Thursday, 19 May 2022

Stat's with Pacer's Virtual adventures...

Since last year in September, I thought to start some fitness and exercise goals that would keep me fit during the COVID-19 Nationwide lockdown.

Since then I've been able to keep to my goals (on most days) of trying to take 10,000 steps daily which I'm told is the average steps that adults should be aiming for and it's assisted in my fitness goals too.

The neat thing about joining Pacer's Virtual Worldwide adventures (as shared in earlier blogs) is that it allows me to go on virtual tours to various nations and have a look at some of the features of each country.

So far, I've been able to virtually and successfully keep 13+ worldwide virtual challenges to at least 11 different countries and regions. Have also covered around 1,350+ kilometres which equates to finishing 32+ full marathons and a 1.7 round trip to an International Space station (as stated in the graphic to the left).

I'd highly recommend this challenge to any with fitness goals, as it keeps me motivated and enthusiastic to get up each morning and crush my fitness goals, especially during this time of the COVID pandemic and all of the variant problems that its posed.

So one of the decisions that I made was to dance the steps (I know it sounds crazy) but to put on some fast paced music on my 'Wonderboom' speaker and it's worked wonders.

I have different play lists ranging from Samoan music, to fast paced Latino music, Zumba music, Disco music and my daughter's and younger sister's music which is more contemporary with their fast beats as well.

That way, I don't have to always go outside for walks, although I do go outside for the occasion walk on public holidays and early morning weekends when not so many people are out and about and I can walk around without a mask (although I do put it on when I'm approaching others).

 I have managed, at times, to rope along one of my family members to go for a walk with me, but it's far to early for them on a weekend and I often like to walk and enjoy the crisp morning air with little traffic accompanied by my thoughts and things to consider for the day.

So definitely, encouraging you to five this a go and see where it takes you. I know that it's not everyone's cup of tea (or coffee) but it certainly works for me and I'll continue to post my progress through out the year.

With one more continent to work on i.e. Antarctica and then I will have completed my goals to virtually visit each of the seven continents. So all the best for your fitness goals to keep crushing it!...

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Siapo (tapa cloth) patterns in PhD study...

 

My creative PhD studies allows me to create artworks and study various patterns of Samoan culture that was created hundreds of years ago and are still being continued in today's Samoan societies.

In this study pictured left, I've painted my favourite Samoan siapo (tapa cloth) pattern using acrylics on small canvases and in using the colours of i.e. bronze, gold, silver and black to replicate some of the colours that would used through the natural plants of Samoa.

I wanted to capture the rich vibrancy of Samoan culture but also keeping with earthy tones that are associated with siapo as siapo as seen as another measina (treasure/s) of Samoan material culture.

I've had so much fun making these up as I'm also giving them away to participants in my study as a token of my appreciation for the time, effort and knowledge that they've shared with me.

In fact, I find it a real privilege to be able to learn and share my understandings gained in learning more about the history behind what entails being 'measina a Samoa'. I also see that there are some changes that have happened over the years and some of these findings I'll be sharing on this blog but also with the participants after writing up my exegesis/thesis with accompanying artworks etc...

Monday, 11 April 2022

'Measina' mugs for PhD studies participants...

 

My Measina PhD fieldwork has been moving along slowly with the sharing of stories from various participants. It's been a very interesting journey so far with lots of rich information and also a lot to consider going forward.

As part of the recognition of the time, efforts and knowledge that has been passed onto me, I've reciprocated with a Koko Samoa pack that includes 'Measina' mugs with the word imprinted on foil on the mugs as a sovereign for participating in the study.

I've had some neat feedback as I've wanted to keep the conversations casual in not expecting to have fully researched answers but more of a 'slice of life' or a discussion on their experiences of what measina means to them but also their observations.

I have also reflected on my own observations of measina over time and it's been interesting to see the similarities but also differences of people's thoughts on measina.

Needless to say, that many of my participants on women both young and old but I also have privileged to also have been able to discuss the idea of measina with men in my village group which brought about their interesting observations as well.

Suffice to say, that there is a lot to write about and as I've asked for it to be a 'Creative PhD' in that I will be producing some artworks, poetry and a few books during this time, I feel that it is the right time and place for me to right about this important phenomenon i.e. an understanding of Measina for diaspora Samoans...

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

A+ Bloods call-out...


It's been awhile since I gave blood as a blood donor back in 2017, however, whilst I was watching the TV news on Monday, there was a call out for those who have A+ as there was a shortage with only 4 days left nationwide.

Of course I then phoned for an appointment and found that the local blood donor place was full until next week and so was re-diverted to the Epsom (Auckland central clinic) where there was only a next day wait to make an appointment.

So today I was able to support my community in giving blood. However, whilst I was there, the nurse told me that there was still a short supply so I'll be calling in my family, those who like me are A+, to also consider donating their blood.

I know that for some religious faiths and personal decisions, not everyone agrees with donating blood. But since I attended Uni in my late teens and into my 40s, I was still given the opportunity to do this and in being to support my community.

After the 30 minute donation, I had a juice, as donors are supplied with food etc. afterwards and it gave me time to catch up with the Blood services' annual report. There I was able to read that very few Samoans donate blood (because of their beliefs?) and that NZ Europeans gave more blood as an ethnic group.

If you haven't already, it might be something to consider as the majority of peoples needing blood are for operations with some due to accidents, those with cancer, and many of these include children as well...

Thursday, 24 March 2022

'West Side Story' 21st century movie...

 

Watching last year's 2021 Steven Spielberg (co-producer and director) movie brought back lots of memories as a high school teacher in South Auckland (in the last century) in the early 1990s where I'd read the script in book format with my senior English classes and then watched and studied the 1961 movie production.

Having also taught Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' in high school with senior English students was also interesting as the themes were very similar having been based on similar conflicts of love between two people from different cultures i.e. white American and Hispanic (Puerto Rico). I thought it was very important to expose students to a variety of literature.

I would definitely recommend this movie to watch and study as it keeps very close to the original 1961 movie, in fact, one of the actresses who play the Puerto Rico female lead in the origin movie plays the shop keeper (originally male) in the 2021 production, some 50 years later. Simply amazing!

Is it a sad love story, just like the Romeo and Juliet story, but it reminds us of the prejudices and stereotypes that we often have of other cultures, often perpetuated by the media and that we often don't know much detail about. 

This movie reminds me that often there's a lot at stake and when prejudice and stereotyping leads to hate crimes and violence then inevitably it will often lead to the death of loved ones. Perhaps it's a reminder to always teach about diversity through understanding, respect and humility otherwise someone or people get hurt...

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Keeping fit whilst walking virtually...

 

One of the things that assisted me during the time of my father's passing in December of last year was a virtual challenge that I started in November of 2021.

It's the Pacer virtual adventure/s that I started last year and when I chose the Jordan Trail of 650 km, I didn't know that it would take me till mid March before I would be able to finish it. 

For more information and other challenges information please view on: https://adventure.mypacer.com At the moment I'm currently walking the Easter Island track and it's quite fascinating to learn more about this most isolated island that I've read about.

I would highly recommend this and other challenges as it's assisted in my keeping motivated to keep fit and also learning about the country as I walk it virtually. 

I've currently finished over a dozen challenges and the medals are so well designed with free shipping all over the world (yes, unfortunately you do have to pay for the medals) but good to also pay for the discounted price whenever they have new or discounted challenges.

I must say that it allows me to combine my interest in travel, keeping fit, learning about the geography and often histories of countries and keeps me motivated to choose what the next challenge is based on what I want to accomplish i.e. long walks over 500 kms (over months) or short walks around 50 - 100 kms (over days or weeks).

There's even a merch (merchandise) that includes buying Tshirts of the favourite walks that you've done and accessories with which to hang your medals on. I've chosen to keep my medals displayed in a recycled Subway catering pack plastic container (I'll try and remember to take a pic and post).

So if you would like to join in a virtual challenge and want to combine the interests that I've posted about here then why not give it a go and if it's something that works for you then congratulations on trying something new or developing something that you've already started on. You'll never know where it takes you to...


Monday, 21 February 2022

Pasifika patterns on pavement...

 

In trying to walk a 5km route around my neighbour last week, I spied some Pasifika patterns that had been painted on the pavement outside a local high school with accompanying bus stop.

What I thought very interesting about this is that I incorporate some of these patterns into my books and to see it on the pavement was quite a surprise.

To me it shows that there is now an appreciation of Pasifika art publicly that wasn't understood some 20 years ago if not 10.

It also goes to show that within this multicultural society of South Auckland that there now a better appreciation of Pasifika culture allbeit still on the surface for many who are still learning about the various ethnic diversities i.e. Samoan, Cook Islands, Niuean, Tongan, Tuvaluan etc. but we have come a long way from where we used to be.


Friday, 18 February 2022

Valentines day at Denny's...

 

Earlier this week my beloved and I went to Denny's for our Valentines day lunch and saw our elder two children then decided to have pick up our youngest to join in too.

With the whole change in having to wear masks, social distancing and showing our COVID vaccine passes at restaurants, it does make one want to sit well away from others - just in case.

However, it was a pleasant day and we enjoyed the meals and time together whilst reminiscing on past events and how fast time flies past.

A big thank to my beloved for the neat time we had together and it was a timely reminder that we need to make time to enjoy these special occasions and take a moment to be grateful and thankful for our health and what we have at this time and moment...


Friday, 11 February 2022

Studying Indigenous Research (level 4) a game changer...



It's another new year with new learning opportunities for prospective students with the Indigenous courses that are offered at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. There is still availability for those who are interested in an introduction to indigenous research with my online fees free 'Te Kunenga o te Ao Tikanga' level 4 course that I am currently teaching.

It's a course that I've been teaching for the past few years and it is a game changer. Not only has it been useful and helpful for many professionals and community learners who have taken this course and engaged better with students as a whole but it's also informed and solidified my understandings and practices as being brought up by my Samoan indigenous parents who passed on a lot of important teachings that I carry with me today and informing many others as a PhD candidate and tertiary educator in Aotearoa, NZ today.

In teaching and learning from this introductory course on tikanga (Maori protocols and practices) it has allowed the space for indigenous research to grow with many of my Maori and non-Maori tauira or students to also reflect on their own cultural protocols and practices as well as their personal and nuclear family's practices.

I would definitely encourage teacher practioners to take this course as I wished that I had done so when I was teaching in high school as when you have a better grasp of te Ao Maori (Maori worldviews) and have had the time and space to consider your own cultural principles as well as others in the class then you are in a better position to work with students from multi-faceted cultures and engage with mutual respect.

If you are interested to know more information about this course and how to enrol for the class of 2022 then you can email me on: helen.filisi@twoa.ac.nz or if you are interested in having a similar course in your country then you can contact me on my personal email at: helentauaufilisi@gmail.com





 

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Pacer App & healing...

 

It's been over a month since my dear father passed away and one of the greatest supports that I've had in helping me, during this time, has been the Pacer App and Virtual challenges with locations around the world.

My own personal target is for at least 10,000 steps per day and this is completed through dancing to my own beat i.e. YouTube playlists or my own or daughter/sister's playlists, TV Zumba sessions or walking around local streets as well as local parks and walkways.

This has also assisted me in being more fit and healthy with my family's 8 week challenge of losing weight and eating more healthy.

As a family we've talked about it and reflected that somehow my father's passing brought us together by sharing daily evening devotions through Messenger and including my brother's family in Melbourne, Australia. We were also able to support family members who caught COVID-19 whilst they were isolating at home which was a real bonus.

Now each family (there's five family groups) takes a day to lead our evening devotionals with Catholic, Presbyterian, Samoan, English, Maori etc. prayers, songs, scriptures, discussions, with lots of laughs along the way.

It's been a real blessing and although I miss my dear dad very much, his passing brought about the opportunity for us to come together, unite and be closer in the knowledge that the passing of a loved one within our family is a natural part of life as taught through our faith.

There's been so much that's happened that I'll get back to blogging more, in having had some time off to reflect on life and to take the time to mourn the loss of my father who had such a great impact on my life. I miss him much and believe that he's legacy will live on through what he taught us...

Sunday, 2 January 2022

A tribute to my father and friend...

 

This new year of 2022, I would like to pay tribute to my father, my dad and faith-filled friend who passed away at the blessed age of 84 on 19th of December of last year to spend his first Christmas in Paradise. 

I know that many daughters don't have the relationship that I grew to love having with my Papa that started instructionally and then ended in having his full trust in me and I in him.

I write this with tears as I have lost a man who was my rock and in whom I esteemed and loved greatly.  He is deeply missed as a father and grandfather. I certainly miss his presence but am reminded of him in other ways.

Still, I thank God for choosing him to be my father, my role model and supporter, like my mum, as they both encouraged me to keep the faith and to work well to do good in our community and within our church and family.

He probably has had the most profound affect in my life, in his guidance and words of wisdom in ensuring that I keep strong in my faith and fight the good fight as he did so greatly. He's also probably the greatest male influencer, for good, in my life and reminded me of the importance of humility, respect and honouring God.

I miss him so much but know that he is in a better place and resting in peace. I so want to thank all the people who contributed in many ways to his life and also the outpouring of many love gifts in his passing with tributes from Samoa, Australia, NZ etc.

Before his passing, my father and I had started a book of his memoirs. He lovingly shared with me insights of his growing up in Samoa, leaving Samoa to find a 'better' future in NZ and then meeting my mum and starting his family. I hope to finish the book for him and launch it at the end of this year at his memorial stone unveiling.

I echo the words and sentiments of our elder daughter in wishing that the world would pause for a moment to commemorate the passing of one who loved so dearly and who was committed to his family, his church, his faith and God. Thank you God giving me such a blessed opportunity to have a hero like my father in my life. He is gone but will never be forgotten...




Sunday, 12 December 2021

'Mr Church' a recommended movie to watch...


This movie has been around since 2016 but I only got to watch it on Netflix this week. I would recommend this movie having watched many of Eddie Murphy's movies mostly in the humour genre but this movie takes a more serious look at what life can offer and also very different from the roles that I'm used to watching him in.

I'd say that the movie takes you on a journey through life and how sometimes people start relationships through circumstances that you would often not think to happen. I liked how, as a personal of colour, Murphy's character played a pivotal role in the lives of several people.

The ending might not be to everyone's liking but is more a testament to how often life does not always serve you what you are wanting or deserving and this movie ending is no different. A movie that gets you thinking about your important relationships in life...

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

'Inspiring the future Aotearoa' role models and speakers in schools...

 

Earlier this year, I joined an organisation called 'Inspiring the future Aotearoa' as 1 of 407 role models who make ourselves available for sharing our stories with school students.

If you are interested in joining or asking role models to attend to your school's event you just need to contact the organisation's website on: www.inspiringthefuture.org.nz

There's a lot of information on either logging in as a teacher or as a role model. Having been a High school English teacher in the past, I know that I would have utilised this resource as there were no resources like this around when I was teaching those many years ago.

What's also neat is that there is a huge range of speakers to chose from and it's an exciting opportunity for both students and teachers as well as the speakers to share their stories and to learn about different careers, businesses etc.

Looking forward to sharing my knowledge and some life experiences in the not too distant future for inspiring more youth into writing, composing, creating, researching, informing, painting, planning and generally making things happen...