The musings and meanderings of a Samoan stranded in Sydney
Thursday, 7 July 2011
My first ever blog
So this is my first foray into blogging (so be kind). Way, way (way, way, way) back when I was a kid growing up in Samoa I used to write. I'll tell you a little secret- although I'm Samoan... I'm not sporty. I know! I'm not particularly good at singing either. You are probably thinking 'well what kind of Samoan are you?!?'. I know! I've reconciled myself to being a freak of nature that way (and it may be that I slightly acknowledge my palagi genes here, but only to blame them for my totally unsamoan lack of singing and sporty talent). But I digress. As I was saying, as a kid I used to write. Maybe it was the aforesaid lack of any other discernible talent, or maybe it was because there was a lack of quality (or in fact any) television, a lack of available books or maybe I just had something to say (everyone who knows me will crack up at this point, as they know I've always had WAY too much to say). In any case I loved to write. And largely (in fact entirely) due to my mum entering me into various competitions, I won a few competitions and got published a few times (yup that's me- published author- ea? e ke maua? LOL). Anyway one of the very cool things that happened as a result of this was that I met Sia Figel a few times. This was after I had seen Sia do a very funny, very entertaining reading from her book "Where we once belonged". So though I'm not much for hero worship, I was making a bit of an exception. So someone, for some reason, decided to fly some poets and writers to Savaii to do some reading of their work. Unbelievably (and this was the height of my so-called and short-lived literary career) I was asked to go. That was the first and only time I've been on the actual plane to Savaii- normally it's Lady Samoa II all the way! On the tiny plane, Sia asked 16-year-old me, 'What do you want to be, what is the next step for you?'. 16-year-old me confidently confided that I would be going to law school. "Ah" said Sia "the death of a writer". I held my tongue. A rare event even then. I thought that was a huge reach. My 16-year-old self dismissed this naysaying (and maybe even thought unkind thoughts about how just because it wasn't achievable for everyone, it certainly wasn't unachievable for brilliant 16-year-old me, who could be a lawyer AND write literary-prize winning novels, AND probably do a number of other awesome things with my awesome self). But Sia was right. I haven't written a hell of a lot since going to law school. And that was a long, long (long, long, long) time ago. So be kind! I have been lax. No stories have flown from these fingers for too long. But I have been inspired! I was in the Maldives for work. Work that was HARD! Work that was TIME CRITICAL! So in the middle of the night, when I should have been finishing the HARD and TIME CRITICAL work, I procrastinated a little. Maybe the beautiful islands (which I was not getting to enjoy because of the HARD and TIME CRITICAL work) made me a bit homesick. I googled Samoa. And I found some fantastic blogs about Samoa and by Samoans. I was hooked. Since then blogs like Sleepless in Samoa, Faikakala and Under the Coconut Tree have kept me company at crazy hours of the morning. And why am I up at crazy hours of the morning, you might ask. Well, I have been pretty privileged to have a little man enter my life recently. And that is the story of why, even though I have a four-month old son who loves constant attention, I've decided (rather crazily) it's time to get back to writing. And this is why you are now being inflicted with my first ever blog! Enjoy!