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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Change of Plans

I wrote a whole blog about staying put this Christmas and celebrating it at home the way we like it only for all that to be turned upside down, inside out when hubby's roster came out and he's working on Christmas and New Year! So off we go to Samoa to celebrate with my Mama or Granma to Tauilagi while poor hubby stays back to work throughout the "holiday season." Tomorrow my son and I start our journey via Bangkok, on to Auckland, Hamilton to see the whanau and then continue onto Samoa. I'm looking forward to the week-end in H-Town as self and my three sisters will all be together once more if only for a little while. Tau's doting Nana and Papa are coming up from Wellington to spend a few days with the little rascal so it's going to be one heck of a week-end. 
Monday self, my son and Lagipoiva are catching the same flight to Samunda and boy I've now worked myself up to much excitement about Christmas back home. I'm looking forward to seeing my mum and of course I'm sure she can't wait to see what the sewing elf has for her. OK I don't sew I take it to a local tailor who's now an expert at sewing puletasis for me mom for her many appearances for the paparazzi...eincho celebrity mamasan (right). 
I'm planning to make my way around MY Island of Savai'i and do the usual stops to see the family here and there and lose a couple of talas while at it. So depending on how well lined my pockets are with Christmas and all but I really do want to make the trip and take photos of Lealali's tattooing ceremony to my relatives that hosted us then and to the tattooist himself who asked for some pictures. I want to see the elders in our family while there.
I plan to not spend too much time with people that will just piss me off. I plan to spend time enjoying the beaches, waterfalls and places I miss most. I plan to go see our pastor and his wife to say hello when we go for the Christmas service. I look forward to the New Years service when the oldest people in our village get up to make speeches. However since the most popular guy Talimao passed away last year and our singing old Aunty passed also I wonder if the new oldies have brought their game this year. I will miss Talimao and my aunty Ailole's singing of 4 verses of a hymn to finish off their speeches.
I plan to visit my granma's grave and that's what I don't like about going back there, is the fact that my Grandma is not there. She was the constant presence, the pull to that place we called home and now years later, it's still not the same without her. I miss her and I think this will be my first Christmas back there without her. It's amazing how Grandma's passing just left a gaping hole where she once was. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Runaway and Hopeless Mum

I was at the mall with my 3 year old son today. He was doing really well until he saw Toys R Us. I explained that we're having a look and not buying him anything. He said ok and we went to the bike section where he proceeded to try out the bikes and the cars and anything he could ride on. It was time to leave and he didn't want to leave. I literally had to half carry him out of there kicking and screaming at me to put him down as he was not a baby. We got to the door and I spotted other friends so to distract him I said look there's your friend Ruth. We went over to say hi and he sort of ran back into Toys R Us. I saw him run back inside so I assumed(big mistake) he was in the bike section again. I quickly said goodbye and went back to find him only to find him nowhere in the shop. I called out his name and he didn't reply as he usually did. Now I'm running around the shop trying to find him then it occurred to me that he must have left the shop so I run out of the shop into the mall and now I'm about to faint as I was fearing the fact that he could be anywhere in this massive mall and the worst case scenario is someone snatching him! 
I notified my friends that I had seen earlier that I couldn't find my son and if they saw him and they said no. Luckily some people saw and overheard me said there was a boy by the mall entrance not far from where I was. I ran as fast as I could towards the doors and there was another mother with her child trying to coax my son out from under the stairs where he had sought refuge and was sitting quietly with tears in his eyes. The lady was kind and reassured me he's ok and that these things happen! The relief I felt was overwhelming as I went to get him. He said he ran away from me then he couldn't find me! Just great, my 3 year old is already trying to run away from his mother! I held him tight and told him not to do that again I was really scared because I couldn't find him. And he said to me not to lose him again! ouch. It looks like I'm not getting the Mother of the Year award this year. I thank God that nothing bad happened to him and that I'm not letting him out of my sight EVER.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Golf in the Gulf

Hubby went to play golf a few days ago. When I got home I found he and his golf buddy brooding in the lounge. "Hmmm", I dared ask "I take it, it wasn't a great day on the green today? Who won? How did you guys play today?" Me sounding all interested. One said it was an okay day and the other said they played badly. However that's not far from the normal reply though lately they were upbeat after a game, so I still didn't get why they were brooding today! I knew they were playing with a new golfer so I asked "Oh did Frank beat you guys today? Did he turn out to be really good!", "oh no no nothing like that, he's definitely new, and like us, he's working on his swing." 


By then I had enough of the riddles "So why are you both looking depressed as heck?" "Oh we played with Jack...Bahaha. Mystery solved: Jack IS a Pro Golfer, one of two mates that run the golf shop. So I laughed and laughed and laughed some more. It was just too funny. I said that they must be crazy to play him! And they said grumpily, that he just showed up to play with them and yeah he was bloody good. As in smoked them on the course. I said did you tell him that that's not good for their shop as it'll put you off golf? So I was enjoying this and rubbed more salt in the wound, "so how good was he? on par or bogeys all the way and how did you both do compared to him?" Hubby's mate(a pilot) said "It's like Jack getting in a pilot's seat, he just won't know what to do" Bahaha. I laughed louder at the fact that he tried to justify their play like that. I was just enjoying their pain I tell ya, mean I know but I had a good laugh at their expense that day. Too meke! lol 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Shamal Crew

So we were honoured with a visit from the Shamal crew this past week-end. The Admiral and the Commander have reached Sicily on their catamaran, have docked it there for the winter and are on their way home to New Zealand for Christmas. They caught a boat to Malta and flew to Dubai to see their daughter then hopped over here to catch up with all their friends in Muscat and are on their way back to Dubai to continue home to see their family for the holidays. These two survived the pirate ridden Gulf of Aden, sailed the Red Sea and went through the Suez Canal through to the Greek Islands and finally docking their boat in Sicily. They've stopped in many places along the way to sight see and their stories are always colourful and interesting about the people they meet along the way. They're very inspirational and such lovely people. If you want to read about their adventures go to Shamal Adventures

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The brutally honest Orator


By Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson
REVIEW: "You know why women don't want to be Orators, because they don't want to show their breasts in public." These were the words of Samoan High Chief Tagaloa, squinting through his leathery brown skin framed by a light trim of siga (white hair) as he spoke to Saili, the main actor in the movieThe Orator.
When this was said, my 8-year-old nephew Barry Uelese Sapatu nudged me in Magik Cinema in Apia and said: "But aunty, Grandma is an orator, and she doesn't show her breasts in public, or does she?"
Naturally the answer was "no" but as my mother Vaasiliifiti Moelagi can attest, it's no easy task being a female Orator, let alone a very short one. That much was clear in the film by Tusi Tamasese.I watched the film, not as a journalist, but as a daughter of an Orator, as a girl from Savaii and as a fiercely proud Samoan. Those three factors meant I went into the film, highly sceptical of this New Zealand-made film about Samoa, as I had great doubts that it would be culturally accurate, let alone realistic.
The first scene convinced me, it was the sound of the rain, the mist over the mountains, the colour of the grass and the voice of the boy singing in the plantation that gave me great hope that indeed the film would be true to Samoa. 
One hour into it, I was thoroughly impressed.
Disturbing at firstThe movie was a little disturbing at first, as it gathers all the sad truths about the Samoan culture and weaves them together in extremely awe inspiring cinematography.
But who was I kidding? It was the truth, and it was so accurate, and so beautifully done it was almost painful to watch.
This is by far the best Samoan movie ever made, and trust me, I have seen them all. If it has a Samoan word in it - even a flash of brown skin, even a short reference to Polynesia - then I have watched it.
The Orator makes no pretence, it doesn't make the Samoan culture look beautiful and admirable, it draws out the violence, the hatred, the slanted hierachy and ultimately the discriminating nature of our people in a story line that happens in real life.
I can relate to many scenes in that film, from swimming in the village pool to wrapping the dead body of a loved one in a tapa cloth.
I have sat like Litia next to my mother, with a  humble fine mat in front of me, while she lays out in metaphors why our finemat belonged on the coffin of either a great uncle or my dear grand mother.
When Saili, now Leopao, explained in simple words why Vaaiga's body should be returned to him, I cried, because I have seen those arguments in real life.
Cultural accuracyThe accuracy of the cultural representations in The Orator was absolutely astounding and those who ensured the quality of this film must be commended.
The film portrayed the beauty of the Samoan village and landscape, it explored the simplicity of Samoan life, the home and the family but it also drew out some very heavy and dark issues about discrimination, death and hierarchy.
Samoans will be the first to deny the accuracy of this film, but it's important to keep in mind, like any other culture it has its negative extremes.
My mother, an Orator for more almost 50 years, enjoyed the film. She said the Oratory, although not extensive, was mostly accurate and made it appealing to those who don't understand the chiefly language.
She enjoyed the part where the Tagaloa took off his ie (skirt). She said that it displayed the daring nature of our people.
She liked the fact that the movie included stone-throwing fights, a preganant school girl and an affair in the village, because to her, it's important that those elements of village life are captured.
I agreed. What was portrayed are things that happen in the Samoan culture that are not necessarily talked about, some villages do not see the banishment of a pregnant young woman as a negative thing, in fact the Church also ousts the young woman or fines her family if the village does not banish her.
People who look different are teased constantly, if your'e dark you are "black thing", if you are short you are "thing that is short", if you are light-skinned you are a "fake palagi" and the list goes on.The Orator is poignant, it forces the audience to contemplate the not so Paradisal image of Samoa, and ultimately it brings out the natural acting talents of our people and it artistically embraces the reality of the Samoan culture.

Written for Pacific Media Centre http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/articles/brutally-honest-orator

*Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson holds the title Lagipoiva from the island of Savaii, she is the daughter of High Chief and Orator Vaasiliifiti Tauo Moelagi Jackson.
The Orator (O Le Tulafale): Written and directed by Tusi Tamasese
About the author
Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson
Samoan journalist
Cherelle Jackson is an independent Samoan journalist who has worked in the Pacific media for more than 10 years.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11

11/11/11 I just had to blog today because of this special date. That's a whole lot of 1s in a date. Today we went to Shatti Beach where lots of people go for strolls, BBQ and not necessarily swim. A friend with a son same age as my boy met us there. We had lunch there then our two boys rode their bikes around, played in the sand while us two mums laid on the mat under the shade until the two boys made their way to the water(to my horror). I was hoping they wouldn't swim but yeah kids and beach of course that's inevitable. They played in the water for a bit and then another friend joined us. The sun came out today after almost a week of dreary and rainy weather here so a lot of people made their way outdoors to enjoy the beautiful day(Friday too)! We stayed there until after 5pm which was perfect timing to come home, feed the little one and put him straight to bed totally knackered from his big day. 


Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
I started reading this book last night and ended up sleeping very late due to the book being as usual with this author REALLY GOOD. So I'm going to make my way to bed as I have a good book to keep me up awhile! Tomorrow it's back to school for the little ones. The one week break is over and so it's back to the grind of school drop-offs/pick-ups, lunches and the lot! But you know what, the three hours I have to myself are well worth it too! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

Christmas soon
I'm really looking forward to Christmas now! I've decided to stay back and celebrate Christmas in our own home to give my son the full Christmas experience of putting up and decorating a tree and so on. I'm looking forward to the Christmas decorations and hype in the shops. It gets better and better every year here in this great Muslim country we live in. When we landed here 7 years ago Christmas time was almost depressing due to the lack of atmosphere. Today it's Christmas in the malls and even better are the malls in Dubai where they go all out! I'm secretly hoping to sneak a trip to Austria before Christmas...now THAT is REAL Christmas!

Timu
We had a bbq last night and a few friends came over, which was fun as usual. Woke up with a bit of a headache but not too bad thank goodness. There was a lot of food though and today we enjoyed the left overs from it. Today I parked myself on the couch and watched my recorded shows all day! Like how useless is that! It's a week-end here and the end of Eid holidays. The town has been utterly dead all week! What's more is the weather has been very unusual of dark days threatening to rain. It has drizzled every day for the past three days! Last night as everyone left it rained, heavily which was just beautiful to watch. It didn't last long though but to experience it was nice enough. You probably think how boring but when you live in these part where it only rains  three times a year, rain becomes an absolute blessing. Until it causes floods in some parts of the country because wadis are filled quickly and become raging rivers!

GHD
So it seems everyone I know own a GHD except for me of course! I've been wanting to get one for the last 2 years only because when I've tried using everyone else's it's basically the best hair straightener around! I was shocked though when I heard how much it costs. Like really ridiculously expensive! I decided that was going to be my birthday present for my last birthday and I'm proud to say I've ordered one and didn't feel guilty...at ALL lol. Funny thing though is as my hair grows longer, the more straight it is, so I may not have needed the GHD after all, but who am I kidding:) lol


Thursday, November 03, 2011

Milan

Day 3: Up early and headed to Maria Delle Grazie where the original Last Supper painting by Leonardo DaVinci is to be found. Unfortunately you have to pre-book to see the painting and as our trip was a bit last minute we were unlucky with the tickets. So I thought we'd still go there and hope for the best. Luckily where we stayed was not far from all this and it amounted to about a 5 minute ride on the train every morning. And once there we could walk everywhere and the streets are so pretty that it's pleasant and fun. We took Tau's stroller of course so we didn't have to carry him though he enjoyed sitting on his dad's shoulders than the stroller half the time. We got to the Grazie and sure enough it's fully booked and we're obviously not the first to think that there may have been cancellations as they had a big sign on the desk to say that there were no cancellations!
DaVinci Codes
However we weren't to be disappointed as in a smaller chapel they had an exhibition of DaVinci's original notes and sketches regarding his works and interest in the universe. We paid our 10 euro each and went in to have a look. The man was a genius. He figured that earth was part of a universe of planets and there were calculations of the distance of the earth from the sun. He tried to figure out the movements of the tides and it's relation to the lunar cycle! It was just awe-inspiring stuff. The relation of the sun's rays and that of a mirror were sketched on the pages. And in the room where these notes were displayed there were cameras everywhere and laser beam security system that they obviously activate at night. The notes were framed in bullet proof glass and within other frames! Apparently it was the first time DaVinci's notes have gone on display and they will make their way around the world to different museums! 


We left the Grazie and walked back through Sforzesco Castle and through to Montepoleone that the hotel receptionist pointed out was more a local area with really good restaurants. On the way we saw a photo shoot going on. I was happy to see that, it being Milan it was nice to see with my own eyes a fashion shoot in progress. Of course the model was freakishly tall with legs that went on forever. She looked a younger version of Claudia Schiffer (hubby's description) keep moving lol. Well as we emerged in yet another piazza there in front of me was a shoe shop. I went inside and found walking boots that I was happy with. I sucked in my breathe and asked the owner how much they were but they were on sale! well hello, what a bargain! Off came the trainers and on went the nice boots and onwards we went.


We found the nice restaurants and stopped to have a snack and a coffee before we continued on to Via Brera where the Brera museum was located. Tau was a bit antsy then so we gave that one a miss. Just our luck it was All Saints day so the town was quiet and a lot of things were closed. We walked on Via Manzoni which was just fashion shops galore. From brands I'd never heard of to Prada, Gucci, Versace and passed the Armani hotel..hello. We went all the way back to the Duomo via Reale Piazza and caught the metro back to our hotel. In the evening we went back Montepoleone the locally popular area and chose a random restaurant. We let the waiter did the choosing for us and wow it was a yummy meal. They have this Italian thing of a vegetable flower stuffed with cheese as an appetizer, that was so yummy. We went home happy once more and what a lovely end to our Milan trip. Next morning we had our last breakfast at the Ottolina on the way back to the airport.


My take
All the restaurants and cafes we ate didn't disappoint us. The food was good. The city is generally expensive but if you make your way away from the main plazas then it's slightly cheaper and this goes for the shops as well. There are some outlet shops around town I didn't go into but through the window the prices were cheaper than the shops on the main streets. 


The Ugly Reality
So there were beggars in many areas, some homeless people with cups asking for money. One scene which was very ironic was on our last night at 10pm as we were walking down another beautiful fashion street, the shops were closed and there in front of the 200 euro for  pants shop window, two homeless people had laid out their blankets for the night. Such a contrast! From ridiculously expensive clothing to people who can't afford a roof over their heads!!! It was also common for people to ask us for money. On the train from the airport a guy comes up with a 2 euro coin, I took it he wanted change so I got out what I had in my pocket and all I had were 2s and one 1 euro so I showed him what I had and he grabbed the 1 euro said thanks and walked off! I was so surprised and he actually had made a grab for the 2 euro as well!! After he walked off hubby then told me that he was warned about people asking for money! No wonder the guy didn't even hesitate to take the money with no intention of paying back! 

Milan-Fashion Capital of the World

Day 1 We landed really early in the morning but hotel check in was 3pm. We walked around Venezia ate at cafes and had machiato and cappuccino. We walked to a nearby park where Tau played in the playground and rode on a merry-go-round which he didn't want to get out of. It was fun walking all over the place until around 10am we were really tired and went to check the hotel Sheraton again. To our delight we were allowed to check in early. We went had a good days nap and then went to the Duomo to look around and enjoyed the sights and food. We found the famous Luini bakery but it was closed. After dinner we went to the Cioccolati Itali gelato shop and had an ice cream each. It was yummy with raw chocolate. The shop's so popular there were queues of people to buy ice cream in October!
Day 2:
We were up early so we got dressed and strolled to Ottolina cafe on the way to the metro to have our Italian breakfast of croissant and latte machiatto baby chino for Tau before we headed for the Duomo. We went inside had a look around the centuries old Cathedral. Beautiful inside and just amazed at the grand-ness of the structure that was built by hand out of marble by people centuries ago. We made our way around the back of the Cathedral and bought tickets to climb up the roof of the Duomo. €10 per person to use the elevator or €6 to use the steps 250 of them. As we're eating our way through Milan we decided to take the steps the healthier, adventurous and also cheaper option not by much. Tau happily climbed up the steps on his own ahead of me an very fast too. Alex brought up the rear with stroller in tow. We hung out at the top and took photos. Beautiful views from up there plus a closer look at the intricate work on the Gothic designs and statues that surround the top of the Duomo! After awhile we made our way back down and walked to Sforzesco Castle. Tau had enough and I piggy-backed him down which wasn't too hard a task seeing that we were descending. Another breath-taking structure was the castle. Towered over the city in all it's red brick clay glory. Just mesmerizing and imagination provoking. Mentioning the word castle had Tau enthralled that we might see Rapunzel or Swords there.
Hung
We came across a guy playing an instrument called a hüng that looked like a wok with a lid covered with dents on the top. He tapped and rubbed on the top of it and it produced an unusual sound like that of an harp and xylophone put together. He made this melodic music that resonated around the castle walls. Apparently according to him only 3000 of these instruments were made in Switzerland and no two hüngs produced the same sound. As it turned out he was from Liverpool. I had a fleeting strange thought that he could be my estranged English half-brother!(long story for another time) I wandered through the castle grounds then came back to where hubby and Tau rested on a bench enjoying the sun and the music. We strolleed down Castello Piazza and chose a restaurant named after the castle and ordered cold meats and what was Italian schnitzel for lunch. It was scrumptious and afterwards we made our way back to the metro and headed back to the Sheraton Diana for a rest. 
Boots are not made for walking
I went for a walk around the area for a look and to check out the shoes. I really wanted to be the owner of winter walking boots. I bought some gorgeous high heeled boots before we left but had my hideous trainers in tow for practicality, so dire measures were necessary to confine the trainers to gym use only! And having seen the beautiful clothes and shoes people wore in Milan, my feet took a battering as I braved my stiletto boots into town and back. And whoever said comfort comes before beauty should have their head checked as I felt better in the fancy boots then in my trainers that made me feel like the circus was in town!
After losing my way around the area and feeling revitalized from my long walk I went back to the hotel for a rest. Later we headed into the shopping street to look for boots. The lowest priced boots in the area were €69 up to €450(Versace, Gucci and the like of course) but I didn't come across any that jumped at me within my limited price range.
After walking up and down the shopping street we headed towards the metro and then we spotted a pizzeria restaurante nearby that we thought we'd check out. Well it turned out to be an authentic beauty of a discovery as it was a local family run place with every table taken except for one, we were lucky to get a table by the door and close to the wood oven where the expert pizza maker was throwing pizza dough in the air to our 3 year old's amusement. The waiters were very nice and the food was excellent. There were queues of people waiting for a table. We all ate and drank our fill heartily before we strolled back to our hotel room for a good night's sleep.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Milan in photos

Duomo Gothic Cathedral: Tau & I posing 

Tau & his daddy and the travelling stroller!

Inside the Reale Piazza

We made it to Ciocolatti-yummy

View from Duomo Plaza

On the rooftop of the Duomo

My mandatory cup of tea while people watching at Duomo Plaza

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rugby WC Party


                                               World Cup Fever

                                                  Blue Fountain for True Blue fan 

                                              Scotsman had too much?


                              Hubby with Kenya mate Ali supporting Samoa:)
                                           The Refs blow the whistles for kick-off.


                                                                 Us two

                                                 Touch, Pause...ENGAGE


                                                                  NZ players

                                                         The World In Union





Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rugby Party for Hubby_Dearest

I've been planning hubby's birthday bash this Friday. The theme being Rugby for obvious reasons. OK so I planned this before the world cup started and well here we are on the eve of it and there are only 4 teams left at the World Cup! So I knew this was going to happen and tried not to put too many eggs in one basket but I thought I'd risk it and order a NZ table flag for every other country represented hoping that at least they make it through to the semis. I have enough big Samoan flags to drown out the rest plus the party website didn't do Samoan table flags...baskets. 
Anyhoo very exciting and I've been at the shops all week to buy the right stuff and make sure I don't leave anything out. I looked for a caterer to do a BBQ set up but unfortunately in this case we live in a city full of Indian restaurants that most of the places I asked offered to do samosas, spring rolls... and mains would be curries...umm no thanks. So in the end master chef birthday boy said thanks but he'd rather cook the food! Dilemma? you may ask, well not really. In the end we were going to pay someone to come do a BBQ that hubby aces every time and I guess being the alpha_male he is, he does not like his grill being messed with. So today we went to buy the meat, enough to feed Manono Island I tell ya but hey, who am I to stand in the way of the chef and his artwork...yep yep, and that's how I sleep at night!
I went over to the supermarket to meet hubby to buy the meat and as I limped my way through the aisles to him he looked at me with worry and big concerned eyes. "What's wrong?" he asked. "With what?" Then I realised I was limping!
So I woke up with a sore Achilles' heel this morning and by the time I dropped my son off to school I couldn't walk straight. So an hour later when I saw the hubster I was fully limping by then. He kept saying that I should go straight home to elevate my leg and not move and I had to see the doctor who might put a cast or bandage of sorts to restrict movement. I'm like what the heck? Oh and then he made a joke that maybe it was sympathy for the Manu that I now have an athlete's injury...yeah okay! bahaha. I tell ya he's a fiamalie joker sometimes. 
I went to the doctor and he said to rest for a day(yeah right) the party's in 2 days and then it should heal slowly but surely but I must give it a rest. Ummm I'll rest when I'm dead mate. 
Tomorrow two very anticipated guests arrive so can't wait. I'm sure it's my birthday. I managed to clean out the front yard and hubby emptied the above-ground pool so we have the whole front yard available for the party. It's going to be goooood. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Roslynn Mahe_my latest fixation since the Manu

I've been following this singer from New Zealand of Samoan and Tongan descent who's competing in the Avon Voices competition. Her name's Roslynn Mahe and has an amazing voice. So she's now in the final, the competition has been going for months now and I normally just log on to the Avon page when I see the updates on facebook, vote for her and leave cos we islanders do that choo hooo. 
Just tonight I decided to have a look at the competition or who Ms Mahe was up against. And ummm yeah I wasted my time ha! They were nowhere as good as this Pacific contestant I tell ya. But that is my humble opinion and others might feel otherwise. OK so I watched four others and went bleh halfway through their songs, one lady was too jerky almost twitch like...eek, one destroyed the 'natural woman' song, and one was in a too tight pink dress and tried a bit too hard. Now don't go have a look because you might just agree with me! 
Roslynn Mahe however, when I heard of her I watched some of her videos on you tube. She competed I think in NZ's got talent or one of those and didn't win but having watched those videos and where she's at now in the Avon Competition, she has got to win this. She keeps her movements to a minimum and just let her voice do the talking. The way I'm going on about this lady, you'd think she was my sister! Well I hope she sees this blog and throw some avon products over this-a-way, yeah right. An interesting aspect I noticed though with all the contestants is they were so well presented, obviously promotion for Avon products(if you're into the barbie-sleek look) there wasn't a hair out of place and the singers looked almost scared to move too much in case their hair ruffled or lippy came off! The stage was also quite small which I guess restricts the girls moves. Go over there and vote for her if you have the time, I think you can cast more than one vote and ummm don't waste your internet time on the others lol

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Orator-What my Orator Mum thinks

I can't wait to see this movie. So my sister FJ was planning to take our mum to see The Orator next week when she goes over to visit H-Town and she feared mum might sleep through the movie. And I wondered about that too, Mum is an orator for/in our family and is so well-versed in the Samoan culture that she is a tricky one to please.
I just got off the phone with Mum in Samoa and she happily informed me that she had been to the premier of The Orator movie in Apia last week and....: 
What a fantastic movie it was! I kept prodding why she thought it was so good and she said to her it got the message across that in our culture whether you're big or small or however you look like when you can speak or orate then everyone looks past that and see only the Orator, as the message is brought across with a gift that only an orator has. She also said that the movie was well made and to the point, no gasu and overdoing. There it is, now I just wish I open the paper tomorrow and it tells me that the movie is showing down at Shatti Cinemas our local theatres:( The Orator has been entered for an Oscar nomination in the foreign film category and I hope it gets nominated and win the award. Great effort by Mr. Tusi Tamasese. Samoan born producer/director. 
Soifua

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

IRB Preferred RWC teams

http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/home/fixtures/knockout.html wow love how the Northerners are against each other and so are the Southerners so it'll end up a North vs Southern Hemisphere Final. How brilliant...not

Monday, October 03, 2011

Update

Break-through
Two weeks ago I had a supermum day. I've been wanting to make pizza from scratch and finally attempted it and it came out really well. My 3 year old loved it and of course enjoyed helping me make the dough. Hubby was impressed and it takes a lot to impress the Master Chef himself heh. I had this fat free cheese cake recipe for ages and finally have all the ingredients and made it right after the pizza. I'd never attempted cheese cake before and never thought I would but I'm trying to lose weight and miss my sweet treats so tried to make this fat free no sugar cheese cake to get me through the tough days. Well big pat on the back for this first timer, if I may say so myself the cheese cake was purrrfect. OK this one doesn't allow for a crust, only the cheese part and boy it came out with great consistency. I love cheese cake I guess the low fat version ain't too bad.


Facebook
I dislike the new settings on facebook. It was fantastic just before they screwed it up. Now I only see certain people's updates and not the usual suspects, irritating. I need to stick to real life and less on social networks, really, but it's just so interesting lol. Crap we'll see what happens.



Samoa vs SA
Today Tau and I just got back from Dubai. We flew up on Thursday to watch the game with the Samoan crew up in UAE. Early morning I was dressed in my blue shirt and helped our hostess with the sandwiches and all. Everyone started arriving just before the game and one of our Aussie friends came with her South African partner. I mean what a brave guy to come to a Samoan household to watch the game! Of course he was obviously confident in his team and especially when the ref was going to help out as well. aaargh. Gosh my heart went out to our boys, with their frustration, the SA team I must say were playing off the ball tactics to irritate and frustrate our boys, knowing full well that island tempers can't be contained for too long and they succeeded. However it didn't help that the referee treated Mahonri Schwalger like a kid instead of talking to him like a grown man. That was just sad to watch. There are a few articles about this how the IRB really don't care less about the Tier 2 nations. I mean as they had planned now the Top 8 Tier 1 nations are through to the quarters and complete the IRB preferred Rugby World Cup. ugh. BUT I was just soooo proud of our boys and the way they played and held the world champions back. Just awesome. Well done Manu Samoa. Now we have four years for SRU to get it together and not fundraise on the eve of 2015 as seems to be the norm. Ia over and out I'm off to bed, it's late and once more I feel sick and my son has school tomorrow. Good night and Good luck

KL Malaysia

Cheering for Samoa against Fiji in Chilli's KL

Eating at the Bangshar Markets with uni mate Sumi

Alex showing some muscle at the Petronas Twin Towers

Our flag just happened to appear from nowhere for this shot lol

And Alex starts the trek up the 278 steps  with Tauilagi in tow!

Batu Caves KL

This sucker stole Tau's drink from his hands , it was funny at the time

On the way down, Alex's done his exercise

I was there too, see heh

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Condolences

I finally got hubby's iPad to hook up to the internet in KL in our hotel room and on to facebook I went, to see what was going on. The first odd news I saw were people telling my cousin to be strong. It was obvious something was very wrong judging by people's messages. My heart sank as I realized that her unborn baby had died. What an awful awful thing to happen. I cried for her, for them, for the sadness that they must be enveloped in. I could not fathom what she was going through and prayed for their peace of mind. Now she has written about her ordeal and how it happened and it's just heartbreaking. I just want to say to her that it is NOT your fault. It is nobody's fault. Ia maua e oe le mafanafana mai le Ali'i i nei taimi fita.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Samoa vs Wales 18th Sept 2011

I can't wait for the Samoa Wales game to get here. I'm sure all Samoans and Welsh alike are pining for this game. This Manu team in my expert opinion might be the best prepared to get through to the next level of the competition and on to the finish. Ia talosia ia. It's so funny how alot of my FB Samoan friends have the Manu fever. All the profile pictures are blue with something either the flag or a Manu shirt worn or whatever Manu Samoa affiliated, it's just crazy but beautiful patriotism right there.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

GO THE MANU

And finally the Go The Manu video has been released to the supporters after according to the admins of the Go The Manu facebook page the Manu Samoa watched it a few hours ago before their first game against Namibia. All the best tomorrow Manu Samoa. Which brings me to the supporters, especially those so close to the rugby players. Watching some of the games this week just reveals once again how BRUTAL the sport of rugby is. One thing I have to say is that I do not envy the mothers, wives, kids, girlfriends/boyfriends and sisters of those players as they watch their men getting tackled and physically re-arranged on the rugby battle field. I saw one Italian who got tackled a few days ago and for a few seconds he did not move! And my heart went out to his family thinking omg his mum or wife must be on the edge of her seat then. On that note I wish the families and almost families of the rugby players peace/to'a in supporting their loved ones as they go onto the battle ground for the love of their country, at least that's how it is with the Samoan players. GO MANU. Manuia le tapuaiga to all Samoans across the globe for at these moments those boys are all our brothers.

Telesa: The Covenant Keeper

My humble review of this amazing fantasy story by Lani Wendt-Young: A captivating read, a page turner. Lani Wendt-Young takes you on a ride following Leila’s journey to the small islands of Samoa from Washington DC to learn about her mother. What she discovers is beyond her expectations. The heroine’s experience is so real thanks to the author’s mastery with words that you are truly immersed in Leila’s supernatural world at times and her emotional quest to find her true self in the midst of her extraordinary findings. It couldn’t have been set in a more suitable place than that of the superstitious and exotic islands of Samoa. The amalgamation of the legendary Samoan myth into a modern day setting is nothing short of brilliance, a credit to the author’s true talent. Suitable for all ages. A must read. You can buy an online copy on smashwords or on amazon Try and buy it on amazon if you can to make this book the first Samoan written and based book to make the Amazon top 100. The hard copy will be launched in Samoa in October. Happy reading and thank you to the author for such an amazing book that will not only inspire young Samoans to reach their potential but teaching our youngsters the important lesson that when you put your mind to it you can do anything whether you live in Samoa or abroad. Fa'afetai lava and GO the Manu for tomorrow.

Go MANU SAMOA

Oh the Rugby World Cup fever is so contagious right now it just speeds the heart beat every time. Can't wait for the game tomorrow morning Oman time 6.30am. Go Manu smash those Namibians and then on to the other three. O tou mama na, fai ia mafai. Attack Attack Attack... and don't forget the 3Ds Defend, Dominate AND Dackle Dackle Dackle choo hooo Here are some pictures that my lovely friends here in Muscat helped with in front of The Sultan's palace in Ruwi to show our support from this side of the world for the team for the Go The Manu facebook page. Join it to follow the Manu Samoa and the preparations in New Zealand. My prayer is for them to do amazing for their sakes. They seem so confident and with a purpose that I'm sure they do not want to let themselves down. But what a tough pool they have though but warriors they are and I believe in the current team. Nevermind our dodgy Rugby Union and their antics...that's for another day. GO MANU SAMOA. Do it for you and then for us all. Vi'ia le Ali'i.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Liebe From Österreich

Lake Mondsee
Tauilagi climbs every mountain...

Friday, August 19, 2011

From Mondsee with love:)

Having a fabulous time with my family in Austria. We spent all day in and out of the pool the went to town to enjoy live music while sipping caipirinhas in the streets of Mondsee. We're having fun catching up, eating and drinking too much and just laughing a lot. Missing the rest of the sisterhood but not to worry we're drinking your fair share:)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Leaving on a Jetplane..again:)

Yippeee can't wait to catch that flight tonight to a destination unknown. Looking forward to catching up with the French Connection and have some fun.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Strange in Many Ways

As I was rushing to put my son's shoes on him and head out, a man knocked at the gate. I locked the house and walked out with my son to our car outside the gate where this guy was standing. I asked him what's up and he said;
"you have a beautiful house".
I said "thank you but it isn't ours, we're just renting it."
He continued to say his wife and he, indicated towards his car where I could see his wife, are building a new house and they really liked this style of housing. What came next just about bowled me over. He asked if he and his wife could come into our house to have a look around and take photos!!! I stood there dumbfounded. I mean he looked nice enough and seeing the demure wife in the car just about made me say okay as I'm a nice person like that(yep)!

But then I thought what the heck? take photos of our personal space? by these strangers? Ummmm alarm bells rang in my head... should I be a nice lady or an unfriendly one? Nice or safety. What if these people attack me and my son in my house...moreover we live on a street where 20 houses look the same! So why mine? This is what was going around in my head as I stood there. Finally words came back to my head and I refused the guy nicely and said, "I'm sorry we're on our way out and go next door it's an office and it looks like someone's in, ask them to take photos in there because we have to go! The guy looked at me confused and then looked back at the other house and said oh ok. Me: "it's exactly the same as mine. "Sorry."
"Tau get in the car", I strapped him in his seat as quick as I could and drove off in a hurry before the guy was refused next door and he came back...

It occurred to me this is probably how unassuming people get attacked. OK the couple it seemed were genuinely interested in the house but still, I don't know them and it's just me and my son at home. Weird much?

Monday, August 08, 2011

Speed=Crash

We're enjoying the quiet evening unwinding after dinner with Master 3 down for the night when the peace is ravaged by tyres screeching followed by a loud bang of metal scraping and more screeching until it comes to a stop. It was too close to my front yard this time I thought our car was caught up in the heavy metal band out there. We run out to check and within seconds people had swarmed around the broken up sedan that had come to rest on the road partition. Our car was in one piece but the pieces of the broken car were all over the road and some were not far from the front parking lot! Just when I thought I couldn't take anymore of this we noticed among the debris was a teddy bear! A freakin' teddy bear! Did that mean there was a kid in the car? Or did that mean the car owners had kids. I convinced myself it was the latter as I walked back to my house and left the side show to half the town that were now parked all over to have a look! I'm not sure how people have not gathered that Speeding=Crash.

I don't get that. So the fact is we moved into this house 11 months ago and before our first two weeks was up there was a crash out front. We thought what the heck. And then another two weeks and another crash! I thought wtf? It quickly turned out that we were living on death road thank you big. After the head ache of moving we couldn't be arsed to move again. So for awhile(probably cos I was away) there were no accidents until that big one last week. And two days ago I noticed a car bumper on the road from yet another victim of speeding. We realise now there is a curve out front however if you drive within the speed limit of 80kph you're fine but more than that and with lots of other cars around you you're most likely going to hug the lamp post in these cases break a lamp post. These ones are flimsy and in the middle of the road partition. The lamp posts are probably flimsy so they're easily replaced and I kid you not, it takes them about a week before another one is in place.

Another thing they do here is, they clear the scene of the accident within minutes of it happening. We'd see the Indian labourers out there sweeping up the broken glass after the car had been taken away. I wonder if it's better if they left these broken cars on the roadside a while longer just as a warning to others? I mean after a bad accident we wake up the next morning and it's like nothing happened!

This country has a very high death rate due to road accidents. It's now normal to see accidents all over this city. When I went to pick up my son last week there was a two car crash in a 50kph turn-off!! I went to pick up my son from nursery yesterday and was held up in traffic as there was a dingdong on the main highway! Thank goodness for side roads I managed to get off the highway and take the slip road there. According to studies and statistics done here it's speed that contributes to the most accidents here.

P.S after I published this entry I hear noise in the front, I look out the window and it's the workers replacing the post that was knocked down a few days ago, I guess for the next sucker to use as a target.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Summer in Oman

And so Ramadan starts tomorrow or it might have been today, I'm not sure. The summer weather has been absolutely amazing. This is our seventh summer in Oman, yep, seventh and this is probably the best weather we've experienced in what you call summer. If you haven't been to a desert country or the like before well let me try and describe the heat in summer. When you exit your Air Conditioned house you're hit with this wall of heat. And I mean wall because it hits you full frontal, it engulfs your whole being, it violates your every pore, it makes you inhale heat which you'd never thought possible. You're simply surrounded by the heat so you run to your car hoping to cool down faster but the car thermostat reads 47 Celsius and everything is hot in it, from the seat to the steering wheel. You turn the A/C on full blast only to be blasted by more hot air so you turn it down again and wait for some cool air to come out, so you think maybe I should wind the windows down to let cool air in at which you're not any better off as the heat outside and inside the car are the same. You then direct the fans at the steering wheel to cool it down so you can at least start driving. It is utter misery but bless the inventor of A/Cs or I wouldn't be here.

However this summer is actually bearable. When the days are humid the thermostat reads about 37 Celsius. Then I'm not sure which is worse, the humidity or the dry heat. However the past weeks since we've been back it's been ok. Still above 30s but at least I can go outside with my son after 3pm so he can ride his bike and play in the garden. I'll happily take this mild summer over the freezing winter.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

E iai sou ake?



A preview from "The Orator" movie. According to Samoa Observer it's been picked for the Venice International Film Festival. I really want a copy of it. It sounds interesting and it's all in Samoa which should be interesting. Moreover it's written and directed by a Samoa born son Tusi Tamasese.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dubai Sales Galore and Sophia Lauren

So we went to the Deira City Centre which is literally across the road from the hotel we're at. This hotel which hubby's work use for all their employees when in Dubai for work turned out to be conveniently located. You step out the door and you enter the metro station stairs where you can walk across to the mall or you can just cross the road at the lights(but it's too hot for that now). The metro below can take you to a lot of attractions across Dubai which is very handy.

We walked across to the mall and had a look around and oooh the sales were just in your face, inviting you in to buy buy buy! Uh huh they appealed to my weak mana'o tele self. After looking for hubby's new toy to no avail, he and our returned to the hotel while I feast my eyes and brutalise the bank card at the shops. I'm normally not an impulse shopper but today really tested my willpower!

I bought this cheap eye shadow kit in May. Result is every time I wear the damn thing my eyes get itchy. So I guess cheap and my aira face do NOT go together. I went into Sephora to browse for some good make-up, I asked the assistants about certain stuff and the Chanel make-up artist came over to help me. I happily took the opportunity to be pampered with expensive make-up and by a professional too! So I asked for a specific look and she worked from Step A using face serum(whatever that is), moisturizer right up to eye shadow. She asked if I wanted the Arabic or the European version. The latter thanks very much and no foundation fanks. Anyway after she did her thing I left with my one purchase. Let's just say I never wear make up like that but thought I'd give her the benefit of the doubt. So the real test was when I got back the hotel. Hubby opens the door and first thing he said was: "So you got Arab make-up on again?" Choo hoo

Moral of the story never let a make-artist around here play with your face!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Week-end Away

Thank goodness for creche's that run summer programmes. I put my son in one not too far from where we live and it's been great. Every time I pick him up he runs out with a new craft that they made in class. Sunday were the birdies Peter and Paul sitting in a boat, Monday was a turtle and Tuesday was a frog that he had attached to his hand like a puppet. Each had a little rhyme attached to the back of the craft. Very clever crafts using paper plates and card boards. He came back with more creative things in 3 days at this creche than a whole year at the one before! Anyway he's enjoying making new friends and he's happy to be going to 'school'.

Hubby had to come to Dubai for his sim on the week-end and I decided that we'll tag along and enjoy lounging around the hotel room and swim in the cooled pool. And that's what we did yesterday. When hubby went off to work we went down for a swim at 7.30pm and stayed there for about an hour. Got back to the room had some munchies and slept fitfully till 8 this morning. Beats sitting in Muscat on our own. All our friends(ladies and kids) are away for the summer so it's just us "only the lonely" there. I don't blame them as it's supposed to be hot in summer and it's ramadan in 2 days.

However, lucky for us the summer is mild and we've been able to go outside everyday after 3pm for Tau to ride his bike and splash in his little pool. We bought an above-ground pool for his birthday that's not too small that we can all fit into. Today we're going in search of a pool pump and chlorine tablets for it so we don't have to empty it and waste water every time. Exciting as Tau is very confident in the water now and may help him swim sooner than later. Once the swim teachers are back from summer I'll take him back for swimming lessons.

And now we're off to check out the Dubai Summer Sales. Of course the hubby doesn't know that yet!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Flora and Fauna of To Sua Gardens, Falealili, Samoa

An amazing swimming hole called the To Sua(with water) and another To lesua(without water). This is where my youngest sister's wedding was held. A spectacular location and the family that own this land keep the land beautiful and natural and have all sorts of exotic plants growing on it. An ideal wedding ceremony location, as the sun sets, the natural colours all around are magnified along with the colourful attire of the guests, while the wedding vows are drowned out by the crashing waves below you have but the newly weds body language and the beauty around you to go by.

















Sunset from the Cross Island Road looking back at Siumu.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

When a Minnow swallowed a W.....


A Mastercard ad for the Rugby World Cup at Wellington Airport earlier this month. It would have to be changed to "When a Minnow Swallowed a Wallaby:) choo hooo The showing off continues...

Nursery and other rants.

Dropped Sonny_Tau off to Nursery this morning and now I can go pay the bills, do grocery shopping by myself and do other stuff that needs to be done without my little shadow hanging off me. yippee.
Sad sad occurrence in Norway yesterday! It seems if it's not a natural disaster plighting a people it's a human caused tragedy. So awful that there is so much evil in people.
And then Amy Winehouse dies at 27! I mean where the hell are the people that are supposed to love this girl! Blimin' sad how society stands by and watches a destructive person kill herself slowly. It comes out that she's been cancelling shows and basically have been sick on stage. Can't remember her lyrics and I just saw a footage where she got booed off the stage as she's shaking and just looks dazed. WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE that should care for her.
Weird as I just watched a movie called Country Song last week starring Gwyneth Paltrow which is not much different from Amy's life. A destructive singer who just wants to quit but everyone around her 'need' her to keep singing. In the end she took her own life! How many times will this play out. Lucky for Brit Spears that her family stepped in to help her out.
And now on the news, they say Amy Winehouse had a soulful voice, umm how can there be soul when she's one messed up drug addict! This world is full of people that are full of shit lies.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Insecurity or naivety?

I ran into old male friends in Samoa one day. It was good seeing them and then we sort of planned to meet again the following week for lunch or drinks or something. I suggested we all bring our partners and two of them shook their heads and said 'no partners'. Typical I thought. A few days later I ran into one of the guys at a shop as he was hopping out of his car and his wife was inside so I waved and I said 'hi' and this guy mate just sort of nodded at me; 'nodded' at me, yep the one that was so vocal about meeting up again that week. I waved at his wife too and said hi(I knew her as well) and I continued into the store to do my shopping. I ran into 'my mate' in the shop aisles and he was the same guy I met the week before. All chatty and cool "Hey what's up? what did you get up to after we ran into you... blah blah. We chatted for a bit then I went on my way but I was left gob-smacked.
What the hell is going on here? Is he so afraid of his wife that he won't be seen by her talking to other women...even old mates? Is the wife the insanely jealous type that he won't even risk getting in a fight? Why is this f*%^ed up attitude so common in Samoa? So I thought it more peaceful not to see these 'guys' under any circumstances without their "good" ladies around. Pity as they're awesome guys but no thanks if they have to pretend in front of their bosses. ma'imau le kaimi

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The character Tauilagi of late

"Mama, be patient" says my three year old Tauilagi when I told him to return the rest of the chocolate croissants to the kitchen!

We had planned to go to Marseilles to meet up with my sister and family next week. However after our long trip to Samoa, NZ, UAE and finally back to Muscat, when I told Tauilagi that we were going to France he shouts "NOOOOO" I said, Tau we're going to see your Aunty and your cousin-sister MM and baby Sebastien. Emotional blackmail will surely do it. Tau's reply "No mummy, I don't wanna go, we're home now, this is Myyyy Muscat" ooookay
Different approach, appeal to his boy adventure-ish side: "We're going to ride on an aeroplane AND train".
Tau: "NOOOOO, I'm too tired mummy" And that was that. Yep just last week we were on a 20 hour flight from NZ so can't blame him for being tired of air-crafts!

Samoa through Tau's photographic eye: