... and from Paradice to ParaNiZe

So we came home from Hawaii and rested for a week and then got “shipped out” to NZ, one of my favorite places in the whole wide world.  There’s something about NZ that draws me to her - ok, IT! (I don’t know who assigned the feminine pronoun to countries.  Yeah, like...hmmm....America is a she: “Stand beside her, and guide her”...lol!) Anyway, it’s not rugby that draws me to NZ.  I’ve broken my love affair with rugby ever since I broke my clavicle - ok collarbone. Many years ago.  And it’s not necessarily the land or the people, or the sheep either, though I must admit that I do like eating lamb!..sweet and sour lamb!  Oooohhh Bingo!  That’s it. That’s “the” something that draws me to NZ. Food!  New Zealand food!  Fish and chips. Meat pies. Ice Cream. Butter. Sausages. Salted Beef (Povi masima). Tomato sauce/ketchup (Wattie’s). L&P (you Americans have to guess this..lol).etc. etc.  By the way, all these (except L&P) are found here in Yankeeland, but NZ does them far out and far bettah. So if you learn that I am - or will be - traveling to NZ, other than for a fa’alavelave, chances are that it’s a pleasure trip. Eating pleasure that is.  Lol!!

We were there during the PolyFest week. So we stopped by to check. And bought food. On this particular day, we went over to the Samoa stage/field.  We ate while listening to some students who were asked some impromptu questions. The questions were mostly based on some of the contemporary issues facing Samoans in general. So here’s my personal assessment. I gave all the students I listened to that day a “C” grade on the regular A-F grading scale.  Grades could have been D’s but the students' introductions and closings using a lot of Samoan alaga’upu (proverbial expressions) - albeit by rote - earned them some good points. They were so articulate in their greetings and closings but when it got to the part where they answered the questions, they were either lost or just utterly uninformed. Answers were mostly laughable. Literally. I understand how the cultural and traditional speech giving is high on the lists of the Samoan language revival initiatives in NZ, but having the students also focus and study the contemporary issues affecting Samoans is perhaps a more important priority. Fai aku ai fo’i.

Overall, however, NZ remains my "NiZe" and favorite vacation spot. On our way back we did stop in another favorite place, Hawaii, again, for a day.

Oh yes, we went to the Sky Tower this time. Some pics from the trip...

The Vacationers ...yes! Fish 'n Chips ...downtown Auckland

... at Mission Bay ... we love this place

...a visit to Auckland is not complete without a stop at
this ice cream place at Pokeno ...yuummm!

...at the PolyFest

... top of the Sky Tower 

... hang in there!

..  at Fale Samoa and also Sei Oriana shop

... a perfect shot of the sunrise from my window seat 


From Paradise to Paradice

That’s “Paradice,” as in “ice” - and snow.😁

In a matter of a few days, okay make that a few hours (flight time), I went from a place of clear sunny blue skies to one where the snow flies. From blue ocean and super warm temperatures to cold and freezing conditions. I went from the land of Lilo and Stitch (aaand Moana) to the land of Elsa and Frozen - befittingly.

Here’s what I mean ...

from paradise ...

to paradice

On the weekend of Presidents’ Day (February 19th), we (Dearie, I, daughter and two granddaughters) hopped out to Oahu, Hawaii for the long weekend.  A snowstorm was in the forecast at home for Sunday and Monday so it was not a bad plan after all. Actually any plan involving a day or two spent in Hawaii is never a bad plan. Unless, of course, there’s a real missile heading there at the time ...lol.  And yes, the false missile alarm was still the topic of conversation among the locals.

Having lived in Hawaii for some years in the past, this time I’m back as a tourist. And from such perspective, the islands feel a lot more exciting, more beautiful and even much more inviting still. It rained heavily on one day, but the sun was back in hot vengeance during the rest of our brief getaway.

We stayed in Waikīkī, then also at the North Shore side (Marriott’s). It’s modern vs. traditional island settings respectively. Stark opposites! Then we spent a whole day at the PCC, my old stomping grounds.  Though much has changed in the physical layout and available commercial offerings, the feel and beauty of the place and the people (students mostly) still remain. There were so many recollections and memories of this amazing and inspiring place which has changed my life in several profound ways.

Anyway, some pics to tell the rest of the story...of Paradise

Waikīkī Sunrise ...view from hotel
...her favorite, the niu

...seki a le giu mamaka ae sali i le 'aisali mo'i .. lol!
the vendor gave me a plastic spoon but I took his machete and
cut for myself an 'aisali...

Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) ...

... a feel of Samoa
chief's house in Samoan village (PCC)

... Samoan village, from across the "lagoon" (PCC)

the umukuka...
where I used to do the coconut husking demonstration years ago (PCC)
..daughter and granddaughters

Maori Marae (PCC)
PCC Night Show - Finale


Waikīkī  Beach

... touring Waikīkī


Trump is Full of Crap ... Ooops, I mean (Updated)

CLAP!!  πŸ‘πŸ‘ If you were watching the "Apprentice" president (aka president-in-training) tonight, he craps claps for himself, then invites and encourages others to crap clap along, even gesturing the attendees to stand up and CLAP!  Oh what Crap! blap! The first president in the history of America to do such bidding during the state of the union address.  He tries really hard!  And full of it.πŸ‘  All party propaganda. Some people fall for such gaudy, partisan and pompous speech.  Oh puhleeease, he's a rookie politician for crying "clapping" out loud.  Anyhow, I forgot about Trump supporters being the less educated and fa'avasivasi bunch!  That's a FACT, not fake news πŸ‘πŸ‘. Look it up!  And so I understand how some people fall for everything Trump said tonight πŸ‘πŸ‘.  And therefore you're excused  ... Ignorance is BLISS πŸ‘πŸ‘ .  Here's a link if you want to fact-check the lies, exaggerations and spin πŸ‘πŸΎ

So for those who checked in to view my blog (below), and my take on the SOTU address,  that's  my wrap of tonight's  CRAP CLAP session! (aka state of the union).πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΎ

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Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
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And then there was this:

Here’s a very telling picture from the State of the Union address.  The First Lady (Melania) did not stand with others to applaud Trump, and exactly when Trump mentioned FAITH and FAMILY (and God) in his speech:

"In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of American life. The motto is 'In God We Trust.'"

Apparently, Melania was not at all impressed.  I wonder why? Well I think I know! She, like most of us (the smart and brilliant ones, of course), believes more in ACTIONS than empty, idle and hollow words.  And who would know more about Trump than his own wife?  Now that is really low and very pathetic.  In essence, Melania was saying: 
“Donald, your actions are so much louder I cannot hear a word you’re saying; that’s why I’m not standing up!”  

So if you’re a wife who listened and was impressed with that part of the speech, consider for a minute why Trump’s wife was not impressed. Yeah?  Just look at the expression on her face. Yes, Trump is full of .... Clap!

"Believe Me!" ...about Trump ...lol!!

Right back at ya, Donald. πŸ˜‚ Re: "Believe me!" πŸ‘Œ Trump definitely reads my blog πŸ‘€πŸ‘ lol!!! Or I have a really good idea what kind of person he is ...πŸ™„πŸ™„ Not too long ago, I posted the following bullet point describing how Trump may finally do something major and undesirable as his way to unite this divided country called America. 
  • A war with North Korea is now becoming more likely.  How and why?  Well Trump has, generally, been a loser and failure during his first year in office.  There’s a political strategy that when a president/leader faces so many failures and low approval ratings at home (domestic), then he/she would seek to create a conflict abroad in order to unite his/her country.  The leader needs to be careful in trusting such a strategy, because it doesn’t always work in his favor.  For an American president, Vietnam and Iraq (to an extent) are good lessons.  Trump, being a foolhardy president that he is, may just count on a war with North Korea to unite the country, reverse his woes, misfortunes and unfavorable ratings at home. 

And so a few hours before his first state of the union address, tonight, Trump boldly said this:
"I would love to be able to bring back our country into a great form of unity,” Trump said. “Without a major event where people pull together, that’s hard to do. But I would like to do it without that major event because usually that major event is not a good thing.”
Well, duh, unless one is overly simple-minded, he/she better believe that one of those "major events [that] is not a good thing" is a war with North Korea, hmmm....or a terrorist attack like 9/11.


Samoa's PM on Israel's Punishment

From a Samoa Observer article:
“Yes we all know Israel is God’s country,” [Tuilaepa] said. “We all read the Bible.”
But Tuilaepa said there is a reason for war and strife in the area.
“Israel is still paying the price for their decision to crucify Jesus Christ, that’s why there is war night and day,” he said. “Remember what the Jews said when they decided to crucify Jesus, they yelled ‘let this decision be on our heads and our children’s heads.’ Well that’s what’s happened and until the penalty for that decision is fully paid, then there will be peace.”
The Prime Minister, who is a staunch Catholic, did not say when the penalty would be fully paid.

My Comment:

With all due respect to the Prime Minister, I believe that he has stepped way out of line in publicly voicing his harsh and callous opinion and feelings about a very sensitive and poignant issue. 

Sometimes he needs to be wise in his choices of how he makes his feelings known especially when done with the intention to malign a whole nation, country or people. For him as a leader, that was uncalled for. Such audacity is a blatant antithesis of good diplomacy and proper relations between nations and peoples. It also violates trust and amicable relationships among people and citizens of the world. Ironically, yet pathetically, it’s also un-Christian to pass such a scathing judgment and charge. Such charge can engender hate, bigotry and hostility towards a particular group. It’s simply divisive and very cruel.

Such an acerbic claim deserves our deepest, profound and prayerful reflections as Christians - especially Samoa as being an official “Christian” state. On reasoning and exegesis levels, we need to ponder the complexity of the whole issue and be wise about it. It’s attitude and mentality such as the PM's that would turn people into zealots, maniacs and extremists. By saying what he said, the Prime Minister is now openly and unabashedly supporting the horrors of the Holocaust, including any other cruel atrocity that befalls Israel and the Jews. Although such assumed fate can be implied in the scriptures, I still hate to play God in any elementary debate on the issue. Let God Almighty be the final judge and arbiter. He alone understands the whole plan from the beginning. Christ after all, according to the Bible is the lamb “slain from the foundation of the world.” In other words, He was destined to die to fulfill God’s plan for us mortals. Moreover, Christ himself said that “no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:18 KJV). 

In quoting the above, I am not in any way vilifying, condemning and/or even exonerating Israel as a people and nation. Again, God is the only one that is omniscient and omnipotent. It is not our part and role as mere mortals to pass such a verdict and judgment on our other brothers and sisters.

I’m sure the Catholic Church, of which the PM is a member, would want to chastise and censure him for openly advocating such a horrible and creepy position. And I don’t care if it’s biblically, scripturally or popularly supported in some churches or religious circles as official dogma, it’s still one of those things you don’t go around and openly declare, endorse and preach it. The usual Samoan maxim comes to mind: “Atonu e sa’o, ae le a’o.” (“It may be right but not proper/appropriate”.)

Ma le Fa'aaloalo lava,


Does Trump Read My Blog? ..lol!

A few months ago I wrote a post “If I Were President ... Trump” (9/14/17) in which I sided with the children of immigrants (Dreamers) and advocating a path for citizenship for them.  In the post I wrote a brief mock speech that I hoped Trump would give when disclosing his decision, daring as it may likely be.  This is part of that post:
This is a sample of the speech I feel and hope that Trump will and should give with regards to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) issue in the next day or two.
"My fellow Americas, many are anxious to know how I would rule on DACA which has been a tough one for me. Tough one.   Believe me.  As I have said before, I have children of my own and I can understand the situation for close to a million children who will be affected.  Now I know that in all likelihood, I will be seeking re-election in four years and my chances of being re-elected may depend on how I rule on this particular issue.  But you know what? Let me tell you:  To hell with the 2020 election! To hell with partisan politics!  To hell with my so-called base!  I am going with my HEART on this one.  These children are human beings and they have known only one country in all of their lives, and that country is America. We can change the laws of the land but we cannot change the laws of God which are governed by love and compassion.
Speaking of changing the law, I will sign an executive order to not only keep DACA, but also give these children a path to citizenship. And if my presidency will end up being defined solely by this issue and how I've decided against one of my campaign promises, then so be it!  I am reminded of the words of one foreigner who said that when America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!   America will always be great as long as we're  on the side of goodness, kindness and compassion which are some of America's traditional and core values.  Once again, DACA will not be reversed or rescinded.  Thank you, and God bless America!" 

Now, today (Jan 09, 2018), came the latest update on the DACA issue and illegal immigrants in general from the New York Times. Check the comparisons between parts of the mock speech and contents of the article (color coded).

Trump Appears to Endorse Path to Citizenship for Millions of Immigrants
By THE NEW YORK TIMES on Publish Date January 9, 2018.
WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday appeared to endorse a sweeping immigration deal that would eventually grant millions of undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship, saying he would be willing to “take the heat” politically for an approach that many of his hard-line supporters have long viewed as unacceptable.
Such action has the potential to alienate the hard-line immigration activists who powered his political rise and helped him win the presidency, many of whom have described it as amnesty for lawbreakers.
“If you want to take it that further step, I’ll take the heat,” Mr. Trump told Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who floated the idea during the meeting in the White House Cabinet Room on Tuesday. “You are not that far away from comprehensive immigration reform.”
President Trump said legislation around an immigration overhaul should come from love, while also pushing for stronger security measures.
 So I think Trump has read my post and he reads my blog also, besides golfing and watching TV.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ And as a result, it seems that he has finally changed (ahem!)  ...Hahahaaaaa.  Ia va'ai uma oukou ga e leai gi pepa gofo mau, akogu o le a laki kakou i le amnesty a Trump.  And don't forget to thank me for it. Se Isoke! πŸ˜†πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ On a second thought, don't get your hopes up Trump is a very fickle guy. lol