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.



  1. Thank you for telling us you are in Samoa. Sounds like you are having a fun time. Hope you enjoy the Paopao races and learn some new things. Who won the races?
    It is raining here today! Is it hot in Samoa. Yesterday Lyn Kriegler visited us and we had an awesome time with her. She is an author, illustrator and puppeteer.
    When you come back we would like to hear your message about your trip to Samoa.
    Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip.
    From your Room 14 Friends.

  2. Dear Ms Tafa
    It sounds like you are having a fantastic time in Samoa! It looks like the weather is FANTASTIC!! We are having a very wet day today :( We miss you a lot! Have you made lots of new friends? We have some questions for you...
    The tattooing looks really painful are you going to get another tattoo while you are there? Tangi
    You said that people could learn to make traditional things have you learnt to make anything new? - Paea
    Did you have a go at the fire dancing/ Siva Afi? - Tanya
    What has been your favourite thing so far?- Daisha
    Have you tried any new Samoan food while you have been there- Carlin
    Have you been shopping while you have been there?- Matthew
    What has been the most exciting activity you have participated in so far? - Nicole
    How long did it take you to fly there? - Harshit
    We look forward to hearing from you
    Come back soon
    Room 13

  3. What a lovely cultural experience. SRS pupils will love it.

  4. Malo Ms Tafa! It sounds like you are having a really good time in Samoa! Today we went to the hall and did percussion music and we got to play with the drums...all of us got to have a drum! It was LOUD! We had to shout out the words and hit the drums. We miss you lots, and have a safe trip back. Don't forget to buy Miss Huntley a present!!!!

    From the room 11 legends!

  5. hi miss tafa are you having fun ahi

  6. Talofa
    What a great time to go and experience such wonderful moments. We are looking forward to you sharing more with us when you return.

    Looks like a great place for a staff retreat!
    Safe trip back

  7. We are jealous, wish we were there. Maybe next time?
    Room 19

  8. miss tafa is back yes shes back now ahi