Showing posts with label aiga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aiga. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Germany comes to Samoa

On a bright, full-house, pro-grandpa funeral Sunday, we just finished church and were getting ready to partake in the biggest meal of the week, when a car pulled up in front of our house. Out came a tall strawberry blonde woman, another blond man and my relative Rudy.Nauer. They chatted lightly with some of my uncles and aunts that were outside.

Usually, when we have visitors, they either come for the farm or  a talk with my papa.  I ran upstairs to change into toonai gear and grabbed a pen and paper.  During this time I overheard the relatives talking about our German family, how they came to Samoa, my grandpa Norman who had just been laid to rest and sleeping in the ground.  Quickly, I grabbed my camera because if my ears weren't fooling me, this was an opportunity not to be missed.  I had real-life German cousins coming to find us!

I came outside and introduced myself. This was the first time I introduced myself as my great-grand mothers child, usually we say our parents' names.  Kathrin Stalder, my third cousin was new to Samoa, who just happened to be on a family finding odyssey with her husband and had written out our family tree on a piece of paper.  

They were warm and excited.  My first question was : How did you find us? What made you get off your couch and come all the way to Samoa? She found us through the TV thank you note, that we sent out to thank all those who attended grandpa's funeral.  When they heard 'Nauer' on TV, they quickly switched on and went to find the Nauers.  They found Rudy and then Rudy brought them to us. I chuckled to myself and thought 
'This grandfather of mine is some kind of funny, he dies and then gets his family to come ask about him'. 
It was a walk down memory lane, talking about him and his brothers, his late mother Louisa.Pereira.Nauer to his niece and nephew from Germany.  Kathrin decided that it was her mission to find her family in Samoa and saw the need to establish a bond with us because we came from Nauers and we still have a lot of family back in Germany that want to know us.

Like any inquisitive person, I wanted to know if they were indeed family.  Kathrin's grandmother is my grandfather's first cousin. Our great-grand parents were siblings. She has family who are also named Adolf, Louisa,Hermine, Conrad,all good old traditional German names that go way back into our family history. We were all excited as my cousin Richard tried to do the same when he was playing rugby in the UK.  On his big Euro trip, he went to Germany, swam in the river and tried to find his Nauer side, too bad there was no thank you note on the TV to guide him to them. 

I was sad to discover that the girls were sent back to Germany because of the war and the boys stayed behind (Samoa) to preserve the family name? I don't know, whether their parents were wise in sending back the girls, I'm not sure. We had family that were in concentration camps and died during the holocaust.  The greatgrand uncles that were send out married women from different nationalities and alas, we are all fruit salads!

Family is not just an important thing in the Samoan culture, they are everything.  Whatever we do and wherever we are, if anyone in our family comes across a mishap or tragedy, there is an unbreakable bond that makes our eyes water.  There is an invisible rope that tightens around our hearts at the thought of them.  When they are excited, we laugh alongside them, when they cry we lament with them. 

From left-right: Peter, Kathrin Stalder (cousin), Conrad,Donna, Maria, Rosita,Cassandra , Richard, Enid (me), Rudy Nauer.

My family tree on paper

 Thank you Kathrin for coming to seek us out, we do hope we will have a great family get together in Germany in the near future. 

In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.

Lao Tzu

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Your passion- Where does it come from?

Green Green grass of Samoa, taken this morning on the way to work
Every now and then, you meet someone who asks questions you don't have the answer to.  The intriguing part is, that someone has never crossed your path  or know you personally.  I have met some very interesting people in my life.  Whenever I travel, especially on long haul flights, I try and get acquainted with those sitting next to me. You never know when you'll need help from a stranger.  I have learned that single,young woman traveling alone can be the target of many dangerous, twisted,vile and evil things in this world, specifically one that is well traveled and whose a bit too friendly with strangers sometimes.  Additionally, one has been given a brilliant mind and a sound discernment to know right from wrong and the ability to CHOOSE who you speak to, befriend and share thoughts with on these voyages.

I am grateful to my papa that out of his six (yes 6) daughters, I'm the one he's least worried about when I am out there in the big big world. Maybe that's what he likes me to think. I used to picture his white hair growing whiter because of all my adventures! When I was away from home and went a month without calling home (was a bit too busy with studying and living?), I finally called him to say that I'm well, I'm still alive and setting out to make a future for myself.  After sharing about the pumpkins,watermelons,cows,EX-150,our motorbikes,Jesus, my mother and all the green -farm-things-he lives for.  He said to me 

"Enid, you are like the grass! I never worry when I don't hear from you in a while, because I know you are like the grass.  Wherever you travel, study or live, unlike your other shy sisters (I have two), you easily make friends, you talk to people, you are vocal about the things you are passionate about, you go to church and surround yourself with people who can help you and so you are like the grass. You make up your mind, put your roots down and grow! "

At first I chuckled to myself thinking, 'Wow papa, vao (grass) is the hardest thing to get rid of". No matter how many times we kill, destroy,mow etc,  grass grows back more green and more leafy each time.   Resilient. One word which sums up the character of grass.  Unlike other plants in our gardens/farms, grass is the least needy plant, we don't need to water, shelter, harvest,protect or even decorate it.  For some countries, grass is a luxury, they do all those for their lawns! Imagine the amount of water it takes to keep all those lawns green just to complement the white two-story house, white picket fence and a dog named Spot.  Water that could be bottled and shipped to Africa for those dying without it. Then again, that's not how the world works, those who hold the power and wealth will it to their benefit. It's a rarity to find a rich man who just donates for the sake of donating.

Anyway, I do hope I become more like grass, the good parts.  Even when we have the greatest odds against us, we fall,we break, we get up, pick up the pieces and try again, we never give up. So when one bright mind asked me last week, where my passions come from, this is my written word. I said some answer that popped into mind at  that instant, I can't remember now (choose to forget).

I did not wake up one day and decided to be the person that I am today.  It took years of discipline and hardship.  It took years of molding, training and experiencing life itself. Still, those things do not entirely answer the question.  My passion comes from within translating to around. I could be sentimental and say it comes from above, entirely true but still not a holistic answer.  My passion for our people, for my beloved Samoa, well---comes from Samoa! It comes from seeing, experiencing, talking,listening, feeling, tasting Samoa.  How can I not be? I'm made of the stuff!My passion for family, comes from being in one. It comes from concentrated, living, flowing blood that is indeed thicker than water.  It comes from the willingness and genuine desire for all of them to do well in their lives, to experience the blessings that God has given to each and everyone of us. The blessings that I've received.  We just need to tap into his favour, his faithfulness and an ounce of his thoughts.  My passions are specific to each part of my life, whether related to aiga (family), God, youth, work, side projects, education, writing, etc.  These passions, come from a place that is far beyond anything that we can think of or imagine. I'd like to think that when passions for life are awakened, God sparks them in us, the ignition actually come from our Maker in the form of dreams, visions, thoughts, people around us and nature. When are passions are true, pure and our intentions are to fulfill our purpose, the result will be like grass.  They are contagious, they grow and become resilient in the face of opposition, jealousy, hatred etc. They will ignite other passions and like dominoes they will fall over and become one big flame that will not be easily put out by the mere, temporary, fickle things of this life.  One has to tune their hearts to this ignition because it is a wonderful thing to be taken over by your passions especially if the motive is right. 

I leave you now with this 
Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly~ Julie Andrews.
 So my fellow passionate people, if you have no passion in life, you will be lost and will easily lose sight of what your path should be. Discover it and once you do, don't ever let go because that passion will take you to places and paths you have never dreamed of, well and above your wildest imaginations.

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 ...