Feliz año nuevo from San Juan, Puerto Rico! Every now and then I like to do like Oprah and make a list of ‘Krit’s Favourite Things’ except I try to appeal to a demographic beyond middle aged white women [no shade to the Ws, I hope you enjoy the following too!] In the spirit of reflecting on 2012, some of my favourite things in no particular order:
Especially old ones! They capture sooo much – I’ll spend hours and hours just fixated. My cousins get scared/livid when I get into one of my nostalgic modes cuz I’ll start throwing pictures around from way back for everyone to see but I don’t care cuz I like to show off the natural brown beauty of my family. The good ole pre-photoshop days!
This pretty much translates to ‘people watch’ in Tongan. When I was a student, me and my friends would text each other to meet at the food court or outside the library or anywhere there was a lot of foot traffic just to have a good gawk. These days I tend to take photos and videos too.
The time of year everyone gets all dolled up together to celebrate! Yep, it can be a lot of stress running around frantically with no sleep but in the end, even though you sat all the exams and wrote all the assignments, the day is never about you as a student. It belongs to everyone else who helped you along the way. While the ceremonies bore me to death, I love the march and giving out ula lole [lolly necklaces]. I made sure I had my cousin back home make some for me so I could fa’aula [the act of giving the necklaces] my friends at Lehigh on graduation day.
This year was special for me cuz it saw my first wave of students from when I coordinated the CertHSc at the University of Auckland graduate from their programmes – Bachelor of Health Sciences and Bachelor of Nursing in particular. Not long to go before the others become pharmacists and doctors too. Some of them I knew from their high schools through the Mentoring and Tutoring Education Scheme [MATES]. They’ve all come a long way!
Greatest bloody invention in the universe and the main reason why my sleeping patterns are such a mess. I’m forever on Skype with my family and friends in New Zealand until early hours of the morning due to the time difference. The best part is it’s free! For me, I’m grateful for it cuz it means my stinky niece and nephew get to see me regularly – they were so young when I left I was afraid I’d miss out on seeing them grow up and that they might forget me too but no longer have to worry about that.
I get to jump on other screens too like in my friend’s lecture where I was a guest speaker to some students back home.
Aside from my trip home, the rest of my excursions outside of the US for 2012 took place in the Caribbean. I love island life. I’ve had some amazing experiences all over the Pacific, it’s been awesome taking in the island culture, language and weather in a new way!
It’s stupid how much I love food. I’ll eat anything as long as it’s not spicy. Some new pleasures this year…
I’ve gotta hand it to Wrap’d Tight though! Heather and her crew know how to throw DOWN. That’s why I took all my friends there to eat – if you knew me at Lehigh then you knew that was my number one spot. I had my graduation lunch there. They surprised me with this crazy dessert spread and putting a wrap on the menu named after me! I could die happy after that.
I’m a HUGE fan of music and live entertainment. I keep telling everyone that when I go back to New Zealand I’m gonna become a recording artist who lip syncs to tracks like C&C Music Factory or Milli Vanilli did. I have plenty of practice performing concerts to my stuffed toys when I would line them up on my bed. That’s definitely a joke. Anyway back to live shows! The sound, the lights – just the whole atmosphere really makes a gig that much more enjoyable…
I took my bad [but passionate] singing a step further and made a cameo in a play and also reunited with 1/3 of my all time favourite act of all time – Chilli from TLC!
Whether it’s with mine or with someone else’s, I always enjoy seeing family spend time with each other – more than ever now being so far from home.
My biggest highlight this year was going home to be with my family for my Grandma’s funeral and giving her the best send off we could.
Funerals can bring out the best and worst in people. There’s so much going on with arrangements, money, family politics, the Fa’asamoa [Samoan protocol] while tensions and emotions are running at an all time high. Thankfully everyone came together and looked after one another. I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of my cousins. I’m pretty sure our parents were on a similar tip too. I just wish they wouldn’t yell at us for no bloody reason.
Now I know wall planners aren’t all that big in the US but I haven’t been able to live without one of these for YEARS. My Mum and sister had to send me one from home for 2010, 2011 and 2012 until finally this year, I had one designed for Lourdes University and I sent them one of mine. He-ey. I’m telling you, they’re magical. You get to see the whole year ahead of you and cross each day off as they come – I get my thrills every time I do it. I’m always excited to make some decent marks all over mine so I hope you all get to do the same. All the best for 2013!
Peace, Love & Hair Grease