A Bit of News from Cloverdale, Canada
Rather than continuing to wait for that "right moment" to write a news update from us, I've decided to stop that non-sense and write one right away however small it might be!
'Ofa pe 'oku toka malie pe e ngaahi me'a kotoa 'i homou ngaahi loto fale. I'm glad to hear that 'Etu is slowly back to his normal self. It's tough imagining his kids' concern about his health, being the tough dad he is. So a lot of us I'm sure are grateful for Manoa Jr's courage to break to some of us the news about his dad through this site. That will be a lesson for my little boy once he figures out how to use the net or phone.
We're doing fine. Jay works 3-days a week as usual. Sepa is still on holidays...hehehe...his fall preschool starts in two weeks. I'm officially on holidays now that our summer semester has ended. Our fall semester begins September 6, and will be teaching again the normal load of 3 courses a semester. My semester schedule works out perfectly for us. I teach Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and Jay works Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It appears from a draft teaching schedule I've just received that it will be the same for us for the Spring 2012. That allows us not to worry about daycare or babysitting. And when we do, Jay's parents are always happy to have Sepa with them. Sometimes we take advantage of that!
This summer I had two short overseas trips. I managed to arrange for a short visit to Filimi and 'Ana's family in Texas. It was Grandpa Filimi's birthday weekend, and I left Friday morning here and returned Tuesday night the following week. I had always wanted to visit the Texans and was fortunate to have that opportunity. It was nice to see Filimi and Ana, and both are doing fine. Most of their children and their families were there, and as always were so kind and happy to see me. That included Lina's sons, Misi and Finau, from Australia, who were there visiting their grandparents. (It was there and then that we watched Samoa beat up on the Aussies, and Finau wasn't so happy about it.)
It turned out also that Taniela (Suliana's eldest son) and his wife's marriage was finally going to be sealed in the temple that weekend. That was a happy moment for everyone. I was very happy to meet up with Uncle D and his family there, Siuni's kids from Salt Lake City, along with other relatives in the area (e.g. 'Amelia, Pipiena' daughter).
I was also happy to meet other visiting relatives (e.g. Laki Kaumatule) and Matahau villagers (e.g. Maile Lutui) from other states in the US. When I left that week, the villagers in the area hosted joyfully the annual Matahau Re-Union, which brought to Texas a number of Matahau people from various states. I was told that next year's Matahau Re-Union will be in Portland, Oregon, which is a 5-hour drive from where we live. Hence, I might be able to drive down there, hopefully, when I'm not working.
Anyway, that was a lovely short trip. I had only wish I was able to take my family with me to meet everyone in Texas. May be next time. But I came back with an extra bag of various gifts for Sepa from the family, which we appreciate very much!
After a week of returning from Texas, I had to travel again, this time on a short training trip to Pago Pago, American Samoa. I left Monday here and returned Thursday night the same week. This is a follow up training of teacher-trainers for implementinig this year a revised curriculum I was involved in developing for American Samoa Department of Education since last year. Despite the short trip, I managed to visit cousin Tino again and his happy family. I brought back as a result a carton of local Wahoo fish cans for my family...actually just for me!
That is all for now. I'll send the Admin two photos to include here of Sepa on his paddle-free bike which he proudly uses almost everyday to show off or compete with other bikers on our bike park. Lahi 'etau lea!
'Ofa atu to everyone, and thanks to everyone for sharing news and stories with us from afar. Mou nofo a, pea 'ofa ke kei faitapuekina ai pe kitautolu hono kotoa 'e he 'Eiki!
From Stan & family.
PS: As we prepare for the upcoming Rugby World Cup, I hope some of you are aware of our Matahau boy who was selected into the 'Ikale Tahi World Cup squad. His name is Sione Kalamafoni, the second eldest son of 'Usaia Kalamafoni. I have been following (over the news) Sione's rise as a rugby player, and finally got to watch a video of him playing for Tonga against Fiji, and I couldn't believe how great he has turned out to be. I'm very happy for him, and for Usaia and his family, and more so for our village that another one of us has made a mark in this sport and on the big stage. By the way, when I was in Tonga, I was coaching him and his older brother in volleyball, and may be that's probably why Sione's skill in the lineouts is so outstanding. (This is a typical Pacific way: someone makes a mark, and everyone else starts to make all types of connection!) Anyway, watch out for him is what I'm saying...