Create Your Own Destiny! Live the H.Y.P.E.

The H.Y.P.E Movement presents 4 extraordinary Tongan dancers who are living the H.Y.P.E!

(in order of appearance)
Hefa Tuita of Nickelodeon's "Dance on Sunset"
Tessi Toluta'u - Miss South Pacific 2007
Tony Pututau - from Dancing with the Stars on Tour
CJ Tonga Bair - from Center Stage Dance Studio

Music: Ote'a Tivuri by Nonosina

Directed and Edited by Richard Wolfgramm
Filmed by Richard Wolfgramm, Tanelle Lindquist and Daela Tipton

There should be no limit to what we can achieve!!!

Create your own destiny!!!

Live your Dreams!!!

Get On The H.Y.P.E.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Really Missing My Grandparents Today...

[Miss them so much!!!]

I am really, really missing my grandparents today!!!

It has been a year since my grandpa passed away and almost 10 years since my grandma passed away, and there isn't a day that goes by that I haven't thought about them or wondered how they would have advised me on certain situations or decisions I have made or just what the overall conversation would be like about different world events that have taken place.

Today is their birthday. They were born on the same day just different years and although they shared so much in common their personalities were very different. My grandmother was very outspoken and assertive and my grandfather was much more quiet and reserved, but they both shared a deep love for the Lord, their family, the Tongan culture and especially for Education!

I truly have been blessed to have them in my life. It is only now, when I reflect back on my life, that I realize the importance of what they have taught me. I realize more than ever before how keenly aware they were of the world and how focused they were on their goal to raise a next generation of young people who would be rooted in our native Tongan culture but learn to carve out our own space in this new society.

They valued indigenous Tongan knowledge and even when it seemed that assimilation was the only way to be successful in this society, they refused to conform-- but instead engaged in personal acts of self-determination by making the Tongan language mandatory in our home, by telling us stories of their upbringing, by teaching us traditional Tongan proverbs and history, and by teaching us respect, love, and kindness, from a Tongan perspective.

I have spent most of my life in the classroom, both as a student and as a teacher, but the lessons I have learned while sitting across from my grandparents, working along side them, observing them, and emulating them have influenced me the most! The lessons my grandparents have instilled in my mind have carried me through many exams and final papers. The love they have instilled in my heart has sustained me through the most challenging times. The cultural values they have instilled in my life has humbled me in so many ways. I cannot deny how much they have shaped my consciousness, influenced my choices and have guided the work that I do. When you are raised around that kind of environment, you cannot help but to innately know that you must give back some how.

on this special day...I dedicate this blog entry to my maternal grandparents; Tonga and ‘Ana Malohifo’ou, who embraced me when I was alone, who loved me when it was difficult, who taught me everything good they knew, who instilled within me a love for my Tongan heritage, who taught me to love fiercely and to speak gently, who humbled me with their very presence, who encouraged me to dream dreams that surpasses the status quo, who believed that there was a place in America for a young Tongan girl who dared to dream, and who infused a love of God into my psyche, to both of you I will forever be indebted!

I know that they are rejoicing together today and I hope that they both know how much I love, respect, and honor their memory, everything they stood for, and all that they have taught me.



[back in the day kickin' it with Grams and Gramps.]

[another generation of kids kickin' it with Gramps]

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Updates for this week...

Just wanted to share some cool things going on this week...

Tuesday (04/14/09)... I will be on a panel discussion at 11am aired live on Studio 5 KSL TV discussing "Recognizing Ethnic Diversity" ... I really don't like being involved in these discussions because I feel that people never really want to dig deep into the heart of diversity and what it means. However, I have agreed to be involved in this one since the producer (Stephanie Bryson) sent me a really compelling email explaining that this will be a different sort of discussion. This discussion is suppose to move beyond the surface discussions of we will see how it all turns out.

Thursday (04/16/09)...I will be part of a panel for the Pacific Islander Course at SLCC discussing the H.Y.P.E. Movement.

Friday (04/17/09)... A couple of us will meet with Melinda Rogers (reporter from the Salt Lake City Tribune) and her editors to discuss some pressing issues about the ways in which they have continued to misrepresent our Pacific Islander communities in the media, but especially in their reporting in the Salt Lake Tribune!

Saturday (04/18/09)... Asaeli Matelau and I will be interviewed on Island Vibe radio from 4-5pm on AM 630...we will be discussing the H.Y.P.E. Movement and also the FACE Movement

Monday, April 13, 2009