"LUSI MAI TOA SAMOA" makes strides to enhance Wellness amongst the Communities.
Story by: Seli Moeai
Photos by: Martha Moeai
LUSI MAI TOA SAMOA is a Salt Lake City based organization dedicated to the Wellness of the people in the Community. The organization is comprised mainly of Samoans, but anyone is welcomed to join. The organization is currently headquartered in the Pikula Center in West Jordan but is already aspiring to expand to North Salt Lake City.
The name of the organization, explains founder and Wellness Coach, FRANCIS FILO, is derived from the act of being brave (TOA ). "It takes a lot of courage to commit to this cause and to just doing it." he says.
Upon our arrival we were greeted warmly by the friendly receptionists, SELENA HUNT and ASOSA PENI. After salutations and greetings they started right into their unrehearsed dialogue enthusiastically to which I must confess I was only halfheartedly taking in. I mean in my lifetime I have seen my share of people doing running, walking, jogging, skipping, jumping and, etc. "we have people here of all ages, like her," they said as they pointed towards the group exercising. It was the first time I noticed this little old Samoan lady amongst the group. "That's 88 years old, SERAFI HUNT" they said. To add to my astonishment, when I looked over, she was doing push-ups, yes folks, I did say push-ups. The workout portion of the exercises is about 40 to 45 mins. Followed by a discussion session afterwards.
Wellness Coach FILO started off by explaining how the organization was started 3 years ago and how much it's grown to be beneficial and helpful to the people of the community. "It's not just about the money but how we are helping people to become healthy." He said.
We work on a 20% to 80% ratio, 20% being exercise and 80% your food intake.
The program sells an all Herbal/Aloe Tea from Herbal Life products that helps detox and clean your system. There is also a tasty Shake for energy and Nutrition and my wife and I enjoyed our complimentary drinks for our first visit. They were very tasty.
MILINE BROWN then gave a very inspiring speech. She talked about a very difficult time in her life that ended her being hospitalize for her health. She talked about how MARTHA MOEAI can attest to that because she visited her in the hospital as a visiting teacher. MILINE joined the program in April weighing in at 405 lbs. to date, she has gone down to 335 lbs. and feeling great.
74 years old high chief TAPUAI VILIAMU SEUMANU, then gave his account of how his legs swelled so badly that his doctors advised him of the dire need to amputate one of his legs. He talked about his children and friends stepped in and how he was introduced to the product that has helped him tremendously. SEUMANU started the program weighing in at 286 lbs. he is now 208 lbs. his Blood Pressure is down. And he's happy he can still run around and play cricket.
High Chief USU MASI ILI, is 65 years old. He receives Dialysis treatment 3 times a week. According to his lovely sister ASOSA PENI, her brother use to have passing out spells, it would take up 5 mins. To revive him. Since he's joined the group, the fainting spells have subside and his color has returned. USU still receives Dialysis but he feels better than he's been lately.
LESTER LEALAITAFEA is the epitome of fitness. He participated in the 64 mile relay run in commemoration of the Tsunami victims in Samoa. Lester is 66 years old and runs around like a deer.
88 years old SERAFI HUNT testifies to not having excruciating pains anymore to her back. She praised and thanked her Heavenly Father for his love and compassion upon her daily.
SIONA TAFILI spoke of how dangerously he came close to dying at one point when he just passed out and collapsed. At the hospital he was told his Blood Pressure was extremely high. Through the persuasion of his friend ELU ENDEMANN, he joined the group in August while weighing 250 lbs. he is now 210 lbs., and feels invigorated and like new. His goal he says is to help his Polynesian Brothers and Sisters. "If I can help one Person, I will be very happy."
SELENA HUNT used to experience migraines. Her performance at work took a plunge due to what she describes as "foggy brain". Due to stress from events involving her personal life, she gain excessive weight even over 200 lbs. after joining the group, she's lost 30 pounds and feels healthy again. She reiterate's that the program was started by the older generation for the benefit of our young ones.
The session adjourned after the reading of the Quote of the day by MILINE BROWN.
..."Have a great attitude, never listen to negatives. It's not a race, it's a journey. Endure and persevere. Faith see's it better. In order to keep earning keep learning and go to work."
Editors note: I walked in nonchalantly and I walked out melancholy. I expected to just witness the mechanics and fundamentals of an exercise program in the making, instead I saw and heard first hand the struggle and pain of some very brave souls. My people, my brothers and sisters, my Tagata Nu'u, Tama Fanau a Samoa. I salute you all, thanks for showing me what brave means, I'm sorry for I knew not your struggle, God bless.
Group contact numbers:
Fundraiser Dance in West Valley for the Samoan Chiefs Council of Utah was a huge success.
Oct. 5th, 2013
Story and photos by Seli Moeai.
Families and friends from all around in Utah came to dance, enjoy some Samoan delicacies and help support the cause.
Organization secretary, Mareta Gasu explains, "our goal is to raise money for our community Flag Day celebrations".
The contingent plan by the organization is to have a fundraiser dance on a monthly basis. By the looks of things, the events are becoming a huge success and the community is beginning to give heed to the call for support.
Once again Vice President Noa and his "Salt Lake City Band" provided exceptional music for the evening's entertainment and dancing pleasure.
Stay tuned to "Le Malae" for details on future activities.
The Council is headed by President Tumua Sui Fagatele and Vice President Tupa'i Felise Limutau Noa.
Organization Treasuer Ko Netzler is the strength behind the groups advertisements and runs a pretty tight shift.
Salt Lake City embraces AARAHDNA.
Photos by Matthew.
"TREBLE AND REVERB". That's the title of New Zealand/Samoan Artist AARAHDNA's new Album, recently released in the United States. The Album as a whole has depth and meaning dripping from every word. "Le Malae" sat down with AARAHDNA before the show to discuss the Album. AARAHDNA was cool, poised and exuded confidence.
We discussed topics such as what influences inspired her music to how she felt about being an influence herself to the many adoring and aspiring fans.
Le Malae: Is your writing influenced by the knowledge that you are motivating the young generations?
AARAHDNA: It helps motivate me to write more music. Because I know that there are people that still care about my craft. It helps and gives me a boost.
Le Malae: The vibe for the new Album is different from your old music, do you prefer to revert back to your old stuff.
AARAHDNA: I'm proud of my old stuff and also for what I've put out lately. This new Album is a more grown, me.
Throughout the interview it was clear to see that her new Album is full of reality. From Heartbreak to being the Heartbreaker, realizing that gossip is pointless and that you can and should learn to grow from it. To seeing the "Miss Lovelies" in the world and knowing that they should be handled with care.
The concert was both stimulating and refreshing. Some of the opening Acts for the show were Sione Toki, Twin City, Makisi, and the young Jets, all of which brought great energy to the crowd.
Before she would sing each song, AARAHDNA would explain in detail how she came up with each song. That was a big plus for the crowd who now understood how each song was relative to them in one way or another.
The concert made every girl want to empower themselves and hopefully made every guy realize that their women have strength and that they were being driven by the influence of this powerful and inspiring figure......AARAHDNA .
LIA and TUPOU IOSEFA LEIATAUA LESA family reunion in Salt Lake City was "Off the Wall".
Story by Seli Moeai.
Oct. 5, 2013
Salt Lake City, UT
I am grateful to the LIA and TUPOU IOSEFA LEIATAUA LESA family for the opportunity extended to us to attend their family's reunion celebration. The festivities occurred Saturday Night, October 5th. 2013. In the City of Sandy, Utah. Watching this family celebrate, I couldn't help but notice the love and camaraderie throughout the entire evening. This family truly embodies unity and family love, the epitome of all things relative to a family's progression.
And, Have I mentioned yet the abundancy of talents? There were beautiful dancers who danced like true professionals, musicians that sang angelically, including a novel of an "Opera Singer". Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Hawaii and all other Island of Polynesia were well represented.
There was laughter and fun and merry making all throughout the evening of enjoyment. There was food galore. Family members from all around the country were in attendance. For the benefit of family members who were unable to attend this time, the family reunion was a complete success.
I would like to thank some of the hosts' for the family reunion, LOI IOSEFA SAGATO and FELISI IOSEFA and the entire family for your kind hospitality towards our staff.