Saturday, September 6, 2014

Like sands through the hourglass...

There's a saying, "Time waits for no man!" and it's very true. The seconds hand of the clock tick tocks tick tocks second by second becoming minutes then hours, then days, then months, then years!

As the years go by there never seems to be any respite to life's rollercoaster. It's already been two and a half years since we migrated from our home in Mangere, New Zealand to Calamvale, QLD, Australia. We've managed to travel back to New Zealand on numerous occasions since we've lived here but apart from having our family and friends there, New Zealand no longer feels like 'home'. With each passing year of time Australia more and more is becoming home to us and while it is starting to feel like home there is still that lingering air of volatility that reminds us that because we migrated here after February 2001 that we will unlikely ever be accepted as citizens here. 

There's just something about living in Australia that I can't quite put my finger on! Perhaps it's a combination of things. Yes the weather is warm and days are beautiful. Australians are even friendlier than I ever expected, sure the Kiwi/ Aussie banter is still prevalent, but on the whole many of them a like Kiwi's - warm welcoming and hospitable. There are still others who are not and some who are openly racist but the multicultural flavour of society has impacted here as much as other parts of the world. The world has truly become what Marshall McLuhan described as the 'global village' and Australian society is no different with its diverse ethnicities that make up communities in Brisbane. The other things I love about Australia and Australians is their psyche. They have a never-say-die attitude to most things and even though there is a generation of lazy layabouts, because of the greater population numbers here they are not as noticeable as they might be in smaller countries. What you do notice are communities of the populous that are actively involved in doing things - sports, shopping, leisure, outdoors, it doesn't matter what your interest is there are always people doing something. There's always activity and whether its an evening at the park with the family or taking the kids to footy, soccer, netball - whatever sport society here is more proactive than in New Zealand where yes there are active peoples but it is not as pronounced as you experience here in Australia, particularly in the cities. People who live here appear to be more actively involved in activity. Even shopping has become an active lifestyle event where people young and old venture to the malls in search of bargains, community and social interaction or even just to escape the heat and enjoy air conditioned malls. I wouldn't call it engagement because many people here do not engage with others particularly if you look different than them. This is perhaps one of the things I like about life here too - people stick to themselves! However if you engage them in conversation they will readily respond. The darker side of this is that sometimes there's a vacuum of interaction and engagement across cultures and ethnicities. 

The Australian coat of arms includes two iconic animals - the Kangaroo and the emu - and almost all Australians understand their inclusion on the coat of arms. Because neither animal takes a backward step this notion is therefore ingrained within the psyche of all Australians and they proudly regal this concept and mimic it in their sporting prowess - from swimming to cricket, to rugby, league and Aussie Rules Football - no Australian wants to be characterised by anything less than stepping up to the mark and having a go, putting their best foot forward and winning. The winning culture is part of their heritage now, it hasn't always been and one catalyst for change was the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. Australia ended the games with 5 medals overall. Four bronze medals from Equestrian, Sailing x2 and Swimming and a silver medal from Mens Hockey. New Zealand on the other hand won four medals overall in Montreal - gold and silver in track and field (more on this later) a gold in Mens Hockey and a bronze for the Men's eights in rowing. Those two New Zealand gold medals haunted Australia who had put much more financial resources into these games than NZ had, but what hurt Australia more than beating traditional sporting rival New Zealand in the overall medal tally was losing the Men's Hockey gold to the Kiwi's. The Australian Men's Hockey team were world class and had been outplayed by a valiant New Zealand side. The complete failure of Australia to win a single gold medal at this Olympic Games became the driving force for the establishment of what has become their gold medal winning factory the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). History has shown that Asutralia has not taken a backward step since the establishment of the AIS and in fact have excelled every year at sports since its formation.

Fathers' Day 2014

Today I stop and ponder more about the many 'Fathers' during my life. No I only had one Dad but many 'fathers' who demonstrated what being a man is and isn't and helped me make better decisions along the way.

Every day I remember my own Dad - Vui Peni Lameko Luteru, one of Lano's finest, who was the best Dad ever! He shaped, molded, led, cajoled, inspired, motivated, witnessed, and  served me into manhood - and I met Jesus through my Dad. I'm glad I was always surrounded by the best role models of being a Father. Many, like my Dad, have passed on but their legacies are not forgotten, Their lessons I uphold as part of the fabric of my life and to my growing clan now. There are so many to mention everyone but some I must;

Grandpa Pimoe Leati - I knew you as a very staunch disciplinarian but your legacy is alive through all of your generations - my Mum and Aunties and Uncles show me the real you! Your land in Solaua is still sacred to us as is your resting place. I love to go there and feel peace and present with God and nature. Thank you for the life you gave to us you offspring
Uncle Lino Leo - I always marveled at how you could play the guitar so well while drawing on a cigarette burning ash. I'm not sure which was busier your barber shop or your umu hut... but you, Aunty and the kids always made us welcomed.
Uncle Graham Greenfield who taught me palagi ways and took me along with their family to places I only thought palagi's were allowed to go! Your Bible stories and crafts were unforgettable...I saw Jesus through you too.
Uncle Johnny Pimoe who, unknowing funded many of my childhood adventures (thanks for dropping all that money on the floor under your bed when you came home at drunk at night!),
Cousin Peni Tautai - who brought me my first guitar and gave me my first car - Chrysler Valiant 70's - temporarily that is, until you got you license back six months later. I still enjoyed driving that beast around REWA with my sidekick Dougie Purea. You were gone too soon cuzz but never forgotten - you would be proud of your children!

Thank you to all the Father's I know who have been the Priests of their home and led their families to the foot of the cross to look up and see Jesus. Thank you for giving your sons and daughters stability and guidance, leadership and leverage for better communities and a society that knows Dad's and Mum's in a the home. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Insomiacs United

Well the perils of taking a nap in the early evening are upon me...not the lack of sleep but the insomnia caused by sleeping too early in the evening, waking up, having a late dinner, and now being unable to go back to sleep... Having exhausted my facebook trawl through everyone's profiles and played some Millionaire City and Bejeweled Blitz I now find myself turning to my blog for therapy.

It has been almost four months since Alice and I migrated to Queensland, Australia. In the time that we have been here much has kept us busy. Alice found employment very quickly and has been working virtually since we arrived. It took me about six weeks to get work, even though I submitted over 90 job applications. Funny thing is that I am still receiving responses from many of those that I applied for months ago.

Two of our daughter's who live in New Zealand have surprised us with visits since then as well and we are looking forward to Lois' return in February with her boyfriend. In preparation for this we have been apartment hunting and have found something that fits our requirements perfectly. Now to save the money for our bond and advance rent. Our plan has always been to rent a fully furnished apartment in the Gold Coast. Firstly we always wanted to live in the Gold Coast and secondly we did not bring any furniture with us the best option is to rent a furnished apartment. Also becuase it will only be Alice, myself and our youngest daughter, Celeste a small apartment will suffice. We have settled on a three bedroom as this will provide us space for guests, especially our girls in NZ and our kids and grandkids here in Queensland.

So the journey continues and we settle into our work. Alice with Safe Places for Children and I with WealthBuilt Investment Education. The change of employment has been an eye opener from University life to Real Estate and having gained my certification to work in this area the options are varied.

I miss the life and activity of university employment. The stability, the challenging platform of inspiring and motivating young people in transforming lives and fulfilling dreams!

Plus its true to say that we really miss all our friends and family in NZ. The transition has been semaless, but the yearning for some of the good ole times is close to our hearts.

We continue to walk by faith and God has blessed us imeasureably...Jehovah jireh!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Its surreal cleaning up the yard and throwing out a whole lot of rubbish that has been gathering since we moved into this new home in 2007. It was August 26, 2007 when we moved into on new home 'Buckland Palace' as it was so appropriately named by our son-in-law Afi Lama. I remember that weekend well. It was saturday evening after Sabbath that we attempted to move in. The problems is that our real estate broker had gone away for the weekend and forgot to notify us and the then tenants how we were going to take possession of the property.

Once we finally gained possession of the key we moved as much as we could on Saturday night. The old rental at Tui Road had served us well for over a decade and moving into our own home was a tremendous feeling. Well the thought of moving out looms closely as Alice and I prepare to migrate to Australia.

In making the move we have had a list of things to do before we depart and clearing up the rubbish around the property was one of those. Actually in July the inorganic rubbish was collected for Mangere but somehow we missed out on receiving the flyer notifying us and therefore missed out on the collection...

So having planned to remove all our unwanted junk on a specific weekend I made sure we had use of the church trailer and filled it to the brim with garbage - old beds, frames, plastic, wooden pallets, old carpet pieces, buckets, fragments of toys and a whole heap of other bits and pieces. Fortunately Alice's cousin ensured that we were able to dump it all for free - cheers Cuzzie!

Sorting out my library was a task that I was putting off because there are so many books that I'd love to keep and take with me. However the whole process has be cathartic for me and Alice as we rid ourselves of a myriad of possessions that we have no further need of. Its like a clean sweep, wiping the slate clean and starting all over again, which it is really.

We are goingt omiss our daughters who remain in New Zealand and our precious grand-son, whom we would love to take with us. I suppose its a consolation that we get to spend time with the rest of our grandchildren and daughters whom we have been apart from for several years now.

I'm looking forward to the move and so is Alice. We're quite excited actually. We have no jobs, no money, and very few possessions that we will take with us but a strong faith in God and a belief that he will provide - Jehovah Jireh!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rainy Days & Rainy Nights

The weather in Auckland is a popular talking point for locals. We have a saying, "Auckland is where can experience all four seasons in one day!". However during the winter there's just one thing that you experience - RAIN!

It seems like July and August are the two months of the year that it rains continuously in Auckland. Day and night, day after day, weeks roll in to months of ugly wet cold weather.

The front lawn has reached saturation point and with nowhere else to go the water logged soil becomes a bog! No where else is this phenomenon experienced but Auckland, City of Sails, New Zealand. I hate the rain in New Zealand. At least in the tropics when it buckets down the rain is a tepid welcoming comfort - here today gone the next.

Funny thing is that it never seems to rain in the right place here in New Zealand. Farmers suffering from drought in the South Island and the North Island gets the torrential downpours. Reservoirs running low in the ranges and its rains elsewhere.

What is there to like about the rain? Can't mow the lawn when it's raining - now there's a plus! Can't hang the washing when it's raining - minus! Get to chill in the fale and watch movies - good for one day and longer and I go stir crazy! The grass looks greener after it rains, and the airs always refreshing after it rains...

Oh well sounds like it's stopped raining outside...maybe I'll go out and play...not at 11:40pm at night...rain rain go away come again after I've left for sunny Queensland!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dog Day Afternoon...

It's always enriching when people come into your life and bless you, but when its a dog that's really different.

I remember growing up our family had a pet dog - Sandy! She was a great dog, friendly, loving, playful and a great companion for us kids. I don't ever remember having to pick up dog poop around the yard and that's probably due to the fact that our family had a 'plantation' in the back yard - a taro plantation at that! Dad turned the back yard into his slice of paradise, minus the beach front view and the tropical warmth of Lano, Savaii where he grew up.

So I guess Sandy's place to poop was the plantation and nitrogen for the lawns - no wonder our gardens were always fruitful!

Anyhow the dog that Alice got for our grandson Kavell just left and who would have thought it would have been such a sad occasion. To see him loaded up on the back of the truck and to bid him farewell seemed like a straightforward exercise, it was! But after he left the thoughts flooded in of the wonderful dog he was and the great times I had with him. So much that I cried with the memories cascading through my mind...Anyone who has owned a dog and spent loving times with them will know the experience. What a wussy!

One member of our family has just departed. I know he will be going to a better place. Somewhere he can run freely and have a companion - his new owner has a 4 acre fully fenced property and a golden retriever. So Yankee will be well looked after! No more being chained up all day and having to entertain himself by barking at the birds eating from his food bowl and bathing in his water bowl.

Now I know what Alice went through that morning she said goodbye to our other dog Smoocha the cuddly Bichon Frize who now has a happy home with our niece and her family.

Well when your pet is really part of your family them's the breaks!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Intrepid Reporter

Well I've been prompted by all my fans to continue my writing and so I have decided I should continue to blog more to meet the demand - thanks Sis!

My journey on these shores is about to come to an end. Finally the time has come to venture to new pastures, not greener shores, but definitely a warmer climate. I hear the crashing of waves on the shore and the crackling of bangers on the barby.

There's no place like home...there's no place like home...there's no place like home...*clicking my heals together* Home is where the heart is and for me that's not a place over the rainbow, its a place where rainbow's come from. I believe the words from that gospel melody, "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through..."

And on earth my heart will be torn between two locations Auckland, where i was born and raised and the Gold Coast where I am destined to be domiciled shortly. My children and grandchildren are the apple of my eye and to have them in one place would be perfect, but for now that's a dream to be realised somewhere over the rainbow!

Peace and prosperity to you see you in dreamtime!