Tuesday, 31 May 2016

"Live" on 531PI Radio Interview for Samoan language week...

Fa'atalofa atu i le pa'ia ma le mamalu o Samoa... Talofa lava one and all! it's Samoan language here in Aotearoa, New Zealand and today I was invited to come on Radio (and took along my lil' sis' for moral support) to talk about our latest book launched last Friday at Otahuhu library and it was a pleasure and honour to be interviewed by Nemai, the lovely Fijian host and she made us feel really welcome and at home in their Manukau studio.

It's not actually the first time I've been interviewed on Radio as I remember being interviewed for TV and radio whilst working on Ministry of Education contracts (back in the day :) but now to be able to talk about my passion to write and to share with the listeners was a real privilege and it also gave me a chance to give some books away to listeners as a way of 'paying it forward'.

The neat thing was that I'd like to also thank Aggie (NZ Tongan journalist) who confirmed the interview for me 'out of the blue' and especially on Samoan language week also made it special. I was also able to make a 'shout out' to my husband whose birthday is today as well as to my mum whose birthday is tomorrow.

So had a great time on the Radio and couldn't help giggling and laughing away with my sister which the host said reminded her of her other Samoan friends. I guess, we can't help it as being Samoan humour but also just enjoying life and what God brings about. So am thankful for such wonderful opportunities to share our stories with many more and to hopefully inspire people to go for their dreams...

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Thanks Otahuhu Library for hosting 7th Book launch on "Moso"...

A big thank you to all who were able to attend our book launch yesterday at Otahuhu library and especially to the Manager and Samoan librarian who invited students and teachers from Otahuhu Primary and Otahuhu Intermediate to attend as well as Seugagogo School (total immersion) pre-school who also entertained us with their singing and items.

It was also great having my parents from Samoa, my aunties who've come to visit my Gran while she is sick and also to some family and friends who have been such amazing supporters since this journey started for me. Also to my beloved and M.C. for the night - it just made it all the more special. It was also my dad's birthday so we got to acknowledge him and so glad that they were able to make it to this special day with everyone attending.

Was very emotional in sharing about how my Granma was there to support me right at the beginning by financially coming with me to Samoa and then having the right people in place so that I was able to successfully find the information that I was looking for. Such a blessing as I know that my Granma had a special relationship with God in that she believed that he would always take care of her and He did.

Now looking forward to our next Book launch in July at Mangere Bridge library, Lord willing, which will be for my first poetry collection, some poems dating back when I first started but will be interesting to see how it is understood and accepted.

But still such an amazing time yesterday and feel very blessed..

Thursday, 26 May 2016

A tribute to my Granma - creating a legacy...

Image result for grandma legacy On the eve of my latest (7th) book launch, I'd like to stop and pay tribute to my 96 year old Grenma Asia who's been feeling unwell lately and Grenma was my special name for her when I was growing up whereas my other cousins called her Mama or Mum, but Grenma and now Granma was always special to me.

I remember, once when I was young, some of my older cousins told me that I must have been adopted out of their family because I looked so much like them. I, of course believed them, in being so little and was so distraught that when I got the chance to talk to my parents I asked them if I was indeed adopted and my mother assured me that I wasn't even though my cousins were very adamant about it.

Now, I know it was because I take after my dad's side i.e. the jaw line, nose, mouth structure, I got it from Granma and then to my dad and now me. I also see it in one of my children and it's so amazing to see 4 generations with characteristics that are similar.

She was also the catalyst that started me on the journey as in 1988 I'd started my first year in my Masters degree in Geography and must have discussed with my family my need to go to Samoa to research on the ancient sites and she was adamant that she would accompany me with a boy cousin of mine and she wanted to pay for the trip with a little help from the part time job I had at the time.

So in early 1989, we left for Samoa and stayed in her Uncle's house in Matautu and I'd go to the local library in Apia to read up on books of ancient Samoa and she'd be at home with my aunts talking and catching up on things. It was my Granma who was able to get me in touch with another Aunty Lesina who assisted me in finding the late A'eau Taulupo'o Lafaiali'i who helped me to learn about the tala o le vavau.

I will always be indebted to my Granma for having so much faith in me and in sharing her thoughts with me at the time of which I've recorded in my thesis and I attribute the fact that I wouldn't be able to share or write these ancient stories today, if it hadn't been for her amazing effort to see a grand-daughter reach her goal. That's the amazing love that I know my Granma had and the special relationship that we have had over the years.

May God bless you Granma, as you have been a special blessing to me and now for many generations to come as I continue to share your, our, their stories...

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Ps Cy Rogers - clarity... "What have you been called to do?"...

It's been an extremely busy week what with the church conference of which I was only able to make a couple of night sessions; chapter 1 of my Doctoral thesis due; my parents flying in from Samoa for birthday celebrations and upcoming book launch, a new job and enrolling/marketing for new students, looking after my family and the illness of my 96 year old grandma in acknowledgement of the fragility of life.

Today it was so refreshing to listen to Pastor Cy Rogers with a post-conference message about doing the thing that you are called to do. I find that he gives clarity and explained how he has been in the conference circuit as a guest speaker for a few decades and that many people can end up doing nothing after attending an inspiring talk.

At present, I'm quite the opposite in that I'm so busy that I find that I am juggling a lot of balls and have so much to complete in one day but his talk reminded me that I'm called to do what I've been given the gifts and the personality to do. And now I find that I'm able to say "no" to a lot of things that I would have (in my youth) said "yes" to do for others.

I think it's that maturity in knowing who you are and what God has called me to do in that I find I don't do things to please people but to do what I have to do. It's just that I think that some of the things that I'm now doing were long overdue and now I'm, in a sense "catching up" but it's still so special i.e. I have a young family and am a "mature" mom as compared to a lot of moms I see around who are still in their 20s and 30s.

And it can also be so overwhelming when there is so much need around you and one doesn't know where to start, I'd encourage you to just listen to that still quiet voice (which sometimes can shout out loud when we're otherwise preoccupied) and find out what it is that God's got in store for you. What can you do each day to make the/your/your family's world a better place?... What have you been called to do?...

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

"By my Spirit" Life conference this week...

SPIRIT logo Looking forward to attending our churches' Life conference this week although I can only make the evening sessions as working during the day with a deadline for my first chapter looming for Friday.

It's neat to take time out during the year to reflect on life and things that are happening to take stock of family life, individual goals and ensuring that we are walking in the right direction in life or if we've dropped some threads along the way.

I always find that I learn something new at conferences and this year am looking forward to the guest speakers as well with the international line up and the experience and perspectives that they bring with them as Christians.

It's really interesting, in that people may live in different parts of the world, be different ages and nationalities but because we have a shared faith and enjoy similar principles that our stories, although vastly different, may follow similar lines of discussion.

I'm so blessed to be with a church and church leaders who believe in supporting international global ministries in different countries as well as to support local initiatives and by their example, it assists me in supporting local initiatives as well in what I am able to do but more about this later.

And looking forward to sharing some of the things that I learn at conference this year with the theme "by my Spirit"...

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Social responsibility with begging in public spaces ...

Image result for begging handToday, I felt good as I walked out of the store after withdrawing $ that I'd put into my purse. I saw some nuns sitting with a white bucket on a little table next to the store door, I then heard that still quiet voice and knew I needed to put that $ into the bucket. This time, without hesitation, I put it in the bucket, smiled and walked out of the store. That $ was only supposed to buy a treat for my children but I didn't really need it because when I walked into our home, my husband had already bought it for them and they were happy.

What can say? in the 1980s, as a teen, I don't remember seeing many people asking/begging for $ in public spaces and I remember in the late 1990s, when I was travelling in Vancouver, I saw a War veteran standing at a streetlight intersection in Vancouver city with a sign on him asking for money and then being told by some of the PhD students that I was visiting at the time that there was a big problem with homelessness and poverty and they showed me the areas where they would look for a place to sleep at night.

In NZ, it's now become commonplace in different public spaces, from window washers asking for $, people busking (although sometimes different as some see it as a service for the public and not as begging) then there are those who stand or sit outside shops who ask for $ or are silent with a bowl, hat, tin can requesting $ support from passersby or strangers.

The question was asked this morning on a local radio station about the social responsibility that we have as Christians, or as people who may not be in a similar situation but do we then turn a blind eye on those who are going through often difficult situations that they find that this the only other alternative that they have to gain some $.

I don't know the answer or solution to this situation as I hear there is going to be some legislation that may be passed soon that would try to ban or fine those who are begging in public spaces. I don't know about you but sometimes I know I have that still quiet that asks me to give and from now on, I know I need to listen to it... will you?...

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The freedom diaries by Mark Holloway...

Image result for freedom diaries Had a neat mother's day over the weekend with my family cooking a meal at home and nicely styled, for a change instead of going out which was neat to get waited on by my beloved with lasagna and lots of Pacific food that had us having a good rest for the rest of the day.

I also bought "The freedom diaries" by Mark Holloway for a weekend read which I'd heard about last year but never quite got to the Christian book store to buy it but this time I did and have just started it and have found it so interesting to read.

It's about having backwards and forwards meaingful conversations with God which is really powerful in reading about how to make this happen. I'm looking forward to having my own conversations, although we've been having it for a while now (Holy spirit lead) but to actually record them in the way the author has suggested is quite powerful, especially if you are wanting to leave it as a legacy to your children etc.

And am writing up chapter 1 of my thesis or introductory chapter which is really getting me to think about how I'm wanting the thesis to look like although it might change. I've also had a Masters student ask me to be a supervisor for her studies which is a real privilege as I try to write, focus and complete my own studies towards my Doctorate.

So in having conversations with God along the way of my studies, it will make for a compelling story...

Saturday, 7 May 2016

NZ Police - Running man challenge the best so far...

It's been quite a laugh watching the different Police departments all over the world, respond to the "Running man challenge". I've gotta say that when I saw Auckland/Manukau's? response, couldn't help laughing and thinking that most of them were probably Pacific and Sonny (the main dancer) - Samoan? took me back to the 80s and finally for Sonny - all those times in front of the mirror have really paid off! A viral video all over the world.

If you want to know where it all started it would be good to see "Ellen" (episode on you tube) where she interviews two African American high school students who videoed themselves dancing and then a couple of college basketball players picked it up and videoed themselves dancing to the "Boo" song from the 1980s and the rest, they say, is history.

I think it's so neat that dance and music, both international languages, bring lots of smiles and laughs around the world. If you haven't witnessed this phenomenon, then you are either not up with what's going on on the internet or you need might want to dust off and bust out one of your moves, that's if you think you can do better!

Anyway, great effort NZ Police recruitment 'running man challenge' you guys have put us on the map (right next to Paris Global) and shown what you guys have got. Oh, and by the way, you forgot to pick up the wallet that someone dropped!...

Friday, 6 May 2016

Certificate in Indigenous Research (Free course starting July)...

One of my references that I used for my Master's exegesis and will be referring to in the course.

 I just received good news yesterday that I've been accepted to teach a new "free" course at Te Wananga o Aotearoa (Mangere Campus) called "Certificate in Indigenous Research" starting in Semester B - July 2016 for 36 weeks

This is exciting news as when I joined Te Wananga o Aotearoa in 2010, I also joined up immediately with the Tau Ora initiative which was a fitness challenge and I went all out and within a month or two I was pregnant with our "miracle" child and gave birth to our youngest child the following year.

After having promised myself and vowed that I wouldn't teach until she was of school age as I wanted to dedicate time to nurturing her and allowing priority time for her and my other children to grow. So when she started school in March of this year, I knew it was time to start sharing with the studies started and I thank God for this neat opportunity.

The importance of this course is that I never got trained in research or different methodology when I first started Auckland Uni and many things have changed since then. The details of the course are as below and it will also give me a chance to share some of experiences as a NZ Samoan and the experience of many Maori indigenous researchers in the field.

It will also provide a good grounding for those who want to continue to enrol in the Master of Applied Indigenous knowledge degree which is a level 8-9 (2 year) programme that I would be able to support tauira to enrol for with a portfolio in the following year.
Here are the details for the programme...
Certificate in Indigenous Research (level 4) Fees Free - 36 weeks
Te Wananga o Aotearoa (Manukau - Mangere Campus)
Starts semester B in July 2016
Programme overview

Are you involved in research and want to work safely and positively with indigenous peoples and tangata whenua? Do you want to learn how to carry out research for your own people?

In this programme you'll get an introduction to indigenous research skills. Contribute meaningfully to your community and society finding answers to questions that need to be asked. Prepare yourself for work or the research requirements of any other qualification.


You'll learn about

Māori and indigenous research issues

cultural aspects of indigenous groups and how these relate to research

guiding research principles based on Māori/indigenous cultural aspects

western and indigenous research, and how Western research practice affects Māori research today

apply āhuatanga and tikanga Māori to an informal research activity.

You'll know how to

recognise and describe indigenous research concepts, tools and frameworks at an introductory level

apply indigenous research concepts to a research activity

frame a research question

apply appropriate research tools.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Promo poster for "The footprint of Moso" launching in May...

Join us for the Book Launch of the Footprint of MOso A Samoan bilin...It's great to be able to send out the next promotional poster on our latest offering of "The footprint of Moso" or "O le tulaga vae o Moso". It's our 7th book and fourth picture book and this one was pretty interesting to write as it was quite different in there being quite a few versions and beliefs on Moso but the story on how his actual footprint got there is not to be found.

I was also interested in trying to problem solve about not only what story I would write about but to find out in my research or "su'esu'ega" or "sa'iliga" that there are other Pacific Islands stories that also hail giants that have left their "mark" on the landscape as being in the Hawaiian Islands, Fiji as well as Samoa.

As is the case, I always try to keep as close to the original tale/s as I was told as a child, then check with older resources through my background readings and also what is currently found all over the internet.

I've also been reading the book "Whispers and Vanities  Samoan Indigenous Knowledge and Religion" (2014) edited by Suaalii-Sauni, Wendt, Mo'a, Fuamatu, Va'ai, Whaitiri and Filipo but launched last year at around the same time that I launched one of my books and it seems so timely that there is an academic scholarship now writing about things that I knew to be important to research those many years ago as a new post graduate in the late 1980s from Auckland University.

And now to have some weight behind some of the issues and ideas that we will be sharing with our Samoa, Pasifika and others who are interested in learning about indigenous Samoan knowledge in that as we learn about the stories of where we came from to where we are now, it is possible to navigate our path to an informed future...

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Behind the wheel - Mangere stylez...

A few weeks ago, I signed up a family member to join the "Behind the Wheel Mangere" promotion to assist in trying to help unlicensed family members to gain their licence and last week we received free Tshirts (for the first 100 registered members), a folder, info and a list of classes and organisations that run them.

The website is: www.behindthewheel.nz and it's easy to register in needing a licensed "Coach" (that's me), a "Wingman" (that's my beloved) and a "Rookie" (that' my unlicensed family member) which is reflected in the Tshirts.

They are running Learner Theory; Restricted Theory and Practical assessment and Full theory workshops at the "Pukapuka Community Hall" near Te Wananga o Aotearoa; Mangere East Community Centre; Papatuanuku Marae (on Robertson Road). You just need to call them to book the sessions and say that you are a registered "behind the wheel" member.

Unfortunately, I missed the big launch and the get together they promoted last month but have been so busy that I have only just caught up and now encouraging my family member to start the courses this week.

This is so different from when I was 15 and couldn't wait to get my full licence for which I did even before my older sisters got theirs! In fact, I remember having to take my father's driving test after actually getting my driver licence at 15 cos he wanted to make sure that I was driving safe on the road and he also gave me a few hints that I still practice or remember today.

And now it's my turn to practice coaching another family member before coaching my own children just like my dad did - and boy his driver licence was much harder to pass than with the traffic department at the time... (and I'll probably do the same.)