It’s been a crazy several weeks on this side of the One Samoana screen.
I could write a very boring book about the ‘technical issues’ that took this entire site off the interwebs for over a month. (Summary: if you’re going to run a website, find a webhost who loves you. Ours didn’t. We had to break up.)
It wasn’t just the geek stuff messing with the program. We had some illness. We had some family situations. We had some re-evaluation of priorities and directions. We had some… life happen.
And while I was working through all that, some pretty significant…tragic events hit the headlines from my little part of the world.
Our street was on police lock-down one morning. A young, newlywed Samoan boy had been shot and killed a few properties down from mine. His wife gave birth to their first baby like a week later.
Not long after that, the rest of New Zealand was shocked by the unthinkable killings of 50 innocent people (plus another 50 or so injured) while they were at their most vulnerable – worshiping in their mosques.
More recently, New Zealanders mourned the sudden passing of a prominent Kiwi-Samoan actor and entertainer – gone much too soon. His cause of death hasn’t been disclosed, but all the news reports about him end with links like these:
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• The Word
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
These headlines were devastating, of course… but they also reminded me to keep an eye on my loved ones and that, despite all my personal issues, I have a lot, actually, to be grateful for.
Before all of this happened, I announced my new effort to learn the Samoan language – properly. What I didn’t tell you then was that I’m working behind the scenes on a language learning system. It includes language coaches (my mom and cousins, mostly), a series of lessons, little audio/video clips, story telling… but most importantly, it’s based on proper research about language acquisition and learning theories. (I’m a linguistics major, so I have to know this stuff anyway.)
I’m using myself – and my Samoan language aspirations – as the first guinea pig for this language learning system, but I will post all of it here soon for anyone else on the same journey.
Anyway, before this site went on a ‘technical issues’ holiday for a while, I realized that whenever my family had lotu (prayer time) and recited the Lords Prayer together, I would mumble along with them, but I didn’t actually know all the words.
So I asked my mom to help me learn them. I recorded her saying The Lord’s Prayer in Samoan, then I made a little video with the Samoan words and their English translations. (Oh yeah, I do videos now, too.)
After all we’ve been through these past few weeks… it feels right that we should return to our One Samoana program with a prayer, a ea?
Let’s say it together:
Lo matou Tamā e o i le lagi, ia pa’ia lou suafa.
Ia o’o mai lou mālō. Ia faia lou finagalo i le lalolagi, e pei ona faia i le lagi. Ia e foa’i mai ia te’i matou i le aso nei a matou mea e ‘ai e tatau ma le aso; ia e fa’magalo ia te’i matou ia matou agasala e pei o i matou fo’i ona matou fa’amagaloina atu i e ua agaleaga mai ia te’i matou;
Aua fo’i e te ta’ita’iina i matou i le tofotofoga, a ia e lavea’i ia i matou ai le leaga. Auā e ou le mālō, ma le mana, atoa ma le vi’iga, e fa’avavau lava.