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Friday, December 20, 2013

Computer headaches

I've had this laptop since Christmas of 2007, though it doesn't feel like it's that long ago the computer world says otherwise. I've had so many problems with this lovely HP. I've had the ram upgraded, I taken it in to have the memory cleaned to a hard drive and the latest headache is a message that keeps saying the computer memory is full when I hardly save anything on computer hardrive anymore! I've been trying to put off buying a new computer but now I can't view photos due to low memory... Very frustrating but I really didn't want to part with this machine. Oh well like all electronics these days they have a time stamp on them...our consumer society dictates that we buy buy buy. A lot of the time things aren't worth fixing as they cost about the same as buying a new one, like irons, vacuum cleaners, electric jugs.... Enough ranting this morning. Good Morning World:)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Domestic Abuse, Violence, Samoa

And so we're back to Square One as one brave lady in Samoa Sina Retzlaff speaks to the media with a bruised face from a recent beating by her ex husband the well known ex-Manu Samoa ex- Highlanders rugby player Brian Lima. It's disgusting that after she's divorced him he still did what he did. I saw Ms Retzlaff's picture with bruises and all on the Samoa Observer site but what struck me is the determined smile through the pain. Domestic violence in Samoa and every where in the world is disgusting and I hope this particular abuser Brian Lima gets time in Samoa's horrid prison for what he has put his ex-wife and their children through.

What bothers me more about this case and many other cases in Samoa is the fact people are quick to return the blame on the victim. Asking questions like, but what did she say or do to get a beating? The fact remains that a coward is the man or woman that beats on his/her physically weaker partner. 

My journalist younger sister had just completed a 16 days of activism campaign against Violence in Samoa and my own older sister decided to speak out about her experience of being abused by her ex-husband. We are well aware of the hurt, the tears, the consoling and the urging the victim to leave that comes with the territory. It's a really, really tough situation where you see clearly that the victim should break free, but the victim is so absorbed in the cycle that she just doesn't see what everyone else sees. The fact that being beaten is wrong. The fact that their kids are exposed to this wrong doing. The fact that staying together is more detrimental to the kids fragile state of minds than any good. The fact that they deserve and can have an abuse free life if they choose to. However it is up to the victim to make the mental and actual decision to leave the abusive situation. In the end when they choose to break free they need a strong support system to help them out. We, as the support must never give up hope and always be there for the victims. I had read everything published during this campaign and I thought my sister hit the nail on the head with this campaign. It is about admitting that we have a problem and about educating ourselves about what is wrong with our current thinking towards violence in our homes, upbringing, schools, and general environment. 

Sources: Samoa Observer, New Zealand Herald, 16daysofactivismSamoa

Short Desert Trip 2013

In celebration of our wedding anniversary hubby booked our little family into the Desert Nights Camp in the Wahiba sands in the Bidyia, Al Wasil region in Oman. It took us two hours and a half to get to the camp from Muscat. The dual carriage way after the highway was a little bit scary as dare devils overtake without considering oncoming traffic half the time. We got to the camp without incident. As we parked our car trying to sort ourselves out, a hotel porter showed up in a small cart and welcomed us to the camp. We loaded the cart with our gear and went in to the reception. We were received warmly and offered cool wet flannels to freshen up, a welcome gesture after driving through the sand. The camp was easy to find following the instructions given on their Desert Nights Camp website. As the golden sand dunes came into sight I felt butterflies as I was so excited to go back to the desert since 4 and a half years ago. Master Five was even more excited as he pointed to camels and goats and asked questions about the desert as we drove through the dunes to get to the camp. The camp was situated between tall sand dunes. We immediately enquired about activities and booked what we wanted to do straight away to avoid missing out from overbooking. Master five and hubby booked a quad bike ride that same afternoon and we planned to go up the dunes to watch the sunset later in the afternoon. Master Five kept singing that he wanted to ride a camel and we were told the camels were brought in every morning for that purpose. I took baby to the room to relax and let him crawl around after being cooped up in the car while hubby and Master Five went off for their quad bike ride. Later we got a ride to the top of the dunes and I happily clicked away with my big camera to try capture baby on the dunes just like we did 5 years ago with our older son. The sunset was just magnificent once more. I always experience a sense of peace and graciousness in those moments, it's just gorgeous and the fact we're in a desert far from home really brings everything into perspective.
Big son took his rugby ball so he was having a great time kicking the ball on the dunes and running after it. then rolling down the dunes and trying to slide down. He really enjoyed it. We had a few drinks at the bar until dinner time. The food was yummy and a lot of local cuisine was served which was delicious. A two men local band was playing soft music during dinner which was quite relaxing. We sat by the bonfire for a few minutes before we called it a night. We all had a lovely sleep. The big bed was very comfortable and so were the pillows. The night was cool so we didn't need any AC. The rooms were clean and spacious and beautifully designed. There was hot water and tea making facilities which was awesome.

The next morning we were up early to enjoy the breakfast. There was a well equipped playground which my son had a good time playing on. The camels were brought in and master Five happily hopped on the camel lead by the camel herder and rode around the camp grounds before coming back to base. At 10 we were taken to a further steep dune to sand board. Local guide Issa was friendly and new his dunes and his toyota! So we drove to the top of the dune we took turns sand boarding down and then Issa would drive down in the car and take us up again! It was fun and the boys really had a good time. I went down once but enjoyed taking pictures and making sure no sand flies landed on baby who was happily crawling around on the fast warming sand. after half an hour we went back to camp. the boys went off for another quad bike ride while bubba and I relaxed and then we packed our gear and headed back home. We had such a beautiful night in the desert and I really want to do it more often once more!

Skin products

After putting baby to bed I thought I'd have a bath. I remembered a beesline facial mask I bought at a salon a few weeks ago and thought I'd use it. So I applied the product on my face and hopped in the bath. I felt stinging but I thought it was the product doing it's cleansing thing. After a few minutes I washed it off but my face felt hot and when I looked in the mirror a very red face was looking back at me. I tried to stay calm washed my face with more cold water to cool the burning sensation and was keeping the 'panic' at bay. I grabbed the aloe vera gel I have and applied it to a small part of my face and that helped. I held a cold wet flannel to my face to keep it cool and hoped it brought the redness down. I googled allergic reactions and low and behold yours truly was suffering from this. I'm so disappointed with myself for not testing the product first but having said that there's no warning on the packet that could have reminded me to test it before putting it all over my face. Anyway the moral of the story is...test products on a small area on your body and wait to make sure you're not allergic to it before proceeding to use it all. I won't be buying Beesline products any time soon!