to write about earlier in the week but didn't have the time. I got an email from my Mom back home informing us of two elderly relatives(ladies) who have passed away. I've been away from home a lot and this time for quite awhile, however its still weird to get these emails about people from our village or family dying.
To me, its like my childhood memories or my roots are slowly being depleted or evaporating into nothingness. Everytime I return home, it's always nice to see all the faces that I once saw every other day growing up as a child, though weathered but the same smile or scowl remained. Though I make comments like oh "Ailole is still the same, still asking for my earrings and saying I'm fat to my face" and yet its what I know growing up there. If I go home now and don't hear or see that person, it feels as if a void has taken that person's place. Whether very significant or not-so-significant those people still mean something to me or are a part of who I am. They are a part of what I know as home, of what is familiar to me, of what once inspired me to get out of that village and make something of myself, only to find out that one self is within me. No place, money or profession can change who one is, for one's roots I believe; defines who one is and what one becomes for the rest of one's life.
So thanks to Aunty Ailole, I better go to bed so I can make it to the gym and see if she'll call me fat this year. Food for thought. Good night and Good Luck.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

End of the week!

What a stressful week it has been for me. I am teaching a new class this week and boy were they giving me a hard time. Amazing how they act like little children. Well I have to say I lost sleep over it last night but today I regained my grounds and had a fabulous class. This week the Director of the institution I'm teaching at decided to put another teacher in my class for dual teaching. Of course they told us this on the afternoon of the day. Basically we were told that the Teacher coordinator was coming to teach with us. She would teach some parts of the class too! I'm like what the heck??? That is weird. As it was too late to do anything about it, I taught the first day and the coordinator came in to "help" me. Of course the students did not understand why there were two teachers. Anyway as I had dreaded there was already a muck up of when I went to check the students' work and the answer I gave was different from what my colleague gave. So I tried to explain to students that you could use either (which you could).
The coordinator said that she was going to teach the grammar point for that day. I arrived early to see her to find out what exactly she was doing and what she'd like me to do. Ummmm she just waved dismissively and said not to worry when I finish I'll just leave and you can carry on??? I was like WHAT??
So that's what happened, she came in taught the grammar point with a context that was totally off my context of the week. So when she left I'm standing there trying to get the students attention back and to incoporate what she taught with the context I was using. Let's just say I was ready to scream my head off. I went in to see the Director and gave him a piece of my mind about the whole arrangement and that I didn't like it one bit. That day as it happened there was chaos in my class and in the other teacher's class whom the coordinator also sat in for. Today the director told me that they had scrapped the dual teaching idea altogether but I was worried that I may have lost my students. So today I went in with a vengeance. No more nice teacher but firm and "I'm the boss" approach. It went great and they loved the activities I gave. It was a very good day at work for me and aim to have many of those in the future. Inshallah as they say here which means God willing:)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Manu Samoa wins the Wellington Rugby Sevens Tournament.

Our Samoan rugby team won the cup at the Wellington Rugby Sevens tournament last week-end. They beat Fiji 17-14 who were the finals favourites. Fiji gave New Zealand a good beating at the semis 34-0 and everyone thought they had secured the Cup. With a bit of strength, technique and throw in a lot of heart, Samoa came away the winners last week. A big congratulations to them for the great effort. They are now heading for San Diego for the other tournament there. We hope to watch them again at the Hong Kong sevens in March! A bit of fanaticism? Maybe just patriotism!

More pictures from around Muscat.

Supersize me is also found in Arabic. That's the Omani flags hanging from the building. Last week was the Gulf Football(soccer) tournament and Oman made it to the final. They lost the final to Emirates but wow we saw some real fans in this place. Oman won all their games leading up to the final so every time they won all the youngsters drove around the city beeping their horns with flags all over the cars. Some sat on their car windows barely hanging on and shouting as they drive along. Mind you all this is done on the highway as well. They stop at the roundabouts and play their music and just jump around for joy. It was something else. We just avoided going out when the football was on.

I managed to snap a picture of my workplace from the highway. The white building behind the trees!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Muscat Festival.

The lights of the festival.
For the whole of January the city of Muscat hosted a festival which showcased local culture. It also included displays from different countries but mostly from around the region. We went to have a look and were quite impressed with what was on display. There were stalls from Egypt, Morrocco, Syria and Yemen. There were dancers from China, Iraq and the locals of course. There was also a Malaysian section. The Malaysians served their local food which was delicious. All over the grounds were little eateries of kebabs, popcorn, fries there were also coffee and tea places. It was very impressive and the carnival atmosphere was everywhere. The government had also imported animals and made a little zoo. There were four venues with with similar shows and entertainment. It was really nice. We had a lovely time there bargaining with the Egyptians and the Morroccans and then there were the Bedouins from the desert who would NOT bargain at all. It was take it or get lost. It was quite hilarious but it was fun to see them at work weaving their mats and masks. Here are some pictures from the festival.

Alex at the Malaysian eatery.

Omani boys that wanted their photo taken.

An old man weaving the cloths they use in the desert. Quite an elaborate tool that extends into a hole in the ground.

A machine that is driven by an ox that squeezes the sap from the sugar cane. Alex the tourist.

Peeling fibres from a plant.

Alex ordering at one of the food stands.

Young Omanis performing their local dance.

A young man stirs the halwa in a huge pan that is fixed to the floor. Under the floor is a huge fire heating the concoction, a local delicacy.

A lady carries a clay vessel on her head. Alex in the background.

Some Omani oldies hanging out under the date palms.

A local child carried by her mother.

Muscat Festival

Behind me is a cactus... never mind :)
A funny sign at the zoo.
A pelican in the small zoo.
A couple of female cops.
A caravan of horses, people and camels.

A twist. A camel rider checking his mobile phone... hilarious.

With friend Lize from South Africa.