Monday, November 18, 2013


The farm girl
My niece Arabella is three years old. She is beautiful and not because she's my niece, she is very beautiful.  A true afakasi, with a palagi father and a fruit salad mother (my sister). Fruit salad meaning Samoan, Chinese, German and Tokelauean blood running through her/our veins. She is a very smart child, learning to talk before she was 11 months old  and could speak proper sentences by the time she was 14 months. She can roll out paragraphs and whole shelves of books now! As my second and youngest niece, (my oldest niece is Josephine) I look at her beautiful face and hope the best for her. I'd protect her with every fiber of my being and let no harm come to her.  I hope that's how every mother feel about their child especially their daughters.  Just as we protect everything dear to us, our rose gardens, our own skins we too should do the same for our daughters.

When my niece is being naughty and her nana disciplines her, as soon as I walk through the door, I hear 'Auntyyyyyyyy Eniiiid, can I go to your house please" she pleads.  Sweetly, saying this endearment when she wants something, because she knows I will not deny her.  Immediately, guessing from the plea she has been naughty and she wants to run away from her nana. She's intelligent and knows very well that if she misbehaves, nana will restrict her privileges such as watching too much tv, eating too much sweets or playing with ipad, Dora the explorer, going outside to torture the cat. She also knows that if she comes to my house, she has several chances of blowing out candles, pretending it's her birthday, the slight chance of eating ice-cream, very big chance of touching my jewelery and taking a necklace, ring, bracelet goodie bag when she returns to nana's house. She is a collector of my many things and also a loser of all them.

Arabella brings joy to my life, she says random things that make me smile and when she's being smart, I am reminded of her mother when she was young.  Samoa news this past week saddens and disgusts me.  One committed suicide, one was banished from her village for having sex, one was the victim of abuse,rape and worse they are all female. I think of Arabella and what I would do if anyone abducts, beats her to the pulp, rapes, films then uploads that video of her on the internet for the world to see. I'd wish for every war, earthquake, famine, evil thing to fall onto that person, for the world to turn over and for him to fall from it into oblivion onto a bed of knives.  For him to feel the agony, the hatred, the vengeful spirit of every woman that has been the victim of abuse, sexual violence and hate crimes.  For his blood to paint the streets of Apia and for his head to stand on a rotting rod for all to see, for his body to be torn apart by dogs and every sharp object that exists on this Earth.  I'd also wish that through all of these, he is conscious to feel every ounce of pain, when the female race is done with him, we can turn him over to God so he can skin him alive, turn him inside out and use every old testament punishment  to inflict pain upon him, slowly and surely.  Even Satan's last days in the lake of fire will not compare to this person's pain when God is done with him.

Almost every week a man stands in court accused and convicted of similar crimes, raping, assaulting, molesting, abusing a woman.  Almost every week more men stand in court to provide answers for  molesting, raping their own biological daughters and nieces, some as young as 18 months!  It brings to light the sort of danger that is lurking behind the scenes in paradise, our home, our Samoa. It reveals how evil and vile the world has become, not just any world, within our homes, our villages, our churches, our communities, our nation! How can we ever feel safe when the people we are to trust, brought us into this world, whose loins we come from turn around and commit these acts against us? How does a daughter run away from her father while he demands this of her? How does she confess to her mother and how does that mother behave? How does a toddler who barely speaks asks for help? Shame!Shame!Shame!How can we let this go on behind our doors?

These acts of violence have become so rampant, it's almost becoming a norm in our culture.  People are not surprised any more when they hear of yet another girl falling victim to rape. It's like we have become accustomed to men raping, hitting, killing us! When did this become acceptable in our society?  How many more girls are to be raped by their own brothers, fathers,uncles, grandfathers, neighbours, friends before we do something about it?   How did these men become monsters? How did society allow them to travel down these paths that have removed their respect for women and the love for themselves.  If they can't love themselves then how can they respect and love others.How many more children under the age of 5 should be torn apart by evil men and perhaps killed before Samoa wakes up! Does it take a nation? A community? A group? It takes just one.  

We ought to teach our daughters how to protect themselves. When I was reading Jason's article "Strength of a woman", I remember one woman whose mission was to protect me.  When I was seven, mother dearest and I went to her usual Friday night bingo.  On our way to my grandpa's house to drop off another gambler (relative), we saw a car parked on the side of the road with 3 men and one young woman squished in the middle.  It was about 1 am, it must have been some warning sign going off in mum's head because when we passed the car she stopped and reversed.  She rolled the window down, and asked these men who they were and what they were doing with the young woman, who looked very scared.  At a second glance, 2 guys were on her right side and one on her left, they forced her to sit in the middle.  She looked about 18 with tears streaming down her face, her hair was disheveled and her lipstick stained on the side of her mouth.  

Mum repeatedly asked the men who they were and demanded to see their faces.  The girl must have said something to her, I couldn't hear because I was on the other side.  Mum, reversed a little more and blocked the car that was trying to move.  She threatened the three men, she told them that if they did not let the girl come with us, she had friends down the road whom she can call.  She also added that she knew policemen in very high places and they will chase them down.  She concluded that she had seen  and memorized all their faces and they should be very scared.  Three men against one woman, my mother.  I don't know how she did it, but the men eventually let the girl go. As soon as she got in the car, she bursted into tears and told mum she was being held by the three men and they told her she will never see her family again.  The seven year old me did not really understand what was happening, I just knew that something very dangerous was happening to this poor girl and that it was not good.

Mum dropped off the relative and we took this sobbing stranger to our home.  Mum asked her a few questions about her family and how she came to be in that car.  She was shaking, crying and trying to talk.  She said she went out with a few cousins and they left her at Mt Vaea Club, then one of the guys approached her who was her cousin's friend.  He told her that her cousin was waiting outside and they ought to go with him and the rest led to her being held against her will. Mother dearest saved this young woman from what would have been a terrible ending.  I hope she learned a good lesson and is living a happy life. From that day forward my parents taught all their daughters these:

  1. NEVER EVER EVER get into someone else's car even if it was my uncle's
  2. Do not talk to strangers who might come to pick us up from school 
  3. Never go anywhere without their permission including leaving the house to ride a bike (we had male workers who work on the farm)
  4. If we step foot outside or near the worker's house, we will die! (well not die but something similar)
  5. We were not allowed to sleep over at any of our friends' houses
  6. Never walk alone -anywhere
  7. Do not take anything from people we don't know when they offer
  8. If any man/boy approaches us and say perverted things, we must tell my papa 
  9. Always get my older sister to go with us if we want to go to the bathroom
  10. NEVER EVER EVER go anywhere with ANYONE we don't know
There were many more restrictions but these are the ones that ring true to this day.  I wrote about forgiveness not too long ago and again I ask, how can we forgive such evil acts? Rape is about holding power over someone else but it doesn't stop there.Soraya Chemaly wrote about 50 rape facts but those do not truly cover and discuss the extent of rape. Rape is just one evil but there are numerous evils that lead up to rape. These men are cowards! They choose to prey on women, children because they are cowards.  How can we prevent men from turning into monsters? How do we know the signs? How can we better protect ourselves?

Please Samoa wake up before it's too late! Protect us. Parents should teach their children how to protect themselves from an early age. I thank my parents for holding us in their hands, for laying down the rules and ensured that we follow them. I thank my papa for his militant ways because if he wasn't strtict,where would we be. I have five sisters, so you can imagine the white hairs we've put on our papa's head throughout the years.  I thank my mother for teaching us how to stand up, speak out, tell someone if we are ever in danger or put in an uncomfortable position. I thank her for her fighting spirit, her strength and for teaching us how to protect ourselves.  I cry for the child that cannot speak, for the teenager who thinks they are strong enough to rebel against their parents wishes, I cry for the woman whose husband beats her and keeps silent.  I cry for the men who are monsters, who repeat their foul acts, mostly I cry for Samoa, for being silent all these years, for turning a blind eye and for ignoring the monstrosity that is within ourselves. I cry for change and I cry for those innocent victims whose lives will be forever changed!

Ehhh..your grandmother was hot too!

My vision fulfilled When Dr A (fiancee) proposed 2 new years ago, I suggested a photo shoot of some sort. Of course being shy with ...