Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NO joke – so get tested YOUR LIFE DEPENDS on it

Had a cry to myself hearing the confirming news of a baby cousin going through a tough time… still in shock, my cousins assure me it’s under control – I trust that if they aren’t freaking out as much as I am after hearing the news its under control… Just can’t help but wish it wasn’t happening to such a YOUNG individual…

So in light of this news I’ve decided to dedicate this post to my “AWESOME-STRONG-FUNNY LIL JOKER” cousin and share awareness of a disease not common and/ spoken  often of amongst the Polynesian community.

I recently watched Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns” episode dedicated to this disease – right at the end the actor addresses the audience…

Did you know that PROSTATE CANCER is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in America? Early detection can increase your chance of survival.  The Centre for disease control and prevention recommends that ALL men get tested annually.  African American men and OTHER men who have a family history of the disease should be tested as early as 40; all other men should be tested annually beginning at age 50.  PROSTATE CANCER is NO joke – so get tested YOUR LIFE DEPENDS on it.

So tell me why a young man as young as 17 is now on his first week of chemotherapy? As I sit here putting this post together, the tears are rolling as I am trying to push away the “worst outcome” thoughts…  Where to start…

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer can be a completely silent disease, especially in its early stages. It can grow slowly for years without causing any noticeable signs or symptoms. Sometimes, however, there are important warning signs that something is wrong with the prostate.

What Are the Most Common Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer?

Because of the prostate's location in the body (located just below the bladder in the lower pelvis), urinary symptoms are common warning signs that something is wrong with the prostate.

Urinary warning signs that something could be wrong with the prostate include:

ü  Frequency - urinating much more often than normal.

ü  Urgency - having a sensation that you need to urinate immediately.

ü  Nocturia - getting up to urinate multiple times during the night.

ü  Hesitancy - difficulty starting the urine stream.

What Are Other Less Common Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer?

The urinary problems discussed above are among the most common experienced by men with prostate cancer. However, they are not the only ones. Other less common warning signs include:

ü  Blood in the urine.

ü  Blood in the semen.

ü  New-onset erectile dysfunction (impotence).

ü  Bone pain (especially in the lower back, hips, or ribs).

ü  Loss of bladder control.

When Should You Go to See Your Doctor?

The answer to this question is simple. Visit your physician and explain your situation whenever you first begin to experience any of these symptoms.

The warning signs listed above are almost always abnormal and all need to be evaluated by a physician. This is especially true if these warning signs appear suddenly. Very simple examinations and laboratory tests can be put to use by your doctor to determine whether or not your symptoms are due to prostate cancer, another serious disease, or a less dangerous condition.

I pray for my cousins’ speedy recovery and hope with this detection it is under control… You take for granted the annual reminders for Cancer research until it hits closer to home.  I am grateful for the many organisations that regularly spread awareness of this silent, deadly illness…  In particular MOVEMBER

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in Australia and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and depression in men.
So there you have it… I encourage all my BROTHERS, COUSINS, COLLEAGUES, MALE FRIENDS – ALL MALES in general… DON’T WAIT TIL YOU ARE 40 years old…Be safe, get TESTED – YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.

***Dedicated to YOU!!!
Love you cuzzybro!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


This made me laugh hard as I read it cause I could SOOOOOOOOO relate.   

Confessions from a Samoan childhood: Those "you can't win moments" where if you cry while getting a hiding they keep hitting you and ask why are you crying and yell at you to stop. But if you DON'T cry they ask if you are being cheeky and hit you harder til you DO cry... At which point they ask why you're crying and keep hitting you and expect you to stop... And the cycle repeats iteself until they're satisfied you learnt your lesson... Or like CKS member have admitted, you faint (or pretend to) lol... Fun times :)   
I have some fond memories of the “Tough Love” I received from my parents in the day… LOL  
I’ve mentioned this before in another blog post how my dad is a retired“Boxer” lol (If we didn’t use his trophies as toys and dismantle them all as well as destroy dads book of remembrance, we’d have some memorabilia) 
 I remember being my dad’s sparring partner, main event opponent and then the after party celebrations – Ice Cream from McDonald’s just the two of us with our one-on-one talks about what I did wrong and not to do it again.   
I use to always kick myself during and after our rounds (LMAO comparing my “Tough Love” moments to a boxing match) ESP when it was going down in front of family - before the first blow even hit me I was already doing my ugly cry and apologising out loud “faamolemole dad e le koe faia”   
Mum on the other hand was a different kind of “Tough Love” If she hasn’t already convinced dad to come out of retirement it’s the lectures of death that cause my ears to cry tears of blood…which eventually leads to one of them coming out of retirement and again and again I find the following words leave my mouth “faamolemole e le koe faia”   
I’m envious of the younger siblings and the things they get away with these days… I often envision the type of “Tough Love” they would’ve received if the parentals were in their prime still… LOL   
ANYWAYS that’s enough reminiscing for tonight – I just want to say though… I would not be who I am today if I never experience the happenings in a boxing ring… I wouldn’t change a thing – well maybe my choice of words LMAO….   
I heart “Tough Love”     



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Telesa goes to BRISBANE

Article in Samoa News regarding Brisbane launch of Telesa: The Covenant Keeper....

Fun times... Can't wait to do it all over again!!!


My life – over as I know it…

This morning I was angry at my sister (who doesn’t have a job and her only other responsibility as a fulltime carer for our mother is to take the 4am starters to work) didn’t come home last night, therefore was not home this morning to take the 4am starters to work…. Argh… already my day is going downhill as my routine is way out of whack…
Faalii I had to take them, FREEZING, petrol low (argh STORY of my life), and every other thing a girl goes through was all happening at once! ARGHHHHH
When I finally got myself to sleep 30mins before getting back up again for work – I was even COLDER!! I heard her come in (the sister that was suppose to be home to take the early starters to work)… while still under my blanket on my permanent bed (the couch), eyes closed – I scream out to her you BEEP BEEP BEEP (this goes on for a while) so angry… I got up, got ready for work… left home – realized when  I got to work, I forgot my LIFE, my phone at home!!!
My only real source to the outside world while at work… can’t check twitter, update FB, check for any updates on Telesa, random conversation with people I knew growing up and never see, txt my many BF’s… arghhh all of which are blocked from work :’( - cause lets face it – if I had access I’d have no work done!!!
I still have email, I can email the sisterhood every now and again… use to be able to read other blogspots but as of TODAY. Right NOW.  ACCESS DENIED!!! WTF!!! Someone on death row has more access than I do right now… [that metaphor is abit mai because I don’t ever wish for anyone to be on death row…. But it’s all I could come up with to describe this torture…]
So you can see now how my life as I know it, is over – till I can get my hands on my mobile again… I feel so isolated from the world… when did I become so reliant on such idle things?  
So for the next 2 hours I suppose I should clean my desk, make sure all my paperwork is up to date, browse what I can online provided it meets “PRISON” (work) guidelines… CRYING!
Adios Amigos
Until I can get online (at home)
PS… this is messed up – I can publish a post!!! ARGH!!! #CRYYYYYYYYYYYING!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Brisbane Telesa Book Launch 2012 (3/5/2012)

Wow what a week that was... I finally have a spare, quiet moment to myself to reflect on the week that was... I was asked yesterday to write a review for Samoa Times newspaper about the Brisbane Book launch of Telesa: The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young which prompted me to blog about my/our experience...

Who would’ve thought the power of promotions/marketing would be so fun when its done with love for something you are passionate about. About 8 months ago I was given a e-copy of Telesa: The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young. For 3 days straight I could not put it down –I found myself lost in the setting of the land of my ancestors, learning of Samoan mythology with a twist of fiction, insight of the schooling system in Samoa & most importantly riding the rollercoaster of what is Leila and Daniel’s love story –

My sister Daphne and I randomly sent Lani an e-mail with a proposal to Launch her book in Brisbane and to our surprise she accepted.  (Lani thought the idea would die down and not happen) I don’t think that either of us at the time knew that the result this week would be the huge success it was.

Brisbane Telesa Committee
Brisbane Telesa Committee was formed and this powerhouse team worked relentlessly to make sure Lani would make it to Brisbane.  We were in regular discussions with Lani, many meetings, emails, tweets and any form of communication available online - am grateful to Lani for trusting us, (people she has never met) to plan and organise launch.

Lani with student from Bundamba State Secondary College
(Proud former student... ahaha)
Her first time in Australia - Lani agreed to tour Brisbane for a week long of activities attending schools in both West and South Locations (Bundamba State Secondary College, Glenala State High School and Woodridge State High School), speaking directly to Polynesian students about being a pasefika and daring to dream to reach academic success. (TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY 1st & 2nd May 2012)
Dj Koolio and Lani @ Radio Interview (Fresh Crew)
Lani participated in an on air interview with Brisbane's tupulaga radio talk show - Fresh Crew, the morning of Brisbane Telesa Book Launch (Thanks to DJ Koolio for being well prepared)

Nerves were running high (our committee) as we ran around like headless chicken making sure we had everything ready for the launch - we weren't able to access donated auditorium for launch til after 2.30pm as there were still classes held at the University. 

Decor Team - Vanessa Lemafa & Hanna Kai 

Decor Team worked til early hours of the morning putting flower arrangements together to decorate auditorium.  The night before we were driving around cutting down palm tree leaves (thanks Chong-Nee family) and BORROWING "Birds of Paradise" flowers from Logan City Council... haha Thanks!!
Catering Team - Anita and Narie with Lani

Catering Team worked extra hard to create snacks and finger foods that reflect the Telesa theme including Telesa red velvet cupcakes and heaps of other goodies... Presentation =

Daphne and Mona - Book Sales
While the rest of the team worked on making sure lighting, tech and sound, performances, program etc would run to plan and smoothly.

Brisbane Telesa Book Launch held at The Griffith University –Logan Campus saw over 200 people attend a night filled with Polynesian dance, music, laughter and the opportunity to hear Lani speak of Telesa: The Covenant Keeper and how her dream came to life.

A FIRST for any Telesa launch we had a guest appearance which was sure to send the ladies to a whole new level of stalker - Ezra Taylor, the face of Daniel the owner of those infamous abs (recognisable worldwide now) :) We had been in talks with Ezra for many weeks to help with Launch and am so grateful we were able to work together to promote Lani and Telesa in Brisbane.  (I know Telesa fans all over are jealous... haha).  Ezra did not come without a few more surprises, moments before he arrived to the launch Ezra tweeted

 Book launch tonight Brisbane. Special appearances by    thanks 

Digby Ioane, Ezra Taylor, Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds players)
This sent organisers into a frenzy (particularly me as I am @AliBURGESS28 and knew I couldn't act like this in front of Ezra - needed to act cool for the launch... LMAO)

What an awesome night - We sold over 100 copies of Telesa: The Covenant Keeper, Lani & Ezra happily signed copies of Telesa: The Covenant Keeper for fans (& take heaps of photos) :)

Which brings me to the actual program... A Few highlights

Lani & MC Gagaumalo Irene Nautu
"When Water Burns" cover shot re-enactment LOL
Gagaumalo Irene Nautu - Master of Ceremony Thanks mama for being an awesome MC - a tad jealous you got to interview Ezra and even more jealous you got to re-enact the "When Water Burns" cover shot :/

Lani Wendt Young & Ezra Taylor
Ezra Taylor - Face of Daniel (Interview) Check out YOUTUBE clip...  Thanks for being a good sport and choosing NOT to be MC's husband in an alternate universe... LMAO
Lani Wendt Young
 Lani Wendt Young - INSPIRING grateful to have met you and share your dream with Brisbane.

Eden Palupe and Fred Lemalu
Eden Palupe

Fred Lemalu & Sam Tuuga

Leila's Dance - Performed by the beautiful Eden Palupe.  Graceful. Beautiful. Vocals by Fred Lemalu, Guitar - Sam Tuuga members of Jamoa Jam, thanks so much.  AWESOME!
Lani and store owner Nikolao Burgess (Runik Polynesian Town)
We finish Lani’s week long activities with a final book signing held at Runik Polynesian Town –Friday morning after her Book launch. Book signing saw people who were unable to attend Launch night pick up a copy of Telesa and an opportunity to meet and take pictures with Lani, parents sent in by their children to purchase a copy as well as a copy for other family and friends.

Along with Telesa on sale we had copies of Pacific Tsunami “Galu Afi” which Lani was commissioned to write of the survivors of one of our nations darkest days. In total Lani sold over 200 copies of both Telesa: The Covenant Keeper and Pacific Tsunami “Galu Afi” Lani has been overwhelmed with the support she has in Brisbane.

Thank you Brisbane you made this happen...


S/O to Brisbane Telesa Committee #Sisterhood #Brotherhood-LOL
Thanks SO much to my brother DAPHNE REUPENA for all your help - Launch would've never happened without you... :)

Mona Pei -For all your IT tech guru/savvy ideas that made life easier
Vanessa Lemafa & Hanna Kai -For your vision and creativity that transformed the auditorium
Anita Nautu & Narie Ing -For your creativity and AWESOME awesome presentation of light refreshments
Joan Harvey -For organising with schools to host and allow Lani to address our pacific students
GPA and Griffith University for all their efforts to help and support us

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Letters to my brothers…

I often sit and reflect on my life, my family, my friends and how grateful I am for everything I have – the experiences, what I’ve endured & what I continue to learn.  I hate the feeling of being unsettled and I’m often like this when I have a lot on my mind, my brain fighting with my heart, choosing the right from wrong.

I especially hate fighting with my siblings, I always feel unsettled, I also know I can be so stubborn that it takes a lot for me to instigate conversation or admit I was in the wrong.  I know in this instance it’s been a week… I haven’t spoke to you, tried to speak to you, ask you how you are, regular conversation – last thing I said to you, I was real harsh and may have pushed you away even further. You haven’t made an attempt to speak to me either, is it because you think I’m angry or are you angry at me? I hate this feeling.
Because I’m too stubborn to be the first one to break, I’ve turned to my blog to let out some emotion and have a little cry, which is what I’m doing as I type.  I may seem tough and staunch to a lot of my family, friends and most likely to strangers – only immediate family members and a small group of friends know I’m just a softy at heart – I can be very emotional, tears are not hard to come by – in fact its so easy that if I start watching a movie midway and an emotional scene is on I’ll start crying with them as if I watched it from the beginning and/ understand the storyline, is this normal? Are you the same?

I’m very conscious of what I say, do and write – I’m often reminded of a quote in the heat of the moment “Don’t say/do something permanently stupid just because you’re temporarily upset” I should really put this in to practice more when dealing with my siblings, there’s no justifying what I’ve said – I admit I was angry and continue to be sour towards the company you keep - which I know I will have to get over if I want anything to do with your future.  I want to be happy for you I really do, I may come across unwilling to accepts but you have to also realize I feel the responsibility to protect you all, manage the home, take care of our parents – the weight can be unbearable sometimes but I do it because I love you all
I know we always fight, make up, fight, make up – but what family doesn’t? Its apart of life, growing, learning and loving.  This post if dedicated to you, when/if you ever read this you will know it’s for you.  I especially want to say I LOVE YOU.
Your hysterically emotional sister

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Too excited to sleep...

It’s 1.20am, I just got home from helping my cousin with her wedding invites, burnt myself twice with the wax to seal her invites… argh another 60+ invites to complete, too bad we ran out of wax NOT… love my cousin and happy to fulfil my matron of honour duties…. Lol

So I have not been on here in 2 months WOWSER – oh I have neglected my blog.  So much has happened in the last couple of months.  The festive season is finally over and unfortunately I am back to work L. 
It has not been the best start to 2012 however there is so much to look forward too.  Cousins getting married left right and centre - Weddings galore (March, April, June and December) both mum and dad’s family reunions in consecutive weeks in Samoa (July) & the Brisbane Book Launch of Telesa – The Covenant Keeper (April), which is the real reason I am still up and so excited.  So much has happened with the planning process and getting the committee together etc. 

We have confirmation that Lani will bring Telesa to Brisbane and participate in a fun packed week of guest appearances with schools, book signings, radio appearance and/ any other scheduled activities.  Possibility of Ezra Taylor (Daniel) in attendance for the actual book launch, all very exciting really – it’s kind of hard to contain my excitement.

We have created a Facebook page where we will keep the people of Brisbane posted with updates of the Brisbane Launch – Click on the following link and “like” page for the exciting updates.  Brisbane Book Launch of Telesa - the Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt

Please stay tuned for what is set to be the best event of 2012… :)

Ok I should really go to sleep its now 2.30am.  Morning All.