Friday, November 16, 2007

Australia Holiday

A few weeks ago we took off for 10 days Down-under. Like all Samoans, we made full use of our relatives hospitality..LOL. We stayed with my brother, Peter McShane and his wife Debbie and young nephew, Daniel o yeah, and their little dog, Hercules. What a smart doggie.
Sightseeing was definitely out as we've been there done that with our boys many times before. We just wanted to see our family and long time friends, Heidi & Kay-Uve Voss and their children, Nicole, Marcus and Toby and of course the Werners, Frank, Kolotita, Jessica, the ballerina Teresia and the cute Michael (Shummi). This was also Christian's first trip off the rock after many years, not that he was dying to get off the rock.
Skita spent most of the time with us, doing the shopping scene. Great to have local guides to hang out with. Poor Christian was totally knackered from being dragged around. We made several attempts to hire him a mobility scooter but he would not have none of it. Stubborn is the word that comes to mind.
Shopping was aplenty but with the strong exchange rate, had to think twice and thrice about buying things. O what the heck!!!! Pete and Deb took us to several new eating spots, like the pub/hotel with the ten dollar steaks....and all you can eat salad bar. Wow, what a treat!!!! Those were real steaks, thick as they should be. On the day we left we decided to have some lunch and we were both craving seafood. I opted for a sword fish steak and salad and Christian, a fish burger. Needless to say, i got all worked up and eventually confronted the folks behind the counter as i got a slice of sashimi fish.... the steak was paper thin and the bloody cheek of these people to advertise with pictures a thick slice of fish. Salad was AUD1.00 and the paper thin "STEAK" (what a goddamn joke) was AUD7.90 . Anyone going to eat at this place beware. And they have the nerve to have a humongous banner in front boasting to be the best at Bondi Beach. Hello folks - get a bloody grip and stop ripping people off. In retrospect, no wonder it was very quiet in this place. Everywhere else was buzzing with business and these 3 Chinese ladies were relaxing and stressing themselves over their fingernail polish.
Whilst in Aussie, i thoroughly enjoyed the simple domestic chores, like washing up, cleaning the swimming pool of the thousands of leaves. The weather was fantastic with only a few half days of shitty weather, otherwise, it was hot, hot, hot. I even enjoyed long sessions of swimming in the cold pool. Rather refreshing if I may say so myself.
Our last night was spent at the Werners place with a BBQ and plenty to drink. Before all that, we inspected Frank's beautiful car collection. Island music set the tone for the afternoon and late evening, with Skita, Pete and I reminiscing about Samoa in the kitchen. Heidi called up the Wageners in Brissy and what a scream!!! I hate to think how big that phone bill is. Much discussion ensued as to next year's (2008) reunion in Samoa. The last reunion was in 2003.
One of the beautiful memories i will never forget from this trip is the vision of Christian & Kay having digs at Frank who was cooking the bbq and laughing themselves silly. It brought back so many wonderful memories of when we were a lot younger and living in Samoa together. Here are friends that are more than friends. Family is how we see and think of them.
The 10 days went by so quickly-it always does when one is having far too much fun!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Passing of a Friend

Today i attended the funeral service of Mr. Robert Malcolm Barlow otherwise more popularly known as "Bob". It was enlightening to hear some very honest comments been made about Bob during the eulogies by His Highness The Head of State of Samoa, Herman Kruse of Kruse Vaai and Barlow who is now in a bit of a dilemma with one more partner gone for good, Vanessa Barlow-Schuster and Beverly Barlow, the bereaved wife. All referred to Bob being a private man with a sharp tongue and wit to match. This is the Bob we know fondly and at times in the past, when one was on the receiving end of his asides, had to work hard on an equally sharp retort. Bob was pationate about Rugby and Netball and his grandchildren, tho not necessarily in that order.

Herman shared with everyone the fact that people use to make jokes about their lawfirm's name being Kruse Vaai and Beverly. Such was Bev's support and influence on Bob and his work as a lawyer.

Bob will be sadly missed by not only Bev and the family but by a lot of us who have crossed paths, shared many a beers and sadly far too many damn cigarettes in the past. Rest in peace Bob.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hashers in the Midst of Apia

Apia Hash House Harriers is well over 25years old in Samoa. The crazy bunch run/walk/crawl every Monday evening at 5.30pm.
I only started hash in 2003 or was it 2004, but it was definitely 2 runs shy of the 1200th Run. One of the best things about Hash is discovering my country, the alleyways, the backroads, pristine rivers and lush green rainforests, spectacular views none of which would have been seen from the comfort of a vehicle. The second best is the comraderie with all the other crazy buggers who still think were young. Nothing wrong with that I say. Why rush to be a grown up. Once youre there you aint going anywhere but downhill. Life is just too short to live in misery and self pity. Hurrah to Hash and living life to the max.

South Pacific Games - Sailing

It seemed like centuries ago when Samoa won the bid to host the XIII SPG. Since the planning stages Christian the Kraut and my better half was arm twisted in to being Sailing's Competition Manager. Much to our delight and relief at Samoa Sailing Association (SSA), he reluctantly agreed. Phew!!! Raema and I had to work hard on the Kraut.
After much trial and tribulation the competition has now started in earnest. Sailing is based at Aquasamoa Watersport in the beautiful Aggie Grey's Lagoon Beach Resort & Spa.
Monday saw the Technical Meetings and Sailors Briefings underway. Ralph Roberts & Andre Raoult are the ISAF Judges on hand to keep an eye on proceedings with David Brookes as Technical Delegate....
Lunch turned up finally after a hundred calls, just when everyone was packing up to leave. I had to get this little spot of bother sorted out...good luck.
Tuesday: what a pain in the ass when the first laser race was due to get underway....some of the lasers center-boards did not fit, either the boards were too thick or the holes where they're suppose to sit were too narrow....someone will pay for this screw-up after the event. Teething problems with the catering continued....o the joy of trying to soar like an eagle when flying with turkeys.
Our laser men and women posted some fantastic results despite the 20knot winds. Our Hobie teams did not fare too well. Hopefully better luck and improved positions will come in the latter stages
Meal...ummph... another bloody cock-up. Today NO MEALS turned up and everyone had an assinine excuse about some breakdown of communications etc., Hello, lets try to break down the egoes and perhaps then we can achieve some positive results. Again another visit to the catering who assured things will be ok.
Some good news at last: I found out where the drinks are kept for volunteers and servicing of VIPs. As far as Im concerned all the athletes are VIPs not the holidaying lot who usually make up most of these sports delegations.
Wednesday:Got a chance to do final shopping and harrassing prior to heading out to the venue. Hearing the results made all the headaches & frustrations worthwile. But lo and behold, the sad catering saga continued, finally the food that was suppose to arrive at 11.30 arived after 1300hrs after much carrying on over the phone. Decision was made to screw all previous arrangments and uplift all meals ourselves.
The Hospitality Team of Misty Agnes Humrich and Lyvia Black got things sorted out and kept everyone tanked and fed with coffee/tea etc. and beautiful platters of fresh fruits galore. Seine arrived later with lots of Banana Loafs....ummmm. All the participating countries have commented so highly about the care given to them by our Hospitality Team. I doubt very much other participants are getting half as much care and support from the host sports personnel. Well done ladies.
Day ended with a few bottles of wines with some of the visiting dignitaries to wrap up a super day of sailing. On the Rocks for a final one and off home for a few JBs & Cokes.