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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pagipopo Carnival and Farewells

My son's school is celebrating their 25th year anniversary tomorrow Carnival style. There will be food stalls from about 80 countries represented in the school! Pretty diverse if you ask me. So this lone Samoan decided to do pagipopo for our stall. We're sharing a stall with Australia, NZ, Fiji so it should be good. My Fijian friends are doing the kokoda (oka) and smoked octopus! 
So for the past two days I've stayed home and kneaded dough like there was no tomorrow. Auoia. 
I owe this confidence to Mrs. Pagipopo but I shouldn't speak too soon until they're all sold at the fair tomorrow! All proceeds go to a charity the school chooses. It's going to be an hectic day tomorrow so this momma better head to bed to have energy for tomorrow:)

Last week other friends and us two organised a farewell party for a good friend who is retiring from flying and from Oman Air. We had a Black & Gold theme amongst us in the know but pretty much an open invitation to their colleagues at the company. Our hosts were a bit worried leading up to the party but with everyone that helped out, we had loads of food and lots to drink. It was one heck of a party and best of all was Peter who's leaving was just blown away by it all. He looked quite overwhelmed at the love and presence of all those that came to wave them off. It's been amazing watching Peter's emotions as he is retiring from something he's been doing for over 40 years! He loves flying and he's been an asset to this company though they don't show it! Peter and his lovely lady are looking forward to their retirement to Queensland and days of golf ahead. We'll miss knowing they're there but life must go on and expat life is transitional and nomadic as well. All the best Captain and Purser:) Much love from all of us.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentines Day Special

We don't do Valentine's, or should I say the hubby doesn't do Valentine's, so I don't really expect anything on this day and as hard as I try, there's a niggling feeling of disappointment when the day comes and goes and no flowers arrive! Yeah ok I'm a bit spoiled like that...or very womanly like that! As I was recovering from the bug I've been suffering from my sleep patterns have been all over the place. So the night before I suffered from broken sleep and was sleeping like a log at 4 am onwards. I was awoken from deep slumber when hubby pulled open the bedroom curtains with a sing song 'Happy Valentine's" echoing in the room and there in front of me was a tray filled with breakfast, eggs on toast, bacon and pancakes with a cup of tea. My irritation from being woken up quickly turned to pure happiness that he did that. I was soooo happy, teenage happy, what an awesome start to the day and that from all our years together hubby did this today:) 
He left 2 hours later for an overnight overseas. 
Today I got a text from him before he headed back home telling me his arrival time which was unusual as I knew that already. But another text followed about what was I making for dinner? No pressure. I usually make something easy when it's just me for dinner and now that he's asking I thought crikey I have to 'make' dinner! My son had a sleepover at his friends so I hung out there until about 7pm rushed home stopped at groceries and came home and whipped up a quick meal of roasted red sauce chicken, stir fried string beans and onions, and potato gratin which my Frenchie friend had just told me how to make easily. The hubby arrived home and could not believe the dinner. Funniest thing was he kept saying it again and again what a nice dinner it was!!!  As he did the dishes I took out the icecream and cut up the mango to go with it...then he said "So what are you going to ask me for?"  Choo hooo just goes to show how rare I make nice meals that he couldn't believe his luck and then wondered what was going to follow. Hmmm I did like those diamond earrings at Damas....

Monday, February 13, 2012

Samoans in Vegas

Woke up from my slumber in time to see Samoa kick butt at the Vegas 7s. Yippee. They edged out Fiji 12 Samoa 14 in the semi final. Samoa is up against NZ for the final. I'm still up so I guess I'll wait to find out what happens. All the best to the boys in blue.
And fast forward to today, I woke up to Samoa beating NZ in the final NZ 19 Samoa 26. Uale Mai and Alafoti Fa'aosiliva have still got it. Beautiful tries by Fa'aosiliva alright. Just amazing and nice to see their drive once more. Here's to hoping that spark remains for Hong Kong to get the extra points. Choo hooo.

Fofo

So I'm still unwell. I don't know what the f*** is going on but the meds I got from the doctor last week didn't do the job and I had done everything the doctor ordered. So I'm back to paracetamol until my next appointment with the doctor tomorrow morning to figure this bug out. But I'm learning online and from my personal almost doctor special person what might be wrong so I'm getting lots of rest, lots of fluids and back to basics use vicks on my chest. lol Got to love good ol' vicks. That is a Samoan mom's answer to everything or at least my mom and grandma, if not Samoan oil, it's vicks, then on to lau gogu(gogu leaves), and lauti(tea leaves) and so on and so forth. Which brings me back to our upbringing.
Growing up in Savai'i my family were a family of healers, our grandma, great aunties, and some uncles were traditional healers of sorts. So when my sisters and I were old enough...9+ we each were specialized in something. We were all healers of fuafua or the common tropical boil but I mainly dealt with it when it was an open wound after my sister Tupa'i had done her part of the initial fofo. Our mother being an active Red Cross member had us also trained early in First Aid to accompany this traditional task I guess. When Cyclone Ofa hit in 1990 followed by Val in 1991, our place was like a clinic, people showing up with cuts and all sorts of ailments to get fixed. Hullo I felt like Dr. Quin with the Red Cross box to clean wounds and of course send the odd idiot with a major cut hoping for a miracle to the hospital. We had to tell people that we were not a medical clinic and they HAVE to go to the hospital to which they reluctantly did or didn't. I admit as young kids you're up in a tree eating guavas or in the middle of a game and you get called to fofo someone, it got tiring after a while and I hated cyclones even more for that. 
What amazed me though, is how our people hold traditional healers with such high regard. I remember getting sent for, when I was about 12, to come fofo this young man who could hardly walk because the boil on his foot was so big that it was painful to place his foot on the ground. (Classic case: seek help when in it's worst state) He was not much older than I, and we crack jokes when we see each other on the road, but when I arrived as a fofo, I was approached like an elder! His mother welcomed me in polite language and after I did the treatment thanked me good and proper. I was taken aback. The next day after the treatment they served me food fit for the pastor. I tell ya at that point I was not minding this calling at all. Anyway the guy was the fai maumaga (plantation man) of the family and they needed him to be well to get back to the taro and ka'amu to which he did a few days later!
With modern medicine arriving recently to the islands moreover people find it hard to make the trip to the hospital, a traditional healer is always nearby within the village. The fact is some fofos these days make some illnesses worse when they massage the area which then is spreading the disease but when people look at you with all the hope in the world I guess some fofos are forced into 'performing' to look like they know what they're doing. It's an interesting area to venture into as a lot of the leaves and herbal medicine used actually do work for the particular pain or ailment that it's aimed for but with new diseases such as cancer and such those herbs aren't going to do it. I'm sure there's a thesis out there about this but then hey, Nafanua Paul Cox found the supposed cure for AIDS from Samoan fofos that is the mamala that has been used from ancient times!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Ma'ima'ia & the week-end

OK I'm so over being sick now. I've been sick on and off for a month now. Last week I went to the doctor and he prescribed more antibiotics when I was just on another course from Samoa. And because I'm a doctor in my head I decided it was all a scam and didn't get the antibiotics but only the cough medicine and paracetamol! Like I didn't have enough of that at home. I was ok by the week-end when it was time to pick up our guests and take 'em out to dinner clubbing  that night. The next day was the usual recovery day and by evening all was well with the world.
It's really cold here at the moment and I think this is where the problem lies. I tend to catch a cold fast when I get chilled...*gasps dramatically* reminds me of those characters in Jane Eyre books who 'catch their death' outside. Well I think the sooner I realise I'm a real life 'sensitive lady' the lesser I get sick. So since yesterday I'm dressing like I live in Italy. Jeans, warm top, jacket, socks and warm boots topped off by my warm woolen scarf! I used to laugh at people who dressed like that around here but now I'm probably being laughed at but I don't care! Today I stayed in my pyjamas all day with my poor son who is also not at top form. So I'm focusing on fully balance meals, meds and drinking lots of water. I believe in the goodness of my beloved coconut so have been ordering them a few at a time from the nearby local cafe that sells them straight from Salalah, and baby coconuts too to help with the healing process! "Your body is a temple"...yadayada so I'm going to try and abide by this a little more and look after this body.
On a sad note, a close uncle of mine passed away two days ago. Though he was sick on and off it was a shock to hear of his death at 60. I saw him at Christmas and I'm still in shock he's gone!!! 
High note: my old classmate(SamCo) and his lovely wife(I met her at the Hong Kong 7s in 07) came for the week-end from Dubai for a visit. We had an awesome week-end of relaxing and driving them around to see a bit of Muscat. We managed to take them to Nizwa also to see the beautiful fort there and to see the hills of Oman on the way there. Classic fob style as we approached Nizwa we noticed an huge new mall complex that wasn't there before. At one end was a Luly Hypermarket and the other was a gigantic KFC sign. After seeing the fort and the markets we all decided it was KFC time lol. Funny thing about these fast food places is they taste the same tasty artery clogging goodness, no matter where you are.(the body being a temple method kicked in a day after the KFC) After our chow down we drove back to Muscat and relaxed until bedtime!