Tuesday, May 08, 2007


It has been ages since I posted anything on my poor blog. But I am back on the blogger bandwagon again.
I am enjoying being back in New Zealand. I am working at Archives New Zealand. I am attending Victoria University. I am living with my sister and her family. I am teaching early morning seminary and have about 20 kids in my class.
I organising some pics and things which I will post soon!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Love is blind..but friendship closes its eyes

One of the wonderful things about being home, is that you get to catch up with childhood friends that you haven't seen in ages and ages - and to laugh and reminisce about things that you have forgotten about...And to relive and laugh about crazy things that you did in a previous life.

My best friends South Wellington Intermediate School, Wellington East Girls' College and at Victoria University were Felicia McCarthy (aka Sia-Mozart), Helen Moananu(aka Helz), Suifou Masun (aka Fou) and Narie Savaiinaea.

Returning home, I have reconnected with this old group of sisters because Sia is getting married and we are helping her to prepare for it. We actually are preparing the wedding favors and centerpieces for the reception. We have come up with a funky, original centerpiece idea made up of golden sand (surreptitiously from Oriental Bay) dark sand ( boldly taken from Lyall Bay) flowers and rocks. It doesn't sound as good as it looks. But photo's will follow after the wedding.

In preparation for Sia's Hen's Night - we broke out our old College yearbooks and laughed and laughed about our old school days. I have forgotten so many things about myself. SCARY - I had conveniently forgotten the time I tried to have a fringe. I had forgotten my 3rd Form Teacher was Mrs Jordon-Kaa. My successful Young Enterprise Business was called SNAPP and we designed and sold skivvies. I forgot at school my group of friends and I were nerds, and that we were nicknamed The Boongas(yes, we are all Samoan). I was in the Kapa Haka Group in 3rd and 4th Form because I wanted to understand some things about the Tangata Whenua. At Intermediate our graduation song was That's what friends are for - Dionne Warwick, and my graduation song at College was Starmaker. I even saw a picture of myself at my sixth form ball. Lovely..

We are really different. We have different personalities, families, different experiences, different dreams and accomplishments. But, we still love each other and have found common ground to have a friendship.

I feel a little like George Eliot "What a wretched lot of old shriveled creatures we shall be by-and-by. Never mind--the uglier we get in the eyes of others, the lovelier we shall be to each other; that has always been my firm faith about friendship."

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Fantastic NZ Sevens! Part 1

Over the past two days I attended the IRB Sevens at The Westpac Stadium.

For those of you not familiar with Sevens - The tournament is played under the laws of the game of rugby with some Sevens variations which are framed by the IRB. The 16 teams are split into 4 pools. Play on the first day of the tournament consists of pool matches on a round robin basis. Points are awarded for wins, losses and draws and go towards each team's final points tabulation. Each team is made up of 12 players; seven on the field during the match, with a reserve bench of five. Each game runs for 2 x 7 minute halves with a 2 minute half time; the final game of the tournament is 2 x 10 minute halves.The winner of the New Zealand leg wins the local tournament trophy.

The fun started on Feb 1st, where we went down to Civic Square to watch the Seven's parade and welcome all the 16 teams to the Capital.

The hot favourites were the Kiwi lads, and the Fijians. The entrance of the Kenyans was very exciting - they had Kenyan drummers. There were salsa dancers before the Argentineans. Portugal also got a warm welcome, as it was their first visit to the Wellington Sevens. My observation of the PNG team was that they had a lot of abnormally short players. The Samoans looked buff. Actually, all the Polynesian players looked good, but the Tongan team looked GREAT!

I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I was a Seven's novice. I had heard fantastic things about it, with friends commenting that it is a huge fun party with a great atmosphere.

Nothing prepared me for how fun it was. The stadium was packed with about 30,000 people.

I think I was one of the only people in the stadium not dressed up. People went all out. Rob and his mates had some cool matching t'shirts.

It made me realize how much I love Kiwi's party attitude and how they really get into things. The crowd was singing, everyone was smiling, people were dancing and everyone was cheering or boo - ing for the Australians - and cheering for anyone they played. It was fantastic.

It was fun to watch these skilled rugby players play well. The Kiwi team was disappointing, we got whipped by Fiji - who were really amazing - and fast!

In a surprise Samoa beat South Africa in the semi's so it was a Samoa-Fiji final. It was a surprise and the crowd went wild.

My family was split - Fiji Supporters were Rob (my brother in law) JJ and Simi(my nephews) and Jonah (Fijian cousin). Samoa supporters were me, Dad and Matile (sister). The crowd was crazy - chanting Fiji-Samoa simultaneously. Both flags flew proudly. Secretly, I thought Samoa was outclassed because Fiji had been playing so superbly through the competition. They were amazingly fast runners - and once they got the ball wide and started running with it, they were unstoppable. Despite this, Samoa played a physical game and were unyielding.

Samoa won! It was an awesome game. The final score - Samoa 17 - Fiji 14.

I am now planning my costume for next years Sevens competition.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Life isn't all ha ha he he....

Ok, so I am a slacker.

But I had such a funny experience today I decided to just write something. When I stop being so cheap and fork out some cash and buy the cord I need for my camera - you will get pic updates of my adventures thus far.

It started out like any other Sunday. However, today I decided that I would be a good girl and attend the Single Adults Sunday School class. For the past couple of weeks I have just attended Gospel Doctrine, but I found out Friday night that I actually have a specific class to go to. My friend WJ had inferred that sitting in the foyer was more stimulating than going to class....He was right.

My teacher was over 60 years old. My class was an eclectic mix of those in their early 30's, 40's, the divorcees, and well those with one foot in the grave. I sound so critical and rude, but as I sat in class today I really felt weird as the cruel realization hit, that I was now in a church programme where the age span was 30 years - 100 years. I mean it. One elderly gentleman in my class has been what I consider an elderly gentleman since I was in primary. Now, in a sick twist of date oops I mean fate, I am in the same boat as he is. Single and well between the age of 30 - 100 years. I just laughed inside. Then I got a little annoyed. Then I felt a little bitter and later remarked to the Bishop - "you know attending a class like that makes you want to go less active". I tried to be upbeat but I ended up being contradictory (I remarked I would feel depressed if I had been blessed to live forever like one of the Apostles because all my friends would die every couple of years - the general consensus was that it would feel great) and then initiated a discussion on why I thought 8 was too young to be baptized. I left the class with a smile on my face though - because I possibly could be asked on a date by someone who is older than my parents. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

As a side note - my records arrived from Taiwan in speedy time. It took less than a week. Jason Chen you must already have had the envelope signed and sealed. So I have a new assignment. I am the early morning seminary teacher. I have a possible attendance of about 25 kids. Although I taught and managed larger classes in Taiwan -I am feeling a little anxious. First because my class starts at 7am. 7am! And Kiwi kids can speak English......really well. They can say mean things. Today as I walked around the chapel and hunted kids down to introduce myself all of them were taller than me - and I was wearing high high heels! I am starting to get really excited though. It is a fantastic way to ensure that I study the gospel daily - and I loved seminary. A lot of gospel truths were solidified for me during my youth years - and I am excited to be part of that with others. So, it should be an interesting year for me.

I am also doing double duty church. Matile and Rob and their kids attend the Samoan Ward, so I attend with them and volunteer in Primary. Today I ran sharing time - it was fun. But to keep them in line I wrote their names on the board and gave them X's if they talked without raising their hand - classic Taiwan teacher reflex.

Overall, it is good to be home. I am adjusting remarkably well. I am happy to be here. Though I am missing hearing Chinese spoken everywhere, Jona, Lie Chie dumplings and my scooter............

Monday, December 18, 2006

Bula Vinaka

Hey Everyone

Just a quick entry to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. When I get back to New Zealand I will backlog all my pictures and adventures here in Fiji.

I am currently in Suva and have been here for the past week. I am really enjoying being here. The weather, food and people are great. It is cool to be with my family too. It has been fun talking and laughing and singing together.

Of course many of you are probably wondering about the coup. If it wasn't for the military checkpoints, you wouldn't have any idea that anything is going on. My opinions and thoughts on it though, will be posted when I get home.

We leave for Coral Island today - and I don't think there is internet access there, so I will try and repost when I am back on the mainland.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wa wi wa wa

Well, en route I seem to have misplaced some camera cords. So I am unable to post any pictures at the moment.

Here is something for LDS folk to consider-

"There are so many programs and things to do that a person/family can spend their whole time at the meeting house and that's not the way it's supposed to be. Elder Boyd K Packer talked with me (Kevin Nielson) 6 years ago about this very thing and said that the number of programs that exist so that there is something for everyone and a problem in the church is that people feel obligated to participate in everything. He cautioned that doing so causes us to lose touch with reality and prevents us from being the kind of neighbours, friends and parents that the Saviour expects us to be. I personally have found a good balance between fulfilling my calling and being a regular guy that my non-LDS neighbours can call a friend too. I fervently believe in the principles that the gospel provides to guide our lives, but that means we need to have a life!”

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Home sweet home...

I am home!

After 25 hours of travelling, I arrrived safely in Wellington.It is good to be back.

My first impressions are:
1. It is FREEZING! Isn't it meant to be summer?
2. The sky is BLUE! I can't stop myself looking upwards and commenting on it.
3. Where are all the scooters?
4. Kiwi's are huge. Now, I am big myself. But after living so long in a
country of small people, I feel like I am in the land of giants.
5. Where are all the people?
6. New Zealand is beautiful!

It has been great to be around my family again. My mum and dad flew in from Sydney yesterday so everyone is here except Jona who is still in Taiwan.It has been quite the reunion. I can't believe how big and tall my nephews are now. It is so good to be around them all.

My mum and sister cooked a huge Samoan dinner - and I am stuffed! I ate my dinner with chopsticks...hahaha, some habits die hard.

I am still adjusting to kiwi life though. It is 1.30am. In Taiwan things would be getting started - everyone in my house has been in bed since before 12. Hmmm.....

Sunday, December 03, 2006

1 more sleep to go....

Sorry I haven't had any time to blog this whole week. I have photos ready to post, and things I want to say - but everytime I have considered sitting down at the computer I have thought that there are better things I could be doing with my time right now.

So you will have to read about my last week in the Wan next week!

Anyway, it is nearly 7am on Sunday. The lift/elevator is not working in my apartment so Jona and I weren't able to take all the rubbish or move my stuff now his stuff, to his house last night. Agggh!I am currently packing my suitcases.

At the moment, I feel quite calm about returning to New Zealand. The end has finally arrived....As I knew it eventually would.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oh what a day!......

I woke up on Saturday to a gloriously sunny day. I stayed in bed all morning, and napped and read. The rest of the day was full on.

 I bought an iPOD!

That evening we had a Talent Show. Here are some of the highlights. When I figure out how to post videos from my camera, you can watch some clips of the night.
Carmel playing the Charlie Brown Theme Song.

Mylee was the MC and factoid-meister of the night.

Sister Lightfoot doing a magic trick.

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Lucas and Melissa doing a duet. This was Melissa's piano debut! She was awesome.

Anuhaea was amazing on the violin.

Accompanied by PJ, I sung Bic Runga's Sway.

Lucas and Blaine did a rockin' Erasure number.

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Manu sung a moving version of Love Rescue Me.

Sarah did a line dance to Johnny Cash.

Nalani played some tunes on the Taiwanese Flute.

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Afterwards we had dinner at Swensons. I highly recommend the chocolate milkshake!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A modern day fairy tale..

Once upon a time there were a group of friends who got together late one Friday night to practice some musical items.

After some singing, guitar slamming and general fun and shenanigans - the friends became peckish...and went a hop, a skip and jump next door to the golden arches to get some tukka.

However, they resided in a strange land. Even though the sign said open 24 hours, the doors were locked. The friends had to mime driving a car through drive-thru. Because the entrance was barred, they had to sit outside and await the arrival of their sustenance.

While waiting for their meal, one of the friends who shall be known as "the Milky Bar Kid", got a strange and wacky idea. Why not drive starkers on his trusty scooter just for shakes and giggles?

So, he jumped aboard his trusty stead, and drove down the road and back, narrowly avoiding the police, but surprising other motorists.

Despite her best efforts the avid blogger of the group was only able to record pics of before and after the event.

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After the event, the Milky Bar kid was seen grinning from ear to ear.

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Morals of the story - You only live once! Eating food from the golden arches at 2am in the morning can impair your logic and reasoning. Kiwi friends will encourage and support all kinds of crazy behaviour.

PS. Stay tuned, discussions are underway for
A Modern Fairy Tale - Part 2

Friday, November 24, 2006


Last night Enily hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner. There was lots of yummy food - particularly her homemade apple and pumpkin pies.

It was good to be together with friends to eat, and laugh and chat.

It has been nice to meet so many other foreigners in Taiwan, and to enjoy and experience some of their holidays and traditions.


So today, I am thankful for the sun that is shining. I am thankful for a family who love me, and for friends who support me and make me laugh. I am thankful to have a job which I enjoy, and to have a scooter to hoon around on. I am grateful for the opportnuinty to travel and to live in other places. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Summer Fun

I had a great summer 2006. There was a large kiwi contingent here - Anna, Jona, Nick, Tui, Mylee, Bridget and Heidi came over and had a working holiday. It was a time of fun and games, bbq's and lots and lots of sun.

The infamous Mala Bay.

The gang at a buffet bbq place after Mala Bay. I love the tan I have! Heidi, Leah, Nick, Melissa, Mylee and Tui.

BBQ Taiwanese Style.

Me, Heidi and Mylee outside the Taipei Temple.

Dinner at Chilli's, Tai Chung with Bridget, Mylee and Heidi.

The gang at a Champagne Lounge in Tai Chung. We went and listened to a fabulous Taiwanese singer who sung in Chinese, Taiwanese, English and Japanese with a live band.

Heidi and I trying to be seductive.

Every Wednesday we have FHE. I was in charge of the activity this night - An intense game of cat and mouse! Heidi, My, Me, Melissa and Nick.

Feng Jia Night Market - Models Inc. showing of the newest collection of Taiwanese scooter helmets.

Summer is a crazy time for English teachers because kids are available to study ALL day. Mylee who works for "Sesame Street" English School had a show outside Sogo in Feng Yuan. I sung the Sesame Street theme song on stage......Only in Taiwan!

Sunny Day sweepin' the clouds away....
On my way to the where the air is sweet...
Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

We scootered up to San Moon Lake

Hung in Taipei - Chiang Kai Shek Memorial