My Life in Japan

The Ins and outs of my time here in Japan.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


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Heya folks for all of yous back in Sa.. it must've been one heck of a long weekend
Just hope no one needed Pepto Bismo or some other yucky tastin' stuff to overcome the effects of 2 days of heavy eating. Though I'd gladly be reaching for that MYLANTA if I was back home after rolling in all that pork, raw fish, pisupo taro.. (mind torture session) Why do I do this to myself ???
Neeways it's a full on two months for me (lendy mea school) so I'm probably gonna be out for a lil while but of course I will always be on hand to read all about ur daily, weekly adventures... so Pinky don't go MIA again!
For the rest of us away from home guess we can reach back into our memory vaults and remember what White Sunday was like and salivate over the thought of all that yummmmmmy food. Just can't seem to let go shieshh
Well before I get on with the tedious task of trying to get my stuff/act together (you'd think I was 6 being the scatterbrain that I am) I want to leave you with a forward from a friend.

Oh to be Samoan you just gotta Luurveee it :)

The following are some of the reasons (though I am sure u can add a hundred more to the list)as to why we won't make very good terrorists and why Al Qeuda will not be recruiting from our neck of the woods any time soon.

Manuia le vaiaso and HAPPY BLOGGING LADIES & GENTS of course!

1. 8:45am is too early for us to be up.

2. We are always late, we would have missed all 4 flights.

3. Pretty people on the plane distract us.

4. We would talk loudly and bring attention to ourselves.

5. With food and drinks on the plane, we would forget why we're there.

6. We talk with our hands, therefore we would have to put our weapons down.

7. We would ALL want to fly the plane.

8. We would argue and start a verbal/fist fight in the plane.

9. We can't keep a secret, we would have told everyone a week before doing it.

10. We carry around so much luggage we forget which one the bomb is in.

11. After looking at the nice suitcase and thinking of how our family can use a decent one decides not to detonate the bomb.

12. Comes across and old friend chat away and before you know it the plane has landed safely at its destination.

13. Has family in America/Britain and decides to go all the way to meet them why waste a perfectly paid for trip.

14: See's a priest on the flight, remembers the "hellfire sermons" chickens out and confesses to the padre.

15. We would N0T wanna c0mmit suicide f0r no 0ne!!!

16. Thought long and hard about exploding into tiny bits way up in the sky and decided NO we do not want to go out with a BANG after all!
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Saturday, October 07, 2006



Dearest Uncle Manfred Hans Pfeiffer,
You have been my life long friend and you have been there for me, ever since I can remember. I pray to God with all my heart that he will continue to keep you in good health and happy spirits. May he also keep you safe and content in the loving embrace of your family and friends.

Here is to many more birthdays for you dear one. May the smiles never fade from your face nor the generous but mischevious sparkle from your eyes.
We miss you beloved Manfred and wish we could be there in Stuttgart to help celebrate your special day but know that you are much loved and often thought about. Have a fabulous day filled with lots of fun, goodies, yummy food and great company.

Best wishes from all of us here in Japan.
XOXO especially from Elsa.


Thursday, October 05, 2006


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Here's one for all the Island Deevahs. You know who u are! You guys rock muh world.

Welcome to October ladies...White Sunday..good food, good times and great taste but hopefully not Mc Donald''s but wholesome home cooked meals.
Blessed Sunday to you and Yours.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006


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Junichiro Koizumi, Japan's political leader for almost 6 years relinquishes power to Shinzo Abe.
A big time Elvis fan, Koizumi leaves office after having done a lot to get the country out of the recession it was in since the last couple of decades.
Don't really know how the locals are feeling about Mr Koizumi leaving office but his personality and character will probably be missed by other international leaders as he definately wasn't your typical staunch/reserved Japanese high ranking official. The guy had a pretty interesting sense of humor....
Fare thee well Koizumi san.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ladies appreciate your husbands....

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Because lately I have been very much in need of a good laugh and this provided it....

A woman home early and found her husband in their bedroom making love to a very attractive young lady.

The wife was VERY upset!

"You are a disrespectful pig!" she cried. "How dare you do this to me - a faithful wife, the mother of your children! I'm leaving you. I want a divorce straight away!"

And he replied: "Hang on just a minute luv, so at least I can tell you what happened"

"Fine, go ahead", she sobbed, " but know that they'll be the last words you'll ever say to me, as no explanation can justify what you have done!"

And he began: "Well, I was getting into the car to drive home and this young lady here asked me for a lift. She looked so down and out and defenceless that I took pity on her and let her into the car.

I noticed that she was very thin, not well dressed and very dirty.
She told me that she hadn't eaten for three days!
So, in my compassion, I brought her home and warmed up the enchiladas I made for you last night, the ones you wouldn't eat because you're afraid you'll put on weight.
The poor thing devoured them in a few minutes.

Since she needed a good clean-up I suggested a shower and while she was doing that I noticed her clothes were dirty and full of holes so I threw them away. Then, as she needed clothes, I gave her the designer jeans that you have had for a few years, but don't wear because you say they are too tight.

I also gave her the underwear that was your anniversary present, which you don't wear because you dislike them as I have no taste.

I found the sexy blouse my sister gave you for Christmas that you don't wear just to annoy her and I also donated those boots you bought at the expensive boutique and don't wear because someone at work has a pair like them.."

He took a quick breath and continued: "She was so grateful for my understanding and help and as I walked her to the door she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said...

" you have anything else that your wife doesn't use?"

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Daddy!

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I spoke to you a few hours ago
and your voice almost broke my heart.
Barely audible... the first thing you said was
"How are you?" and the next "how is school?"
I wanted to talk with you a little bit longer
but you would not say much more.
But then you were always a silent person so I figured it was your way of avoiding getting too emotional.
I was barely able to wish you "Happy Birthday" before mom took over and ranted about the different foods you guys were having for your special day.
She talked on about who was coming and what they'd be bringing.
Laughing all the while at how you were scowling at those around for making such a big fuss over what you claim is just another day.

But it isn't just another day dad, it's your 80th Birthday and very much worthy of a celebration.The phone call ended on a high mom always knows what to say to make a person feel less guilty. Years of practice I guess.

Then as if propelled by some unseen force I called the US to speak to my sister Luisa. The two of us were the only children missing from the celebrations.
Can't remember what lead to what but all of a sudden I realized that our conversation had taken a devastating turn.

My sister had news for me that literally snatched my breath away.
I felt giddy as tears streamed down my face soaking my shirt.
She had called home last Friday and spoke with my eldest sister.
what was said to her which she has passed on to me is still ringing in my ears
the tears come unbidden again.

My dad is dying...(someone please wake me up) say it isn't so...he's a diabetic...though he has managed to keep it under control for many years... his lungs and kidneys are finally failing. His doctor has advised that the regiment of pills he has been taking has to be discontinued. They are too strong and his gradually weakened body is no longer responding to it.
They are not exactly sure how much time he has left, could be months, weeks or even days.
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My head is spinning and I am trying hard not to cry, but its futile to resist the hands are shaking as endless thoughts race through my head. I am trying to process them rationally but I am on the verge breaking down.
My biggest fear has been realized
I know that I should have been more prepared for this.
I know everybody dies but it's hard to let go.

The last person I lost who I loved as much as my dad was my Uncle Tuigamala Iopu.
I miss him still everyday and I always wonder what it would have been like were he still alive.
The void he left in my heart is still painful even after ten years.
Since then I have not endured anything so heartbreaking.
I cried a river when my uncle departed how much more will satisfy my sorrow for my father?

My dad has never been one to trouble/impose or inconvenience anyone...anyone.
So I knew that my family weren't going to tell me, my dad would see to it that I would not know and therefore not worry.
Always putting others before his own needs.
It dawned on me why he didnt want to speak to me for long, it's not that he didn't have anything to say it but because he couldn't say it. I know it must be hard for him too.

But now I know and my grief is raw.
It's deep and painful like nothing I had ever experinced before.
My dad could slip away and I would be deprived of a chance to say good-bye..worse he would pass on without ever having met his youngest grandchild.
I am torn between catching the earliest flight home and staying on to complete what he has always encouraged us to do.
To get the best education we possibly can.

I think back to when I was young,
how strong my daddy was,
vibrant, solid, indestructible
How he was such an excellent and capable provider.
Upright, dignified and most of all filled with so much love and warmth
though the years have taken a toll on his health
his mind is still as sharp and alert as ever.

I drift back to the phone conversation with my sister.
She said she spoke with our father for almost 30 minutes the longest my dad has ever been on a call perhaps.
She told him that she knew of his condition.
He replied "I have lived many good years, The Lord has allowed me to live out my life in peace in the presence of those I love.
I have enjoyed my work and now am ready to rest. "

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The tears come again like torrential rain splattering on the keyboard. My nose is clogged up so is my mind.
Being so far away I feel so hopeless...
I know realistically there is not much I can do except pray..

I know what I have to say just don't know how to put them into a coherent structure but there is a voice inside my head screaming "Lord please don't take my dad away, please give me the opportunity to see him. To hold him one last time, to kiss him goodbye, to say Forgive me...Thank you and I love you. Yes I am selfish, I know that death is the end of all men but please please just give me a little more time with him. I need it please Lord I need it. Please don't deny me..."

Dad please wait for me,
I want you to hold my lil girl and kiss her on the forehead like you used to with me.
Please dad don't leave me I can't graduate any earlier than March 2008,
I don't know if I will have the strength to continue if I lose you.
I know I must for you but I don't know If I can or even want to
Please dad, love me enough to wait for me.
I love you dad with all of my heart.
Happy Birthday!!
Always and forever your lil girl.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

3 Years Down The Road!

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Whew... where did the time go?

It feels like I just turned my back for just a few minutes and already Elsa is sprouting like a wild reed.... Malolo is developing a pot belling instead of the power abs he used to have hoh!..... and I am a neglected, under appreciated house wife *jokes*

Nah I am very happy though easily irritated and despondent at times. I am really quite content where I am, with what I have and who I am with. Though having a couple of mil in a Swiss Bank Account, with a private jet and Mansion somewhere would complete the fantasy heheh! but seriously I am grateful for what I have in life...Have enjoyed the challenges/kodack moments brought about by our 3 years together looking forward to many more (years I mean not

Thank you Lord for all that we have been blessed with, the unconditional love and support of family and friends, the laughter and fun, even the tears and tribulations we have been through.The ups and downs we've experinced so far in our marriage has made us very aware of each other's flaws and short comings. But more importantly the peace of mind that comes with accepting the fact that we have to work on them as they won't magically go away, or disappear over night. (somebody invent a instant formula for this one pleasseeee... I'd be the first in line to buy it heh!heh!)

Still learning, discovering new, different and shocking things about one another, it's usually but not always a pleasant experince. However we have managed to find our way around the rough spots and funnily sometimes the heart sees what the eyes are unable to percieve. Through the eyes of the heart everything looks hopeful har!har!

Promise Me.

Promise me sun spangled mornings

and moon sprinkled nights.

Promise me lazy afternoons

and sultry hot midnights.

Drench me in showers of rainbows

to wash away all my sorrows

And in return I promise you

the sweetness of all my tomorrows.

To my dear husband,

If you are game for a couple of decades together I am up for it.
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Friday, September 15, 2006

Proud and Happy Graduates.

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Today was our Fall Graduation and many parents turned out to witness the successful culmination of their childrens studies.
For the graduates it was both a time of great happiness and immense sorrow for it would be the last time for most to see friends who have become like family. Those who they have shared 4 or two years of their lives with.

This graduation would have been a milestone for our University for its first Doctoral degree was to be conferred upon our brother Viliami Uasike Latu of Tonga. However due to the passing of his Majesty King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV Viliami could not be here to receive the honors due to him.
As one of the now senior officials in the Prime Minister's Office they are up to their necks in meetings amongst other duties in preparation for the Kings burial. The timming is unfortunate but we can not stay the course of death.

I am very happy that all of our close friends graduated but saying good-bye would be really difficult. I know that I will miss my son Mitchell very much but glad he will be going home to Hawaii to pursue his dream of being a policeman. I know he will make a fine officer of the law.

Elsa with big bro Mitch.

Best of luck and God speed also to our other friends Kensuke, Yosef (Indonesia), Mario (Indonesia) Lahela (Hawaii) Melody (USA/JAPAN), Merissa (Brazil/Japan), Jocelyn (Uganda) Rhazuel Baba (Malaysia), Kevin Abe (USA), Joshi (Nepal) etc

Elsa with buddy Yosef. (Baggio)

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Some people leave footprints others....

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One night I had a wondrous dream, One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord, But mine were not along the shore.
But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
These prints were large, round and neat
but they were too big to have been made by my feet.
layout for myspace"My child," God said in somber tones,
"For miles I carried you alone,
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait."
"You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk in faith, you would not know,
So I got tired, I got fed up,
And there I dropped you on your butt."

"Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight, and one must climb,
When one must rise and take a stand,
Or leave their buttprints in the sand."

(Author -Anon)

Personal Note : My dream will prob see me lookin' at lil craters with a face imprinted on each one, coz the slacker that I am ought to be dumped on the face instead of muh backside.
But I know God's good, his unconditional love covers a multitude of sins and reaches out even to pathetic people such as myself.
PPS: And since I am oh so fond of piggyback rides all 90kgs of me I will hang on for dear blog layoutsHave a blessed weekend folks. Peace Out

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Friday, August 25, 2006

New Favorite Udon Place

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Felise took us to this Udon(Noodles) Restaurant a month ago.. NARUTO and now it has become one of our favorite places to eat. No.. we have not become vegetarians like our boy Felix who has a lot more stamina but perhaps a little less iron in his blood like us meat eating

It's not just the great food that that has compelled us to visit the place like 4 times since then.The restaurant has a real friendly and comfortable atmosphere and the people who work there look real happy to see you.

Ok, so it's a business and they are obliged to smile at the customers even though it may not match the feelings inside but somehow I feel they give us that little extra attention. Which can be attributed to a number of reasons. Could be the fact that
1 ~ we are foreigners.
2 ~ our physical sizes may be a bit intimidating. (though we are not exactly giants we do tend to stand out from the usually petite locals)
3 ~ they know we always order the biggest plates they've got but will not disappoint the chef by eating only a quarter of it.

A fair number ofJapanese customers weve seen frequenting the place order food they seem to eat a few spoonfuls from and then discard it. Perhaps it's a status kind of thing, customers flaunting their wealth by ordering food they cant really finish or could be just that they dont have our huge appetites, who knows? There's one thing I am certain of, the fact that there aint no chance of that ever happening when the Hamo's roll into the joint. It always has to be the triple size serving with a personal gurantee that it will be finished right down to the juice. The food doesn't just gets eaten it gets devoured..faaaoga le kupe hoh!

Was never really a fan of udon I am the typical islander who will eat ramen/saimigi as is or only when then there is nothing else around or in need of a quick meal. But the presentation of Naruto's Udon has gotten me hooked and I can say for sure that when I go back to Samoa this will probably one of the few Japanese meals I will miss. However despite it being disgustingly healthy and so forth I would pass it up in an instant for a taste of Siaosi's mamoe, Treasure Garden's yummy but greasy food, good ole Pinati's stirfry and the faiai fee's, lumane and matalelei from the market. Mommy's home made raw fish and Beef Wellington yeah rite choo hoo laterzzzzzz.
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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Congratulations to Nydia & Chee-ku Chu Ling!.

MySpace LayoutsDearest Nydz and Chee-ku.
In all the craziness of the past few weeks I forgot to congratulate you two in reaching your MySpace LayoutsFirst Wedding Anniversary. In between the Chu-Ling Family reunion, baby getting sick, clubs closing down and your boss demanding a lot (taking away precious moments meant for blogging) I am glad you two were able to have time together to celebrate one year of being a couple and of course deliriously proud parents of one gorgeous baby girl.
MyspaceGetting through the first year is always a challenge... adjusting to the new changes (when the yours and mine become ours and everybody elses) new environment (new address, bedroom, neighbors etc) and to each other but I know that no matter what, with baby in ur lives I am sure you have enjoyed the ride and is anticipating more wonderful events to come.
MySpace LayoutsMay God's unconditional love abide by you always, guiding, protecting, moulding and perfecting you in to being the best partners/ friends as well as most the wonderful parents Tinto and her future siblings could ever ask for.

Here is to more fabulous years and a life filled with much love, happiness and success.
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"Have courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the small ones. And when you have labouriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake."

(Victor Hugo)

Forgive an old woman for being remiss in such an important occassion. Belated Congratulations to you once again.

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Love always,

Your Beppu Fambam.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ailing Pacific Leaders...

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The passing of Maori Queen Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV of Tonga critically ill in New Zealand's Mercy Hospital as well as concerns over the health of Tomasi Kulimoetoke, the 87 year old King of Wallis has gotten me thinkin' about the issue of man's mortality again.
blog Layouts Death comes to us all, no matter our stations in life King or Pauper we all share the same fate. There is no fountain of youth, no cure for death and no turning back the clock. We can only hope that we leave this world having done what we have set out to do. We can't all be famous, having created something like the cell phone,new computer software, found a cure for a terminal disease or discovered a new atom/specie etc.
But we can live meaningful lives just depends on ur own definition of meaningful. There is a place/time for all of us to display our individual talents and abilities. Our respective contributions to our societies/families/countries despite of how they may be perceived by others.... matters.

I strongly believe if our being around has made this world a bit better ie: a much friendlier and less lonelier place for at least one other person then we have made an impact. If we are able to give love as well as being on the receiving end then we are not doing too bad.

If during our lifetime we have Hugged a baby, kissed an elderly person, comforted a friend, laughed with a parent/s, lent a hand to a stranger and wiped the tears of a sibling, taught someone to drive, shared a drink with a co worker etc etc...then we have sampled the rewards of some of the simplest but most meaningful moments in life.
There is a lot we can do in life that needs neither money nor status to achieve. In our own families and circles we are all royalty, kings and queens, ruler of hearts and minds.
blog LayoutsGetting back to our ailing leaders our own Head of State is getting on also in his old age and should the sun set on the life of Malietoa Tanumafili II, I know that our country will miss this Father Figure. For most of us who were born way after the nation's Independence he is perhaps the only leader of old we are familiar with. It will take some getting used to, should somebody else step into his shoes. A different face on our coins and tala notes, a new name to the title and a new smile greeting marchers during the Independence Parade.

Our situation may be quite different to that of Tonga. The reigning monach has been the absolute ruler of the chain of more than 170 islets since 1965, a 41-year reign that puts him fourth on the list of longest-serving sovereigns, after Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and our very own Malietoa Tanumafili II.
blog Life could very well be quite different after the reign of the King should his condition take a turn for the worse. The passing of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV may signal a new change in the political life of the country or again may make the Royal family even more endearing to the nation, but until then I join my prayers with that of many Tongans around the world beseeching the Lord for his help and care for the ailing monarch.

May God Bless all of us and Long life, peace and happiness to all.
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Personal Reflections:

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"Is your place a small place? Tend it with care; He set you there. Is your place a large place? Guard it with care! He set you there. Whate'er your place, it is Not yours alone, but his Who set you there." (John Oxenham)

My place umm is this in reference to my current abode, status in life, financial situation or gender??

Coz if its referring to the apartment we are presently inhabiting it is quite small so its quite manageable.

Status in life: I am no socialite, don't even have a job. Still a fulltime student hoping to one day contribute something of significance to society in this case I am very mindful of my

Financial situation: where money is concerned my place is so small it won't even cause a ripple even if it wanted to.

Gender : but as a woman a wife and a mother I know where my place is and though my sphere of nfluence may be quite small, keeping my family happy and together is my mission in life.Knowing that the man upstairs has my back gives me the confidence to move forward even when there's trouble looming on the horizon.

"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies, for the hardest victory is victory over self." (Aristotle)

Now did this guy write this especially for me *jokes* but by golly this is so true. Some of the hardest battles I have fought over the years emotionally/spiritually have been with myself. Trying to restrain myself from overspending, over eating, watching too much tv etc etc the list goes on forever.There is this other saying that "there is more to fear about the things we desire than fear itself" is also true. Have gotten into trouble now and again coz of this. Must learn to discipline self and set good examples for my lil girl.

Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. (Barbara Johnson)

* Scratches head* Jeepers this can be so difficult at times. Sometimes my husband annoys me and vice versa little things that, but sometimes its the lil things that can spark off an arguement. Afterwards you feel bad about saying stupid things and you wonder why you even went there. Slaps urself upside the head but the damage is done. Always gotta remember this one now.

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow; it only saps today of its strength. (A. J. Crown)

Don't I know this, especially when the bills come in all at one time.

I always wonder how my parents used to take care of this kind of 'adult stuff' especially when u think about how small the salaries in Samoa were back then. I guess the best we can do is live one day at a time, the best preparation for tomorrow is making good use of today.

So in order for me to survive the few years of school I have left I have to prioritise my work. Meaning I have to cut down on my tv time and blogging hours. So if I disappear for months on end know that I am still alive and kicking just getting some meaaoga

Well peeps that's it from me for now,take care and God Bless.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Been a while..

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blog images Fellow bloggers, hisashiburi ne! (its been a long time)
Been workin' my tush off to get a couple of my papers in on time, needless to say I am totally hammered (is that an approriate term) Working non stop with a few stolen moments of sleep in between is no way to live so I have promised myself that I will change my study habits..umm how old am I now and how many times was that promised made and broken???
image hostingOk, so I am not the most reliable person when it comes to keeping promises to myself and I know I really ought to change in regards to how I carry out my studies but I am so used to this mad dash to beat the deadline routine. It's such a powerful adrenaline rush. But pulling off a couple of all nighters only to walk around in the daytime like a zombie growling at everything and anything is really no fun. Just ask my poor husband and daughter who for most of the time had to keep far far away from me seeing each other only at meal times.
blog imagesBut now I can breathe normally again the bulk of the work's done I still have to edit and revise some more but at least it's under control. When I feel like I am being pulled in different directions I berate myself for being lazy and for procrastinating too much but still haven't learned. I know I have to I can't afford to screw up.
blog imagesMissing home didn't make things go any easier but the faces of loved ones passing through my mind gave me the encouragement I needed that and the little "mama u can do it" smiles my lil girl would throw at me whenever she comes into the study room to see me, was another major booster. Not forgetting the coffee and sensational meals my husband cooked. I thank God so much for them, whether they feel the same about me is
blog images Well I have to hit the books again soon trying to keep this momentum going but at least there's no pressure as I am on my own time again. I have re-integrated myself back into the family unit. The other two seem a little reserved, I can't blame them they are perhaps wondering when the other persona will pop up again but I guess we have a reprive for now we'll see when October comes around and school kicks in*jokes*
Hopefully by then mama will be more organized possibly even a model student by then pe a leva lava!
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