Tuesday, 3 September 2013

My week in Samoa

Talofa Lava Stanhope from my home land - beautiful Samoa.

This week I have the privilege of working from Samoa.  I am here attending the Teuila Festival 2013 - check out the link to look at all the events.  http://www.teuilafestival.com/
We watched the opening ceremony yesterday and performances that went well into the night.

The people I have meet already.....all the SRS students that went to code will remember OZ, well he is here with Wairangi Koopu covering the PaoPao events.
I was also on the plane with Te Puke Intermediate - they are here for a cultural education trip - WOW how about that SRS....maybe something we can work towards!

WHAM - BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Nandita who has successfully completed our POSTER and TICKETS.  Also to the Media Team for getting a great article in the local newspaper - great work team.


Last night was the Siva Afi competition - each dancer showed off their skills and fearlessness as they performed two siva each.  At the festival people can also take lessons with local people and learn to weave, dance and put down an umu.

Today we are going to watch the PaoPao races down at the wharf.  PaoPao is the name for canoes or waka ama.


WOW what a wonderful festival we have here in Samoa - yesterday was full-on day trying to see EVERYTHING.....we saw amazing performers and exhibitors....but what I noticed also was how amazing the crowd was....they are really really enjoying everything and I can't help but be swept up in their enthusiasm for my country and culture!

There was a very special KAVA WELCOME CEREMONY held to welcome all the paddlers from around the world - this is traditionally done in a FALE FONO, but because this was a paopao regatta, the kava came in on a paopao - it was very cool!!!  you can see the man in the photo with a coconut shell in his hand.....the cup is full of kava and he is taking it up to all the VIP to drink.

The proud Samoan Team watching the opening ceremony from the water.

They also has a celebrity race....and our friends from CODE and the MANU SAMOA great PETER FATIALOFA (known as FATS) were part of the team....their paopao capsized and OZ lost his lavalava...the whole crowd was laughing!!!!

TATAU SAMOA - in the exhibit tent, you could watch traditional hand tattooing..... some of us know this technique as "tap tap" because it is done by a very skillful continuous tapping over the needle - that is shaped like a comb with lots of sharp needles.....not by machine.  Tatau is a very important part of our culture that signifies status in our MATAI system.

Get your WHAM tattoos 

Yes - soon you can buy your own WHAM temporary tattoos.

Make sure your family gets their tickets FAST!

Hi back ROOM 14....thanks for your comments - I love hearing from you.

Thirsty Thursday - This is me and BrothaD chilling in a village sipping on fresh coconut (niu) water.  We spent a day visiting some of our families at their villages.

NOT FAR UNTIL FRIDAY......I am really looking forward to this day....I will be visiting a school for a really special event!!! 


Today we visited St Josephs School to donate a water tank that will provide all the students fresh, clean water all day.  This is a project I am involved in back in NZ...called My Alofas.

This was easily the HIGHLIGHT of the whole week....the beautiful students performed for us, presented us with ula and fresh niu to drink.

In the first photo you can see the water tank in the back ground, Swiss in the middle and BrothaD and Peter Fatialofa at the front.