The Teuila Festival is over, its taken some time to grab a breath from the drama and the chaos that was – Teuila 09′. I have no idea where to begin in the list of crazy cool things thats happened – So I’ve decided to make dot points..(star points)
* Working with Gwendolyn Tuaitanu (Miss Samoa 09) in the final weeks of her reign as Miss Samoa and feeling more than sad that I would be saying goodbye to my first Miss Samoa (everyone at S.T.A has had a favourite depending on the year that they started working here)
* Being part of the Mc Donald’s Variety Show Organising committee and screening the crazy talents of the Samoan people – highlights would have been – Michael Jackson Impersonator, Tufulele Methodist Youth (their faataupati was so good, we suggested them for the Miss Samoa Pageant), Six8Five (our only international act from NZ lol – Google them!), Coral Reef Academy (GO GIVENS!!!) & Lupesiliva (the crowd favourites and for Samoan Hip Hop, they were ok) but then again, I’m not a dancer – so I wouldn’t know.
* Opening Night Gospel Choir Comp – this year, the usual ‘competition’ part of the opening ceremony was taken away, but it did not take away the pride of each Church denomination – letters were sent to the heads of each church to select thier choir pick for Teuila – being a semi-EFKS & semi-LDS – I was proud of the skill and teamwork (can I even use that word?) of each choir.. a surprise for me, I didn’t expect this to be a highlight for me! haha..
* Mauluulu / Taupou / Aiuli / Faataupati / Ailao Afi / Sulatoga – the traditional part of the Teuila Festival was something I expected to be great.. and ..it didn’t disappoint – a few SamoaObserver comments throughout the week scrutinized the selection of Judges, but then again – you cant please everyone. It was my first time watching the artform that is Sulatoga – I’ve always been curious at the process of how those women yell out and do a ‘haere mai’ sort of thing when it comes to recieving Ie Toga’s during Fa’asamoa stuff.. Hearing it come straight from the heart of Samoan women who have probably learnt from mothers, grandmothers etc – was awesome. It threw things into perspective for me and this night I realised… how much I still didn’t know.
* Fautasi Race – the Digicel Segavao (Zita Martel – who is an inspiration in her own right) took out the cup (again) this year, I had a warm up to the whole Fautasi thing during the Independence Day celebrations – but the atmosphere along the seawall as the Fautasi boats come gliding into the Apia harbour was ELECTRIC – I had no favourites, but I was going for the ‘blue and black’ boat – as I had no idea who/what/when/why any of these boats and teams held any significance to me – but it was TIGHT!! Waking up at 4am in the morning was worth it… (or more like the free breakfast from work was worth it!)
* The Float Parade – This one… I had some sort of expectation since I’ve seen photos and video snippets of the Parade and in my naive state of thinking, I thought that the parade WAS the Teuila Festival – but I was wrong, they were pimped out Trucks used to display the Miss Samoa Contestants! Colorful – and probably the closest thing to a Mardi Gras/Carnivale in Samoa.
* The Miss Samoa Pageant – Wow. I have never felt so many emotions – this event throughout the whole week had its own life – a seperate festival in its own. The whole S.T.A Staff and the Teuila Organising Committee had thier own sub-event to manage and during that – we were all helping one way or another to the Pageant. The Contestants had a crazy schedule I couldn’t keep up with what they were up to. Cindy held it together along with our S.T.A Team. The Pageant night was a success – Lapi Mariner was a gracious host – mixing it well with Verona Parker (former Miss Samoa & Miss South Pacific) the performances were high quality (thanks to my Variety Show Acts Six8Five & Tufulele! – ok, i’m biased..but, its true) the eventual winner, Miss Jacinta Bourne – Le Spa Lalelei was the nights deserving winner & crowned by Gwen (I tried my best to hold my tears in Gwens speech ARGH!..) watta sookie eh?
* Cindy Of Samoa – A true Samoan legend – working alongside Cindy and meeting her was an honor in itself, Cindy had arrived a few weeks before the actual Pageant and did some amazing work in getting everything together – what can I say? She’s a pro – and as a person, was TOOOO funny … I can’t believe some of the things that Cindy had said – but hey, she brought out the best in the contestants – and definately the best in everyone around her.
Ok.. there is more – but as I’m writing this, I’m kind of feeling sad that its over… the Wednesday following the Teuila (because we had Monday & Tuesday off for Road Switch..lol) Everyone in the office just felt..kinda stupid.. we didn’t know what to do with ourselves anymore! hahaha..
Oh.. Negatives? Yes! the weather didn’t hold up as well as we thought – so crazy that out of the 80% of rain-less weeks, we happened to have rain during Teuila!.. the weather caused some things not to go as well as expected – but I’m just being honest… EVERYTHING else, kicked serious muli.
Here’s to Teuila 09′ – and hoping to you *YOU!* Next year……………
I’ll be back with Pictures!