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Showing posts from 2010

Kathmandu, Nepal

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Short trip & Birthdays

Tomorrow we're going to try and catch a flight a new destination and we all can't wait to do it. yippee.
We went to one of Tau's friend's birthdays and had a fabulous time. The kids did and so did the adults. The hosts were so organised so plenty of food to eat and drinks. It was fun. Tau and his friends had a nice time. We came home and I found that I left the front door unlocked!!! I freaked out a bit and went in to see the TV and other things were still in the house so no one waltzed in and help themselves when we were gone. Then I found that the back porch door was unlocked as well!!! Hubby had grilled stuff on the BBQ and forgot to lock the door! Oops. Just hope that won't happen again! Oh and when hubby got home there was a car that ran into our skip out front!!! How he did that is beyond us because the skip is safely off the road! The guy after bumping the skip got lodged into the barriers that are there to protect the new drains so good luck. We saw the po…

Sleepless in Muscat

Due to my over consumption of treated red grapes (in other words red wine) from Spain last night and my early work out this morning, I was really tired. I dropped Tau to nursery came home made brekkie with hubby_dearest before he went to work and I to bed! I slept till it was time to pick up my son from nursery. Boy that was a good sleep too. I picked my son up from nursery and brought him home fed him and self lunch and then took him for his afternoon nap. I read my book and next thing I was fast asleep next to him again!! We woke up around 4pm!!! So we came downstairs, I made pasta with salmon baked in the over. It was a yummy meal after a whole day of sleeping. So now hubby_dearest and our son are asleep and I can't sleep! I watched Sex and the City the movie and boy that was good. I was in tears when Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big had their altercation on the street! It was full of raw emotion and it was played really well. Gotta love a good love story.
Tomorrow I have to get cu…

Covert blogging

So I tried to hide a fact in one of my blogs and the person I was writing about knew straight away I was talking about them! So much for my covert blogging! Not that I really tried. Just venting really.
I made it to the exercise class this morning. As I dragged my feet along the beach all I could think of was the nice Spanish shiraz that I delightedly punished myself with the night before. I congratulated myself for getting up for the exercise session but in between rubbing the cobwebs from my eyes I also advised myself not to do that again the night before running up and down the beach trying to get fit! Boot Camp has been so much fun, exercising as the sun comes up in the morning and making friends with fellow unfit boot campers has been a blast. Next week is the last week of Boot Camp and am sad about it but I've also signed up for the next session. I figured if I can't drag my lazy bum to the gym then I might as well do this first thing three mornings a week.
Lee Child
I'…

Slacking off

I have training in the morning but tonight we went to friends for some drinks and dinner. I have it in that order because that's how it was. We had a lovely time but I have training early tomorrow and I had about a whole bottle of red wine to myself as one friend was pregnant and one didn't drink! Anyway here we are at home and am tired and about to go to bed.

Chile Miners rescue

It's nice to hear that the Chilean miners are being rescued as I type this. However the funniest twist is when one of the miners' wife found out there was another lady waiting for her husband. It turned out the lady was her husband's mistress!!! So as the Daily Mail reports this miner is "stuck between a rock and a hard place" ha ha. I'm sure he's well aware he's in deep s*&^ when he gets out. Now the wife has decided that she won't go to the site to wait for her philandering husband because the husband asked for her and the mistress to be there when he gets out. He's a real winner...not.

Mad morning

This morning my alarm went off and I must have stopped it instead of snoozing it that I woke up again and the time was 5.33am! I was so disappointed in myself as I thought I missed the Boot camp training this morning. Then I thought hold on it's not too late to catch some of it. I quickly got dressed, brushed teeth and ran out to the car and drove towards the beach. Lucky I'm not too far from the beach so was there within 10 minutes. So I was about 30 minutes late but I made it in time to do most of the self test and the rest of the exercises. It felt good and was happy to have made it. It's a good start to the day. When I got home hubby and sonny were fast asleep and was told that Tau didn't sleep well so I snuggled in after my shower and was knocked out. I woke up a few hours later refreshed and went out to the Women's Guild group coffee to get my new card and tickets for the Crystal Ball next month. I'm really looking forward to the ball and praying that Ale…

Reproducing and adoption Samoan style

I've been absolutely rubbish at updating my blog. I'm really disappointed in myself for it. So I hope to improve though do not hold your breathe. So happy news in the family my sister is pregnant with their second child, my brother's fiance is carrying their third child(he has three from a previous marriage) and then everyone looked at me to be the bearer of the 26th grandchild to my mother: and I said considering the way the others are reproducing I'm sure someone else will will cover that number. Sure enough one of my sister-in-laws is carrying their fifth child(this same brother has other kids from previous relationships) so I think my family has far exceeded the kids quota though I do want another child. What I don't understand is how people who struggle manage to just keep having babies when they can barely afford to send the other kids to school. Funny thing is I heard my Mom tell my sister-in-law and brother last time we were in Samoa to consider family plan…

Update

Villa
At the end of July we found and moved into a villa which has a nice small garden and one car garage though both cars can fit inside the gate. We've been here for almost three months now and it's great. The A/Cs were noisy at first but the maintenance were quick to service them. One is still noisy but we hardly use it so we don't bother. We've had a few BBQs here which have been fun. It just shows how much we missed out on entertaining since we didn't have the space before. Tau is enjoying the outdoors more as the weather improves.
Austria
At the end of August, Tau and I travelled to Austria to visit my sister there. We were there for two weeks and what a lovely time we had. We flew to Munich where my sister picked us up from and two hours later we were in Mondsee. The weather there was great plus the views and the greenery made it divine. Every day we did something fun for Tau not to get bored. Plus we could use the pool so we swam almost every day for the first…

From Austria with love

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Villa hunting

We're looking at moving to a villa(house in Oman). I went searching last month since we got back from Samoa. We finally found a really nice one that met what we wanted and within our budget. It was up to our company and the agent then to write up the appropriate documents and all and then we get to move in. Well we were happy and awaiting move in dates however we also realise that in this country nothing is straight forward. Sure enough we followed up this week and the agent was being elusive. We finally managed to get a hold of him to be told that the landlord changed his mind and that he wanted to rent all his villas to one company. Naturally we were very unhappy because he could have just called our company back and told them that but instead he wasted our time and lead us on. Anyway we're back to square one looking for a villa again. Our lease is up at the end of the month and so we have two weeks to look for a villa we like:) So here we go again and praying that we find o…

Tau turns two

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Our son Tau turned two. We organised a party for him and his friends at a local indoor play area with all sorts of games for the kids to play with. After and hour or so of play we called them back to have lunch sing the birthday song and cut the cake as well as have a go at the coolest pinata ever that our friends made for Tau. It was a fab party. Almost everyone made par the ones that had left the country on holiday. We all had a nice time catching up with friends while the kids played. Tau got loads of presents which was fun for him of course. Thanks to everyone that came. Great times

Samaga Pe'a

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The time came when the completion of the tattooing sessions were near. We went to Samoa for three and a half weeks and we were hoping that it would be done well before then but by the third week we were not so sure we'd be done well before or in time. You see in Samoa there are a lot of unforseeable circumstances that arise. One of those was the tattooist's family from ovearseas showed up for family meetings and all. So there had to be days off while the tufuga dealt with his family duties. On top of that Mother's day followed and then the final week was full on tattooing everyday until it was completed on Saturday.
On this Saturday I dropped the two victims off to the tufuga's house, hung around to serve breakfast and then went back to our host family to help with the preparations for the samaga ceremony. Samaga is the ceremony that formalises the completion of the tufuga's work and where he lifts his taboos and bans and let's the new pe'as out into the wor…

Cyclone Phet

Cyclone Phet was downgraded to a Tropical Storm yesterday. There was lots of heavy rain in Muscat that caused the wadis to flow. Buildings in the wadis were inevitably flooded. There's this big mall called the CCC centre here in Qurum that was once more flooded as well as the Mc Donald's near it. In Gonu three years ago the water covered all of the fast food outlet but this time the water was half way up. Still a lot of damage I'd say to their equipment and the lot. I think they make enough money that this is just a minor glitch to their operation. Otherwise the south of Oman where Sur is, there were pictures uploaded by people there showing a lot of houses were flooded. Once more that poor city suffers from the floods. We drove around Qurum and Al Khuwair areas this morning and I must say it's impressive how the roads have already been cleaned or in the process of being cleaned by government employed labourers. I must give it to the government they obviously learned f…

Cyclone Phet in Oman

While I'm blogging away, Tau and Aleki are fast asleep. I decided to cease the moment and catch up on my blog. I quickly checked my facebook page and a friend was online who also lived here in the same complex. She informed me that there is a cyclone heading for Oman! I thought she was having me on but then she called me and confirmed. She'd been shopping for food and said that the store shelves were cleaned out as people went to buy food to prepare for the worst. Saddest thing is we have no idea. This morning we went out to view two prospective houses and came back and were at home all day. We had the radio on in the car and there was no mention of a cyclone then! So I'm hoping and praying that the cyclone doesn't come our way:( I just looked online and they mentioned it weakening but not too sure. On top of that I tune in to Euro news and the breaking news is that of a man that had gone on a killing spree somewhere in the UK! It is madness. I better go get some sleep…

By stander / supporter / family

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Watching the tattooing and the tattooed men from the sidelines is an amazing experience in itself. My mother said to me from the beginning to prepare my husband and myself for it is a challenging journey and it is no easy feat. Well her words couldn't have been more true.
My task throughout the tattooing was to make sure everyone was well fed, that everything was running smoothly and be there to support Aleki and give him the encouragement to keep him going. There were some bumps along the way but one had to try and keep it together so that the two guys can just focus and get through the tattooing.


Unfortunately for Lealali Aleki's(warm showered bum for most of his life) the cold showers throughout the day were nearly as bad as the tattooing itself (he said). Moreover they had to sleep on the floor on fala papa(hard mats) throughout the three weeks. They weren't allowed to use sheets while sleeping(and the nights were cold) nor sleep on mattresses. On the third night Leala…

Taga tatau i Samoa / Tattooing in Samoa

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My husband was offered and he accepted a matai title from my family early last year. Afterwards he said to me that it was time he gets the tatau. He'd always wanted one and now he felt was the right moment to get his tatau.
The tatau is the full body(covers 65% of the body) tattoo that young men who come of age get. Today men get it when they are ready or want it. So we planned quietly and arranged to do the tattooing in Savaii with a tattooist at Vaipu'a Savai'i whom also tattooed my brother 6 years before. Alex and many of our friends have been tattooed by this man Su'a Loli Keli with arm bands or other designs. He's a real artist with a good eye. He's very talented and everyone I know he'd tattooed come away smiling and happy with the design they get from Loli Keli.
The time came and we traveled to Samoa via New Zealand. We spent one night in Auckland and the H-Town delegation picked us up from the airport which was really nice. We spent a few hours with…

Emergency in the village

I went back to the house to make sure the chow was ready for the galuega (tattooing) and found my cousin had driven to the galuega with it. As I was about to hop back in the car to go back to help my cousin's wife ran up to me accompanied by some random village boy if I could help this family by driving their child to the nearby hospital as the child had collapsed. I agreed and the boy and I drove to their house not far away to pick up the child. When I drove up, three women ran towards the car with one cradling what looked like 3-5 year old girl in her arms. The little was unconscious as her head was lolling as the woman cradled her. I asked if she was breathing and the older woman said that the little one was breathing but just not responding. I drove towards the hospital with what's now the little girls grandma and two aunties. I wasn't aware of the whereabouts of the mom but the little girl was under the care of the grandma that day it seemed. As I was driving along to…

Tales from our trip to SAMOA from April 27th to May 19th 2010

We've been with the family in Hamilton for three days now. We've had a nice relaxing time. Tau's grandparents flew up from Welly to spend more time with him and it's been a lovely week-end. Jody and I have had our night out after our scrumptious dinner at Lone Star where I ordered a whole bowl of mussels and ate it all too. yum yum. It was just really yummy. Anyway we're now packing and head to the airport real soon. Next destination Brisbane to the Labans and meet the newest handsome addition to the family Mr. Lyell Jnr Laban born to Lyell & Victoria Laban. He must be my granddad's 100th great-grandchild as grand dad had a few to many kids in his scandalous time.
I better get going bro-in-law is busy cooking up a storm for brunch this morning and my tummy is making funny noises. I shall update on the tattoo journey as soon as I get on my own comp at home.
Here's a taste: On our first week-end in the village one guy was caught driving through the villag…

Shamal

When I get back from Samoa I'll write up on our time on Shamal. Our friends Alec and Ann arrived early this month on the Shamal, their beloved Catamaran they sailed up from NZ through Australia, Asia, Sri Lanka and India. We've had a lovely time with them here in Oman and they will set sail for the UAE in two days as we head to Samoa for a month. Until then soifua

Oxford

We've been, we've seen and we're pleased. We flew to Heathrow on March 3rd and drove to Oxford on the same evening. We checked into our hotel and waited for the scholar and Aute to come by. They didn't show up till about 2 hours later thank you very much. They'd just sat down to dinner when I called but I thought it wasn't long. Anyway it was so nice to them when they made it over. My little sister was accepted as a fellow in the Reuters School of Journalism at the Green Templeton College at Oxford University and went there to do her fellowship for three months. So it was a full on course and we managed to squeeze in the trip to go see her during her studies. We had lunch at her college a few times and met her classmates and some of her friends. We later joined her class for tea at the director's residence which was really nice. Tau made an impression on the Oxfordians as they passed him along and entertained him all evening which was great. The people were…

Books

I finally succumbed to the vampire trend and bought the Twilight book and read it on the flight back from NZ! Wow I must say it was quite a read and it wasn't bad at all. I didn't like the bit of the story where I thought the story broke after the heroine was attacked but otherwise the writer was very good with words and I must say a very realistic way of describing a teenage crush when nothing else matters but what you feel and the subject of one's infatuation. So needless to say I'm hooked and want to get through the other two books now.
On the way to NZ I read Caroline's Sister by Sheila O'Flannagan. It was okay... I thought it droned on in some bits and it got to a point where I just skipped paragraphs and still didn't lose the storyline which was almost boring by the end. Needless to say I was glad I was done with that.
When I went to England a few years ago I met my eldest nephew Ben for the first time and we discussed books and he gave me a list of mu…

Stand-by Travel and Citizenship

Ia e muamua ona sii le viiga ma le faafetai i le Atua ona o lona alofa tunoa mo i tatou uma ua le mavae lea. Ona oo ai lea o lau faafetai ia John Key for I got my NZ citizenship application accepted last October thank you very much. I got a letter from the citizenship office last month that the ceremony to take my oath of citizenship was on February 8th of this month.
As we decided it's best to get it over with now, we had to make arrangements on how I was going to accomplish this with the least disruption to our baby boy's life. Thank goodness for good friends my best pal in Dubai decided that she'll come to ours and faamuli with my son when hubby dearest was at work. So it was sort of a wife-swap except I wasn't being swapped, I had to make my way to Wellington in the fastest possible way and back before my son forgot he had a mommy. I was travelling on a discounted fare (thanks to hubby's job) where I would be one of the last people that they consider at boardin…

Feoaiga

We came back from Dubai today. Hubby went for word to start with and after Bubba's nursery on Wednesday I picked him up and headed straight for the airport to go to Dubai. Here is how my day went that Wednesday.
Bubba and I were up at 6.30 fed him his breakfast got ready and off we went to drop him off at nursery. He cried for a bit as I left but the teacher at the gate reassured me "he cries for two minutes then he stops after you leave". I wasn't sure whether that was supposed to make me feel better!
I came home and quickly did our packing, tidied our messy apartment from bubba's playing the night before, toys all over the lounge and I also tried to get some washing done before heading off so we're now greeted with a tonne of laundry on our return. After the house was nicely tidied, dishes washed, laundry in washing machine I had enough time to zip down to the salon and got my nails done. Oh yeah I needed a reward after all that work heh. I told the lady to c…

Haere Mai

We've had a fabulous time this past Christmas. My Mom, the Waikato delegation consisting of sister JJ, her hubby G and princess Moerangi all arrived the day before Christmas to spend it here with us. Very exciting times. Christmas day we woke up to the smell of yummy champagne breakfast prepared by Tau's nana Sue which consisted of croisants, ham, french toast, strawberries with chocolate dip, poached eggs and the lot topped off with champagne of course. So it was a scrumptious start to Christmas day.
Alex got busy with G to cook the turkey in the weber bbq. Nana Sue was busy in the kitchen all day as we come in and out to help clean and chop whatever was needed but Nana was in control of the menu for the Christmas lunch. My Mom and sis J were occupied keeping the kids entertained and at some point made it to their beds to have a nap. Come lunch time we all had our second wind and were ready to eat some more and party. Alex's Aunty Theresa and her family arrived with more …