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Monday, May 30, 2011

Off on a trip

Today I'm packing once more. I absolutely am not enjoying this. I've been ticking off my checklist in my head this whole week but have yet to actually do what I'm supposed to do. Here I am procrastinating on my blog without actually getting my stuff together. In my head I'm packed and ready to go. I can't wait to get to NZ and on to Samoa. I like this country but I think I can take it in small dozes. I need that trip away to reboot the system before coming back to this reality. The schools are now on holidays here in Muscat, it follows the European/US system where this is now the summer holidays. Next term Tau starts at a proper Early Childhood programme at big school. yikes so it's serious business when we come back from the holidays!! Aue to the early mornings for mummy:) Anyway life goes on and this is just another step back in time for me but into the future for my little Tauilagi.
I look forward to meeting my little gorgeous nephew Tuifiti in NZ and cuddle my princess niece Moelagi. I'm actually looking forward to sleeping in my sister's guest room or our room that we've always used on our visits! I look forward to chats with my sisters and laughter with my brothers/inlaws. I look forward to eating some fresh green mussels in NZ. I look forward to landing in Faleolo and watch the coconut palms rush up to meet us there surrounded by the heart warming turquoise lagoon of Satapuala and Mulifanua. I look forward to inhaling the salty warm damp air as they open the airplane door.
I look forward to descending down those steps and seeing the smiling friendly faces of the airport staff and some that I've come to know and answering the usual question of "O lea le umi o le lua malaga?-How long's your trip?, A'o fea Aleki? Where's Alex?" I don't know if that's out of pure curiosity or they're just being faikala if the hubby was joining us at all?" Followed by the customs people that will report to me that my travelling mom and sister had just gone through those doors a few day before! I love how these little things remind me that I am back in my small country where everyone knows what everyone else had for breakfast. I look forward to the strumming of the ukulele, guitars and the paka'e(vibrant) voices of the string band that greet you at the arrival terminal. ...
I look forward to greeting my family. I look forward to the bumpy ride back to Apia and hoping to be greeted by some yummy dinner at my brother's. What I don't look forward to is people telling me that I've put on weight and after saying hello follows the question 'Kou ke koe o afea?"- When are you going back? For goodness sakes we've just landed...oh how the green green grass of home beckons me...choo hooo

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Busy Month of May

The first week-end of May was a quiet one. The second weekend we had Tau's 3rd birthday. The third week-end we hosted a farewell do for our dear Swedish friends that are leaving us this year. It was a bitter-sweet occasion as we bid adieu to Ulf & Anette. It was lovely to have known them and wish them all the best in their next venture.
Magic Fans
The very next morning I took a flight to Dubai for friend Jemma's hen do which some of the girls decided to celebrate in Dubai. We can't make their wedding in Australia in two months so the least I could do was go to the hen's night to celebrate Jemma's nuptials-to-be. My bff picked me up from the airport and we headed to Dragon Mart to pick up cooling fans that are magical during summer. Dragon Mart is a big mainly Chinese Mall in Dubai where you can buy everything for a cheap price. It's huge and it has anything you can think of. So some of our friends found these fans that blow mist which cools you down in the heat of the Middle East. Our other friends have one and the things are awesome. It actually gives you the chills when it's 40 degrees outside so of course you're not supposed to sit right in front of it!
So Bff and I headed to this mall and bought us a fan each. I had no luggage so I was going to bring it back on the flight. It wasn't too heavy, just right for my allowed kgs.
Hen Do & Dubai Nightlife
Armed with our fans we went home and got ready for the Hen Do. We headed out to Deira to the Golden Sands apartments where our friends were spending the week-end. We got there in time for the games they organised. It was loads of fun. There were 13 ladies all up. After about 2 hours of games and drinks we cabbed it to the Cuban Club in Jumeira near Boudoir. Yummy dinner, more games and dancing there. The band was awesome until the clock struck 12 and Cinder-Ela couldn't handle the smoky air anymore.
People were freely puffing their ciggies in this enclosed restaurant/club it was disgusting. Let's put it this way, it's 40+ degrees outside so I imagine the club is enclosed to keep the cooled air from the A/C units within the walls. So after inhaling second hand smoke for almost 3 hours my eyes started to water uncontrollably and the mascara was starting to run, thank you nothing to do with the amount of alcohol consumed thus far. I ran to the bathroom to get some fresh air and then two dolls came in and lit up in there too!!! Utterly grossed me out and just about ruined my night. I decided then and there that the night was over for this chick at the hen do! I came back to my Bff to find that she too was about to whip out her inhaler due to the smog:( It was not a bad night up to that point. Never mind that I was so in to it that I'm sure they thought I was vulgar though I thought that's how Hen do's are supposed to go!
ANZO white tie and tiara ball
Last week-end was the ANZO white tie and tiara ball in Muscat. Get this it's the Australians and New Zealanders in Organisation in Oman. This is probably the few times these two countries do something together! It was held at the Hyatt Ball room. It was just beautiful. The way they decorated the ball room with candles, white roses and lillies on all the tables. Simply splendid. We were lucky to get tickets as apparently they sell out in minutes. It just happened two people couldn't make it and returned their tickets which we happily scooped up. We shared a table with one Kiwi and friends whom we didn't know till then. Nice bunch of people, we had gone with our friends J & E. After the formal dinner everyone moves around so it worked out. The band and DJ were great so we were on the dance floor as everyone else once the dinner was over and done with. It was just pure fun with some great people. Met up with two SA friends too and one other Kiwi and his English fab wife. Funny how everyone arrives all glam-ed up. The ladies looked beautiful and the men looked smart. After the formal dinner the guys lost their ties and jackets loosened their collars, relaxed and started slugging back those beers. Bahaha Well at least they held it together for 2 hours. I'm sure the staunch Europeans would have shaken their heads and tsked tsked at this sort of behaviour but I guess at the end of the day it's a piss up so why restrict one's airways/throat with the tight 'white' tie! The food was good overall but the main meal which was a piece of rib eye steak was not warm and a bit over-cooked when it got to our tables and our whole table agreed it wasn't the best. Nevertheless that was the only slip but otherwise it was a well-organised event. Kudos to the fab organisers. I'm glad to say I've discovered two fabulous balls in Muscat and those are the Crystal and ANZO balls.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tauilagi's 3rd birthday party

We threw Tauilagi's 3rd birthday bash on May 11th well over a month before his actual birthday. Everyone leaves the hot summer heat in Oman in June so I thought we'll have a pre-birthday party so he can enjoy it with his little friends. I had fun organising it and decided to make a pinata which took me all of 6 hours spread out in 3 days. Hubby dearest was in charge of the food while my darling Nets and I did the snacks and goodies for the kids to enjoy. Nets made crispy crackers which were very yummy and I made afghans and then we both made a pagipopo pan each. We froze the dough from the night before so we had less to do the next day. We decorated the house and the garden then got all the stuff ready, fruits and all the nibbles for the kids and adults. Instead of actually paying for professionals I delegated myself to make the balloon models for the kids and Nets to do face painting. Nets was actually really good at her new found job and the face painting was a hit. It was very cute. I made a few balloon swords for the kids to play with and managed to ace the poodle! It's funny that these things can easily be done to make the parties fun without paying an arm and a leg for it. I was lucky to have the doting Aunty Nets help us with the party and so it was loads of fun as we got everything ready. We also organised the pass the parcel game which we forgot to do in the middle of all the fun activities. The Statues game was fun and of course the mums were right into it. We did the pin the tail on the donkey but a cars style one and we didn't do the other ones neither. The week before we bought a small pool so the kids spent about an hour splashing around in the pool. I was worried the it might get boring but with all the stuff we had planned it worked out well. We had the awesome cake which Nets hand carried from Dubai that was Car themed and was really yummy too. The pinata was fun but what I thought was a soft pinata turned out to be a bit hard for the 3-5 year olds to break. I learned a lesson but at least the kids had loads of turns smashing the pinata.
Hubby dearest made mini burgers and honey chicken which were really yummy. Between the three of us I think we could do this for a living! Cocky after one party bahaha. Anyway it was fun and Tauilagi thoroughly enjoyed it and crashed out with his friends Reuben and Quin in his room by 10pm.
A big thank you to my darling in Dubai for coming and for all she did for Tau's party and big hugs for Rich_dearest for letting us borrow his wife for the week-end and the stuff they do for Tau. Thanks also to our friends that made it with their kids and for all the lovely presents Tauilagi got on the day. A very lucky and blessed boy indeed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Song of the soul

I'm going through old pictures and videos on my old hard drive and what a roller coaster ride it is. I found pictures of some of my old and some young relatives that have passed on. Photos of old friends whom are still around and some not. Pictures of places that are no more and some that are still the same. However the one piece that brought me to tears and filled me with emotion is a short video from the night one of my sisters gave birth to her daughter. Mum, myself, daddy-to-be and 2 of my other sisters were present for support, so what happened as we waited for the little blessing to make her entrance into the world is we broke into song. We were harmonising in that candle lit room the songs from our grandmother, from our childhood and the old Samoan hymns and songs our mother taught us. It was a pure spiritual moment. Being present in the miracle of the imminent arrival of new life is simply magnificent. Witnessing my own flesh and blood in agonising pain to bring forth this new life while we hummed, prayed and sang in harmony, is an indescribable journey of a lifetime.

Friday, May 06, 2011


Today I was woken up by the smell of bacon and eggs, never-mind my son yelling from the doorway, wake up mummy, WAKE UP, then he went to the window and tried to pull the curtains open to let the light in. That did the trick along with the smell from the kitchen. I got out of bed, freshened up and came downstairs to eat up a storm. Our friends who are a family of five came over for the day. There was a rugby and a league game so the boys were glued to the TV all afternoon. I decided to bake some goodies from my newfound favourites and made some afghan cookies that were demolished in no time, we then ordered in, by the time we finished dinner the pagipopo was ready for desert. What a delight. I'm just really happy that I can now make these without a worry. To think about a week ago I would never have thought I could make them. So while we adults were finishing our dinner the three boys went upstairs to play in Tau's room. Next thing that happened was all three boys were locked in the bedroom as we had a spare mattress that somehow had blocked the door from opening into the room. So here we were trying to yell out instructions to the 5 year old in the room to lift the very heavy mattress so we could open the door onto it and help him push the mattress away from the door. So we managed to force a little opening through the door only to see the 2 and 3 year old boys happily sitting on the mattress while Master 5 is trying honestly to push the mattress with all his might. He was so brave and was trying. Eventually dad 1 managed to push the door so hard that the mattress was squashed up and I could slide into the room. By this time, Dad 2 was standing on the balcony outside the bedroom waiting for Master 5 to locate the key and open the balcony door. It was actually such a funny episode. But it's funny how something unsuspecting like that could turn into a tricky situation!

Sa'afiafiga, mo'omo'oga

Aue, a 'ou va'ai atu i tala a tagata o loo mo'omo'o ai i o latou tina i luga o le foliga tusi, ua lagona ai lava lou fa'anoanoa ma lou fia fo'i i lou aiga i Samoa. A matou talanoa fo'i ma tagata e fa'atatau i o tatou tupu'aga, oute mo'omo'o ai lava i lota toe fia fo'i i taimi ia o ota la'ititi ma 'ou uso, ao ota le mafaufau tetele i tua atu o le olaga fa'atamaititi.
O isi taimi ou te manatua ai lo'u tama, e mo'i na maliu o lima 'ou tausaga ae oute manatua lava ia i taimi sa ia 'aoaoina ai ita, faapea ma le taimi o tata ai ana musika i le LP. O lo'u faanoanoaga e pei ona ma talanoa ai ma se tasi o ou uso ona o aso ua te'a le maliu o le matou tama, sa le mafai, e le sa matou nonofo faatasi, ona ia taliaina taimi matou te autagi ai, pe mo'omo'o ai i lo matou tama. Sa ia taumafai e fai tala malie ina ia matou faagaloina ai lo matou tama. Atonu o lona manatu o le sa'o lea, ae paga lea o le, atili faigata lea ona faagaloina le sa pele ia te au faapea fo'i ita ia te ia.
E alu aso ae sau fo'i aso, ua te'a lota fa'anoanoa tele i ia tulaga, ae le galo lava le mafanafana o le matou mafutaga i le va o lo matou aiga. Ou te tatalo ina ia alofa le Atua ia maua e e o lo'o a'afia pea o latou loto ona oni faanoanoaga i o latou olaga. Soifua

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Pagipopo trial

So I finally got around to trying to make pagipopo myself. These are coconut buns Samoan style. Nets sent me the recipe which one amazing Samoan lady has on her panipopos blog. She makes and posts good ol' Samoan favourites and are just awesome. Her instructions are so clear and down to the T that even an hopeless baker/cook like moi managed to bake pagipopo the first time round..yippee.
I panicked when my dough got stuck to my hands and to the bench I thought I was doing something wrong. Thanks to the top baker in Dubai whom helped me through the 'doughy' bits. So I finally put them in the pan and poured the coconut sauce in only to find the pan was leaking...aaargh. Just my luck of course. I just put the pan on another flat pan and placed it in the oven and hoped for the best. Luckily they turned out well and am SOOOO happy that I can now make these delicacies. I have to make another batch for friends now since the 8 bun one I made today didn't live past our family heh heh.:)