PACIFIC ISLANDER LEADERSHIP RETREAT MAY 27-29, 2005
Once again TASI and TALOFA made good stuff happen and thanks to the INDEGINOUS FORCES that brought as all-together as one United and Determined Family.
Last year around this time we hosted our youth and peer counselors from Southern California that accompanied them at Audrey Nauer-Allen's home in the Bayarea. While the rest of us all family from All Islanders Gathering as One (AIGA1) organized various activities for our youth. Last year the location chosen was San Francisco and this year by the beach - Oxnard, California.
Our host this year Pacific Islands Students Association of University California Los Angeles (UCLA). It was nice to have Natasha, Anna, Joseph and a host of others from UCLA put their best foot forward to organize this one of a kind soul searching event. Our youth loved it and the Elders watching our youth felt good in their heart. Our senior organizers felt the healing of many of the events and exercises that never ever were given to them when they were young. The result many never learned the finer aspects of rich culture second to none.
During many of the exercises one in particular called IceBreaker the participants all Polynesians opened up and expressed their heart felt feelings - the good, the bad and the ugly. Since it was all in the family - I will not touch them and write about them - since we consider our sincere healing moments - very spiritual and sacred.
I tried my best to facilitate this event organized the transportation and with my leader Audrey and my right hand man John Nauer did everything I could to make this great trip to our cousins down south - a reality and a blessing without some support. I want to thank Joe Cassidy my good friend for lending a helping hand. You do not know how much your support meant to me. The Polynesian youth thank you and more everyone for this wonderful event a reality.
We had Natasha, Anna, Audrey, Cummings, Joseph - the various youth leaders from All Islanders Gathering As One, San Francisco State University, UCLA, Carson High School, Hawthorne High School, Banning High School, Balboa High in San Francisco, Community Leaders all performing important roles at this Great Leadership Retreat at Oxnard, California.
It was fun watching and more eating the various dishes cooked fresh for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We went to the local Vons Supermarket and other local stores and bought the fresh produce and foodstuff - cooked it, prayed over it and had a hearty meal. We had lots of talent in the cooking department. Perhaps John Nauer was the best when he prepared an 8-meal course dinner - for as many hungry participants with seconds and thirds for those that cared to eat more.
The San Francisco State women prepared the Breakfast and also a couple of Lunch meals. The fresh garlic bread, the meat spaghetti and some other sumptuous preparations filled the stomachs of our youth and kept them happy. There was plenty of fresh drinking water and less of sodas and all stuff that makes you hyper. The leaders just kept pushing fresh and healthy foods and drinks.
During the course of our discussion and dialog we all felt it was paramount to save and preserve our Polynesian Cultures. We had participants from all the Islands and it was heart warming and heartbreak to hear the personal experiences and stories about cultural assimilation in the Main Stream that adversely impacted the indigenous culture forms and progress. The fake mentality among many failing to understand and adhere to the richness of the Polynesian culture from the Islands as opposed to that which is more centered towards greed, lack of compassion, and outright materialism of the worst order.
Perhaps for the first time many of our Polynesian youth could share their feelings and the Elders too share their feelings. Our women are our hope and as was shown at this great event the women took the lead to save the Culture and take it to a higher level. I must single out Natasha, Ann, Audrey, Cummings - but I also have to praise John Nauer and Joseph.
There was lots of organizing and hard work to book the two locations by the beach. Arranging the sleeping accommodations, the kitchen gear, transportation, and the other gear all required to accommodate this large group - we were at times over 100 strong and ready to go.
The men from UCLA provided us exemplary services. Moving us around with precision and taking care of our sleeping arrangement. Our youth had fun and with the beach next door - a hop, step, and jump and they were literally into the Pacific Ocean.
There was a lot of clean play - football moves the kind I have never seen before. Lots of volleyball, lots of swimming. Very creative ball games that the youth came up with to have fun. The girls were atlethic and more so the Polynesian boys those are famous for their atlethic prowess.
At the end of this Retreat a contract was signed by all and the unanimous decision to come again for the 3rd time and work together to unite, share, and bring about progress at all levels on matters very essential and important to the Polynesian Culture.
No one wanted to go home and I myself wanted to stay. I had work to do and felt I have been a prey to a world that I really do not like to be a part of - the day to day routine much of it detrimental to the values of Indigenous People all over the world and imposed on us for survival.
I personally fight every single day for the Rights of the First People. Here in California 18 treaties signed between the First People and the United States were not kept. Most of the land stolen. The First People killed - it was fine until 1924 to kill a Native American - no questions asked. The strangers did a lot of damage to the Polynesian Islands too and do so today.
Even today many mimic those that do not know better but who imposed their will and stole values and land by dividing and ruling. We know it all and we must remember to fight the evil that was imposed of those that know better. There is much to admire and value when it comes to the Indigenous People and Fire, Water, Sky, and Wind. Try taking that from me and you will be in deep trouble.
The fake values that lead to materialism are the death of spirituality. Fake value based on weak foundations coated with words that lack spirituality that has been tested for thousands of years before Zorastarism and earlier are as worthless and more - then the junk bonds that took so many for a spin into the cesspool of modern living. My Polynesian youth and those that I hold dear to my heart bear with me:
We are a people from the Fire
Even as the mild wind and palms swinging
Francisco Da Costa San Francisco May 30, 2005