What Now? What’s happening. What’s next. Breathe.

Dear Beautiful World,

It is OFFICIAL. I posted it on my Facebook, instagram and twitter, so it must be, LOL. The world now knows.

photo (65)

10.28.2014 Dear World, Dreams Fulfilled. It is OFFICIAL. I have been holding back to share this for the past 2 months and now I am going to share with the world. I will be in AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND (Auckland Dec. 2nd – 16th, 2014) and AUSTRALIA (Sydney and Melbourne Dec. 16th – 23rd, 2014) in DECEMBER 2014! I will be painting murals, performing, doing workshops, interviewing and filming peeps for our Moana Documentary, interviewing and filming LGBTQI South Pacific Islanders, building community partners for Oceania Community Center of the Arts NYC…y mas. I am so freakin’ excited! ‘Oku Ou Fu’u Fiefia!!! Not only will this be a sojourn of learning, gaining new knowledge, being connected to my roots, my peeps, our community—I will be visiting family and friends I have not seen in yeaaarrrrs. I will be kissing the land my parents went to school (Auckland) and where my Papa grew up (Melbourne). I will be swimming in the South Pacific Ocean, a place I definitely call home. Oceania, I am coming home. #OceaniaNYC #MoanaOurName #MoanaOurStory #MoanaLove #Aotearoa #NewZealand #Australia #Auckland #Sydney #Melbourne #Artista #Artist #LGBTQ #Queer #PacificIslanders #SouthPacificIslanders #Community #Home #Api #TonganaAmericana

Ok, that’s the future I am stepping into. WOW. It’s happening.

What NOW? Well, I gotta go be in action about all of this future stuff….I got work to do.

Tawk to ya laters.

‘Ofa lahi atu always,

mo diesel, mo money, mo difference.



Casualities Poem 2/30

written by vaimoana litia makakaufaki niumeitolu
Harlem, NYC Baby
April 2014

when i had weapons of war
you had your arms
wrapped around my belly
of bombs & nightmares
you brought
embraces and home
no violence
no battles
i brought
broken plates and kitchen
warm rice
cold lemonade
history and science
books that can not be read
only learned over time

i never wanted to be handcuffed
you never thought you were good enough
to have me
tied up and bound
that is what we were both fighting for

you requested love
my inside voice
carressing my high cheek bones
gliding my inner thighs

i requested love
speaking out loud
amazing grace translations that are
not lost but found
fresh water

you crave peace
100 pieces of mi corazon y mi amor
exist in our Pacific Ocean
on your coastline and mine

this marriage is war to me
you said you don’t want it to end
i wanted the war to end
come home
you said
come home






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Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender Poem 1/30

I cheated. I wrote this poem in 2011. The first time I read this poem aloud for peeps was in Chicago in 2012. I want to read this poem LIVE aloud for my Mum. I love her so much. Hope you Enjoy!
Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender
Para Mama
written by vaimoana litia makakaufaki niumeitolu
Inwood; NYC, NY
I watched Mama do laundry, taxes, pray daily
solve math problems on campus and off campus
speak un-broken-re-mixedEnglish
black y blueberry bruises make up and made up lives
in our blue trailer in this trailerpark InternationalIntegrationIndigenous
Incredible neighborhood of nuevaAmerica
where we ate our orange marmalade on toasted english muffins
for breakfast—whaaaaat?!!
We lived on University Avenue
Avenue of the hardestworkingDreams that mop your floors & clean your counters
The Avenue of our Mormon patriarchal not matriarchal blessings
I live there
Education was why we came to live in this fenced in gravel snow cement grass patch
We landed and discovered these pilgrims’ promised perpetual land
Opportunities don’t wait for the bus or lay-a-ways
Infinite walks under moonlight alongside a car without registration and insurance
Call back next moth, let’s see what our dreams will bring then
when we got some to give

She woke up early to go to work and get me ready for kindergarten
I woke up early to explore this NewWorld, this NewLandlockedLand
once ocean
the evidence is everywhere: You, Me, seashells, seapeeople, seafood
seadollars that can’t pay the rent or buy a christmas tree
or even be placed on an altar surrounded by candlelight
these exoskeletons are no longer desirable
our own skeletons come alive
we function our human machine being
feed and act as barrier
against desiccation
This is the Place This NewLand
we don’t got to rely on the sea
so we aint haveta survive on ocean, moon and/or tide
no need to call whale, brother or sister
seal and turtle, cousin
We can forget those modes and mobiles of communication
We got the melchizedek priesthood and hell
We got pre-existence pre-knowing you
We got these pretests to take, we knew in our pre-mortal life
All this education pre-kindergarten

She was the 1st
1st one to leave
for college in new zealand
1st mormon in her familia
1st tongana PhD in the mainland of this united states of north america
You are 1st, Mama
This is the Place
This is the Place, you belong
You are 1st
Not me, not Fui, not Loa, ‘Amelia or David
Not your Husband, your Father, Saia or your Mother, ‘Ana Vaimoana
Not your Sisters, Mani, Kalo, or Brothers, Haloti, Saia, Kelepi
Not your grandchildren
Not Siaosi, Sara, Vai, Edna, Fui, Kepa, Mailo, or Victoria
Not your students, your boss, your boss’s boss,
Not everyone or anyone
This is the Place
First Place
You are 1st, Mama

I listened to Mama drink coco, read books, sing out loud
She always tucked me into bed
She was the one who went to sleep late and woke up early
She was first to hang up my paintings and drawings all over her home and office
She gave me my first paint brush and paint
She gave me my first paper and pen
She gave me my first book to read

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Dealing with Death, Dealing with Life

A Parting Word

You are lights.
Wherever you are is lighted.
You are never in darkness.
You are only approaching darkness.
You are never in death.
You are only approaching death
for when death is entered
it is life.
For you are alive.

Therefore, once you have found yourself
you are infinitely safe
for you are always who you are:
Ultimately, when you return Home
to be received by God,
you will welcome yourself
with love and understanding.
from “Enmanuel’s Book” A manual for living comfortably in the cosmos. Introduction by Ram Dass. Compiled by Pat Rodegast and Judith Stanton

I thought I would never be able to handle, much less deal with my Father’s death. 1 year, heck, even 2, 3 years before my Father passed away, I was always anxious and fearful that my Father would die. I constantly bit my bottom lip and would cry ferociously. I cried on the subway. I cried walking to work. I cried walking from a party. I cried walking to the Bodega. I cried in the middle of a conversation. I cried always, always at witnessing love between family members, couples, puppies, even cartoons. I bit my bottom lip every night while I was sleeping, that to this day, I have 2 black bite marks on my bottom lip that I try to hide. People ask me, “Why do you have that on your lips?” I tell them that I bite my lip uncontrollably but I don’t tell them why. In the Fall of 2010, my Father told us he was diagnosed with cancer. What? Leukemia. What? My heart–What?–dropped. Then it started pounding a thousand beats at once. What? Why? Why? No. No. Why? Not him. What? Why him? Ok. No. Never will I accept this. Ok, I need to accept this. What? No. Repeat. For 3 years.

6 months ago, on June 1, 2013, my Father passed away. I was there with him when he passed on to his next journey. I was so happy, honored, and very blessed to be there with him. I was holding his hand. Wait, he was holding my hand, and I remember when he tightened my hand into his. I knew this gesture meant he was ready to go. I was the only person with him. My mother left the room an hour before to take a nap. She was so tired and so relieved I was there to be with him. For she was in the ICU all 9 days, he was there, day and night, with them. She needed to rest. My brother, David left a few hours before. He never accepted that our Dad was sick and was going to die. Just like me, David was always questioning, Why and being in denial, No, this is not happening. I didn’t accept it all, until 1 month prior to my Father’s death. One day over the phone, my BFF, Gabby, gently said, “Do you know death is a part of life. Your Father is going to die, Moana. All of us are one day.” I sobbed with acceptance. I sobbed for departure. I sobbed again because it felt good to let all the tears and sorrow out. I knew I was ready for anything. I just wanted to be with him. Be there for him. Be there with him before he took his last breath. And I was.

My father passed away in the late afternoon on a beautiful, sunny Saturday on the 1st of June 2013. He passed away at home, my parents home in Sandy, Utah. I flew in from New York City that day, only a few hours before he passed away. He got to see my smile and laugh. I got to see him smile and laugh in his eyes. (I’m taking a little moment to just cry while I write this because I remember that moment so well.) The chemo and cancer impacted his physical body so much, that his face was so sunken in and his mouth could no longer be controlled by his muscles. It just hung open like the rest of his body. Everything, his ears, his arms, just hung, flapped out, swollen and sore, laid out to rest like soggy laundry craving the sun for warmth and to dry. My Father was in the ICU for 9 days before he passed away; of course, he was spent. He finally came home, where he wanted to be. With his family. With me. I have it, that my Father was waiting for me to come back to say Goodbye. (I have to take another moment, to cry and blow my nose). 9 days earlier, I told him, “Papa, I will be back. I’m going to NYC now. I will be back, ok, ok, Papa, listen to me, I will be back, I’m going to NYC and will be back here, with you. With you Papa. ‘Ofa lahi atu.” He gave me this look of, You better, I will miss you. I love you. Come back soon. I did come back to see him go. I saw his soul leave his body. He was in Peace. Even though his physical body was so weak, his spirit was so STRONG. SO much LIGHT in that man, so BRIGHT, so much LOVE. His soul left in peace and in great slow flight. I was overwhelmed with so much profound love and peace. My Father passed away in great peace, freedom and light.

I want you to know my Father was unstoppable love, light, freedom, immense joy and happiness. He was the most generous and strongest man on the planet. He was very brilliant and very humble. Super funny and super smart. Everyone enjoyed his presence, even strangers. He created the world to be fun and enjoyable. He created this world to be sooo kind. My Father was a very, very kind man. When you met him, you got you were loved and accepted. Everyone knew him by his heart and his class. Yes, he was very classy. My Daddy had swagga before swagga was born. He taught what I value: love, passion, art, poetry, generosity, family. Yes, Family. My Father was family. He stood for family, our family, through it all: challenges, pain, struggles, sorrow, forgiveness. Forgiveness. My Father taught me how to forgive. Yes, to truly forgive. ‘Ofa lahi atu Papa. I love my life because of who you are and what you brought to me and this planet. Thank you for my life. Thank you for your life. Thank you. Thank you.

Mi Mama and Mi Papa and I. I love this picture of Us.  Provo, Utah. Sept 2009.

Mi Mama and Mi Papa and I. I love this picture of Us.
Provo, Utah. Sept 2009.

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Please click on image to enlarge

Passport to Stealing

Dear Nanette Lepore,
My name is Vaimoana Litia Makakaufaki Niumeitolu and I would like to meet you. I think we can learn a lot from each other. Being that you are, as Wikipedia states, “a well known fashion designer based in New York City,” I know I can learn a lot from you. I know I am not a well known fashion designer. Hellooo, I am not even on Wikipedia. However, I, too, am an artist. I am a painter and muralist. I am a poet and writer. I am an actress and playwright. I don’t necessarily identify myself as a fashion designer per se, I identify myself as a fashionista. I am the creator of re:spect, an emerging clothing line, that I say is urban indigenous. I too, am based in New York City. I am also an Educator and Teacher. I have taught in public schools, after-school programs, and universities and colleges all over NYC and internationally for the past 15 years. I say this later identification with great intention because the intention of this letter is to not only educate you (and others who would also like to learn. This is an open letter) but to also make a difference with you. I am committed that this letter actually make a difference for you and therefore, positively impact, inspire and move you into action. At the end of this letter, I have very specific requests of action for you. I know we have just met–ok, not really met, since I have not met you in person–but if you are going to spend some time reading this letter, I do not want to waste your time.
The title of this letter is titled “Passport to Stealing.” This title is actually referring to the fashion spread that features your clothing titled, “Passport to Style.” I like word play. It’s smart, catchy, humorous and can be fun, right? However, at the risk of not sounding smart, catchy, humorous and fun, I gave that title to my letter because I want to call something what it is: stealing. First, I want to give some context to this word, which is a verb, which makes it an action: stealing. When I say the word, stealing, I am not coming from the context of it being bad or good. I am not even coming from the context of right or wrong. I must say this because, normally when we hear the word “stealing,” we go immediately to that it is wrong not right. That is bad not good. And therefore whoever is in the action of “stealing” is seen as a bad person, not doing something right. And therefore, that “bad person” may be experiencing feelings of shame, guilt, and or feeling bad. That is not the context I am writing from. I wrote earlier that my intention is that I am committed in making a difference for you. Making you feel bad or feel guilty or feel full of shame, is not going to make a difference for you or me. Or anyone else for that matter. What would make a difference is accountability. I will write more about accountability later in this letter. We must first make sure we are on the same page. Let’s go back to the context I am coming from with stealing. I am coming from the context of exactly what it is. And what it is, is it’s definition. Let’s go to the definition of stealing. I found this definition of stealing on the free online dictionary. The definition of stealing comes from the word steal:

steal /stēl/verb present participle: stealing
1. take (another person’s property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it.
“thieves stole her bicycle”
synonyms: purloin, thieve, take, take for oneself, help oneself to, loot, pilfer, run off with, abscond with, carry off, shoplift;
embezzle, misappropriate;
off with, rob, swipe, nab, rip off, lift, “liberate”, “borrow”, filch, pinch, heist;
“the burglars stole a fax machine”
•theft, thieving, thievery, robbery, larceny, burglary, shoplifting, pilfering, pilferage, looting, misappropriation;
“he was convicted of stealing”
dishonestly pass off (another person’s ideas) as one’s own.
“accusations that one group had stolen ideas from the other were soon flying”
synonyms: plagiarize, copy, pass off as one’s own, pirate, poach, borrow;
rip off, lift, pinch, crib;
“his work was stolen by his tutor”
take the opportunity to give or share (a kiss) when it is not expected or when people are not watching.
“he was allowed to steal a kiss in the darkness”
synonyms: sneak, get stealthily/surreptitiously
“he stole a kiss”
•(in various sports) gain (an advantage, a run, or possession of the ball) unexpectedly or by exploiting the temporary distraction of an opponent.
(of a base runner) advance safely to (the next base) by running to it as the pitcher begins the delivery.
“Rickey stole third base”
2. move somewhere quietly or surreptitiously.
“he stole down to the kitchen”
synonyms: creep, sneak, slink, slip, slide, glide, tiptoe, sidle, edge
“he stole out of the room”
direct (a look) quickly and unobtrusively.
“he stole a furtive glance at her”

Whether you choose part 1 or part 2 of the definition of stealing, I must acknowledge that you have been stealing. The designs and patterns you have been using, which are shown in the “Passport to Style” fashion spread and on your website, Facebook page and elsewhere, have all been stolen. You took these designs and patterns from the islands of Fiji and the Fijian people and did not acknowledge them. These are not yours. I do not understand why you claim they are yours. They are not. Anyone who knows and can see them, can see that the “Emperor has no clothes”–this does not belong to you. You also claim, or have shared, that they are “African” and “Aztec.” (I am referring to the “Passport to Style” caption that states that these designs & patterns are “African” and “Aztec.” You may have shared this same information elsewhere. ) I must say that your claim that you designed this yourself and that this is “African” and “Aztec” is absolutely incredulous and ludicrous. Let me make it real for you and tell you what I mean.
I lived in Florence, Italy for 6 months when I was a Junior attending New York University. This was my study abroad city I chose because I was a Studio Art Major. I wanted to immerse myself in Italian Renaissance art. The semester before I moved to Italy, I spent 1 semester taking an Italian language course. In Italy, I continued my Italian language course, along with my Italian Art History & Culture classes. I relished in seeing live and direct the masterpieces by Michelangelo, DaVinci, Caravaggio and my favorite, Pontormo. I would spend countless hours in churches and museums gawking, studying, and pondering their artwork. I remember looking at a Pontormo painting for 8 hours, no kidding. They had to kick me out of the church because I did not want to go home. That said, I became very familiar and knowledgeable with the Italian language, culture and art history. Even before I looked up the origin of your last name (I told you, I do my research) Lepore, I knew that it is Italian and/ possesses Italian roots. It would be ridiculous for me to say that your name is Fijian or Swahili because that is inadequate to the facts of those languages. For those who know and are familiar with Oceania languages and names, could recognize that my name is Tongan. No one would ever say it is Italian or Irish, that would be ridiculous. It would also be very ridiculous for me to take an exact replica of the statue of David and share it in an international magazine stating that it is Asian and Fijian–and that I was the creator of the statue. First of all, everyone would know that I was not the creator of the statue of David (Ohhh, I think there would be an uproar in the Vatican). And second of all, people would either just laugh and find me quite inadequate (cray cray as we in say in the South Bronx) and/or there would be major upset and rage. For me to even make the claim that I created the statue of David is totally horrifying and an insane claim, right? And that is what I must relate to you. Your claim is horrifying and insane. Another way to say it: it’s like me taking a Scottish kilt and make into a prom dress. I then proceed to market it by saying that I created this dress and that it is Indonesian. Crazy, right? Yeah, that’s what I am saying.

Let me make this more real to you, if it is not communicating. I understand Fiji and Africa may be foreign and exotic places to those who have never been to or lived in Fiji and Africa. People in New York who have never been to or lived in Ohio (I did my research, you were raised there) or Utah (where I was raised) think those places are interchangeable. I know they are not interchangeable because I have actually been to Utah and Ohio. Geographically, they are completely in 2 different locations in the U.S.A. That is why they are 2 different states. Utah is more in the South West part of the U.S.A while Ohio is more North East, which some refer to as the mid-west because it is not located on the north east coast of the U.S.A. I also know, that you and I can talk about Ohio and Utah. We can be able to share similarities and differences between them. Point is, they are 2 distinct places. Just like how Fiji and Africa are 2 distinct places. They have similarities and differences but they are distinct from each other. Fiji is a country. Africa is a continent. FYI: When you say African, I am still unclear. There are many countries, distinct cultures, languages and people in Africa. Do you mean Egyptian, Ethiopian or Congolese? I only mentioned 3. And I have not even talked about your claim of the designs and patterns being, “Aztec.” Fiji is as an island country in the South Pacific. When I write, South Pacific, I am referring to the southern region or also known as the southern hemisphere of the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean on planet Earth. Fiji, formerly known as the Republic of Fiji, is located in the South Pacific Ocean. Those designs and patterns you have claimed to be yours are from Fiji. You may not know this because I understand, you may not be familiar or knowledgeable about Fijian language, culture or art. You may not have lived or studied in the South Pacific. I get it. You just didn’t know. Well, knowledge is power, so let me offer you some power.

I know you live in NYC. In NYC, our South Pacific Islander community is small but it exists. Knowledge and an education can be learned if you are willing. I would like to meet you because I would like to educate and share with you the knowledge about Fiji and the South Pacific. In the South Pacific, the context of education and knowledge is not necessarily gaining information or becoming more smarter than others. Rather, the context of education and knowledge is being connected to a community, love, compassion, kindness and generosity. I do not request an apology from you, I request accountability. You just did not know and you were unaware. However, not knowing and being unaware anywhere in the world, causes major upsets and consequences. You can be accountable for your actions and that has power & integrity. You can get into action. Here are my 4 requests I make of you.
1. I request you publicly acknowledge the designs and patterns you have used are indeed, stolen and they belong to the people and culture of Fiji. I request this acknowledgement is not only in written form (that you post on your website, Facebook page and other sources you can share this) but that you also create & share a video of this acknowledgement. This acknowledgment includes a description of what you are going to do (see the rest of the requests below) and have done to make this acknowledgment complete.
2. I request you no longer steal Fijian designs or patterns. I request you no longer steal any Peoples/Cultures’ designs or patterns period.
3. The money you have already received from the dresses and other clothes you have already sold that obtain these designs & patterns, I request you donate this money to Fijian artists. To Fijian artists that live and create their art in Fiji. There are many Fijian artists that exist in the world. They would appreciate these funds very much and use these funds to make a difference in the world.
4. I request you actually travel to Fiji and meet and have conversations with at least 4 Fijian Artists. I request you ask them what these Fijian designs and patterns, the ones you have used and stolen, mean. I request you ask them how they define art, how they define fashion, how they define love. I request you ask them what their dreams are. I request you answer the question, “Why is knowing Fijian art and culture important to me?”

I request you do all these above actions by Oct. 1, 2013. (except for #4. Request #4, I ask you do that by Feb. 1, 2014.) Please contact me when these actions are complete. Of course these requests are what they are, requests. You can say Yes, No, or give a counter offer. I acknowledge you in reading this letter in it’s entirety. I thank you for your time, consideration and generosity. Thank you for being willing to learn, get educated and looking at your work from another’s point of view. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Respectfull yours,
‘ofa lahi atu,
Vaimoana Litia Makakaufaki Niumeitolu
Sandy, Utah to NYC (I will be there next week!)
email: indigoartista@yahoo.com

P.S. Please enjoy the picture I have attached of my 3 year old niece, Victoria Niumeitolu in my parents’ dining room. She is standing in front of our Fijia tapa, Fijian masi. See, the designs and patterns you used in your clothing? This is the source. No, not what’s in my parents’ dining room, Silly. I am saying the source is Fijian tapa, Fijian masi, the art form. The source and creator of those designs and patterns are from Fijian tapa, masi, an art form only found in the Pacific. This art form is not necessarily an object or thing, it’s an action. A community action. Tapa can’t be made alone. It must be made within the community. Only through the community’s actions does this art form exist. If this is what you wish to create, it must be done within community. I wish you all the best on the next part of your journey!

Please click on image to enlarge.

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she never knew she was the cause

i’m still in Utah. today I am blasting poetry in Sandy. One of my favorite poems and poets. I listen intently to this poem time and time again. I am always moved. para siempre. thank you Mikey. I hope you and my Papa are sharing stories. malo ‘aupito.

Seeking the Cause
by Miguel Piñero

he was Dead he never Lived died died he died seekin’ a Cause seekin’ the Cause

because he said he never saw the cause but he heard the cause heard the cryin’ of hungry ghetto children heard the warnin’ from Malcolm heard the tractors pave new routes to new prisons died seekin’ the Cause seekin’ a Cause he was dead on arrival he never really Lived uptown . . . downtown . . . crosstown body was round all over town seekin’ the Cause thinkin’ the Cause was 75 dollars & gator shoes thinkin’ the Cause was sellin’ the white lady to black children thinkin’ the cause is to be found in gypsy rose or j. b. or dealin’ wacky weed and singin’ du-wops in the park after some chi-chiba he died seekin’ the Cause died seekin’ a Cause and the Cause was dyin’ seekin’ him and the Cause was dyin’ seekin’ him

he wanted a color t. v. wanted a silk on silk suit he wanted the Cause to come up like the mets & take the world series he wanted . . . he wanted . . . he wanted . . . he wanted to want more wants but he never gave he never gave he never gave his love to children he never gave his heart to old people & never did he ever give his soul to his people he never gave his soul to his people because he was busy seekin’ a cause busy busy perfectin’ his voice to harmonize the national anthem with spiro t agnew busy perfectin’ his jive talk so that his flunkiness wouldn’t show busy perfectin’ his viva-la-policia speech downtown . . . uptown . . . midtown . . . crosstown his body was found all over town

seekin’ a Cause seekin’ the Cause found in the potter fields of an o. d. found in the bowery with the d. d. t.’s his legs were left in viet-nam his arms were found in sing-sing his scalp was on Nixon’s belt his blood painted the streets of the ghetto his eyes were still lookin’ for jesus to come down on some cloud & make everything ok when jesus died in attica his brains plastered all around the frames of the pentagon his voice still yellin’ stars & stripes 4 ever riddled with the police bullets his taxes bought he died seekin’ a Cause seekin’ the Cause while the Cause was dyin’ seekin’ him he died yesterday he’s dyin’ today he’s dead tomorrow died seekin’ a Cause died seekin’ the Cause

& the Cause was in front of him & the Cause was in his skin & the Cause was in his speech & the Cause was in his blood but he died seekin’ the Cause he died seekin’ a Cause he died deaf dumb & blind he died & never found his Cause because you see he never never knew that he was the Cause.

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September 11, 2013

Today he is not afraid to say this is what happened. Today he wants to know more.
He asked me yesterday, “Why does the U.S. want to bomb Syria?”
He listens to Tongan music and the Tongan Radio show in Utah every week. He says he wishes he spoke Tongan. He asks me how my Mum is.
Today he wants answers. Today he wants to know more.
Mo Maui 1
Mo Maui 2
Maui 1
September 11, 1973 Santiago, Chile: He was not born yet. But this is his birthplace. He will be born on Sept. 12th. One day after, 5 years later.Year 1982 Provo, Utah: I am 4 years old. My family move from La’ie, Hawai’i and arrive in Utah. Provo, Utah to be exact. We are here to begin a new life.Year 2000 Provo, Utah: He is 21 years old and leaves Santiago, Chile for the United States of America. Provo, Utah to be exact. He has grown up with Pinochet, Universidad de Chile, and Don Francisco. He arrives here with his sister, Daniela to learn English. They are here to begin a new life.
September 11, 2001 New York City: I was supposed to meet Joy downtown. I do not. I call her a few minutes before the 1st plane hits. Let’s meet another date and time. The clear blue sky is filled with black clouds for days. Thank goodness I am with Gabby. We pray and cry together.
Summer 2009 Provo & Moab, Utah: He meets a Tongan girl, me. He calls me his Tongana, mi amor, mi vida, mi cielo. I call him Maui, Baby, corazon. He teaches me Te amo. I teach him ‘Ofa atu.
September 27, 2009 Provo, Utah: We are married. We love each other. Our union creates Tonga Chile.
Winter 2009 Sandy, Utah: He is 32 years old when he will hear the words–Allende, Coup, CIA, Murder– for the first time, in our bed. We discuss war after we make love. We exchange history as well as kisses. He can not believe the black and white footage we watch together. He envies my brown eyes. He thinks his blue eyes can only see lies. He calls his father, Omar, former General in Pinochet’s army. Papa, is it true? His father tells him, “Pinochet is the best thing that happened to Chile.” I do not sleep that night. He holds me even tighter.
Summer 2010 NYC, NY: We move to NYC together. He wants to go to Ground Zero. We drive around NYC in his truck blasting Victor Jara. He is proud to be American–South American.Fall & Winter 2010: He moves to Manassas, Virginia. I file for a divorce. We do not see each other for 3 months. 3 months of breaking & crying a part. Separation becomes unbearable. We still love each other. I ride the Chinatown bus from NYC to Washington DC and back for 2 years every week. He drives around Washington DC & Virginia listening to Tiro de Gracia. He sees the Capitol Building, White house, and Washington Memorial for the first time.June 2011: I move to Manassas, Virginia so we can be together. I never thought I would leave my NYC. For him, I will. Let’s work things out. Let’s stay together. A South Pacific Islander and a South American in the South of the United States of America.Jan. 2013: We are separated again. I move back to NYC. For myself, I will. He moves back to Utah. I want the divorce finalized. He wants whatever I want. I don’t want him to want what I want. I want him to want what he wants. Loca y Loco. We both want visibility. We both want to be seen. We love each other but we are not together.June 1, 2013 Sandy, Utah: My father passes away. I live in Utah for 3 months to be with my family. I begin a new life. I still love him. I love myself.
Today September 11, 2013 Sandy, Utah: We are both back in Utah. We are friends who love each other. What does it mean to be together? Tonight we start celebrating his birthday. He will be 36 years old tomorrow. He will call his Father, Omar and brother, Claudio in Chile while we, here in Utah, drink Chile from a bottle of wine. He has not been back to Chile for 13 years. We still exchange ‘Ofa atu at the end of every phone call. I go back to NYC next week.
Feliz Cumpleanoz MSQP. Te amo para siempre. ‘Ofa lahi atu.
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‘Ofa lahi atu Papa & it’s My Birthday!!!

Long Beach, California June 2013

Long Beach, California
June 2012

What can I say?  What shall I write?  I have not written a post at all this year. Well, here is the 1st one.
There is so much more to say. But when? If not now, then when? Right?
First of all, I am devastated. I am extremely sad and torn. My heart has broken up into tiny little pieces and I am trying to s-l-o-w-l-y without confidence but with great determination and sorrow to put them together in a creative, artistic and moana love kind of way. My Father is gone and I feel like I am gone too. When folks ask me if I am okay or how I am doing, I want to SCREAM. I am not okay. I am feeling beyond blue. I am very, very, very, very, very, very sad.
I need time to be like this. I need time to be in this. I can’t just quickly smile, “He’s in a better place. He’s no longer suffering. Alright, everything is so happy!” I am definitely not happy. Really, I want you to go away.

Today I remember my Father and I want to speak of him and about him and share all who he was to me.  I absolutely LOVE my Father and the love he had for me and the whole entire world was and is SO INFINITE and DIVINE.  I have never met anyone who has the LOVE like my father has. What a great example. Did I say yet, that I miss my father????
Today is my Birthday and I’m saying, Happy Birthday Papa! You gave me your life, so that I can have the life I have now. I am so thankful and grateful to you and your life and who you are to me! Your LOVE is truly AMAZING and GREAT and AWESOME and….You’re AMAZING and GREAT and AWESOME, Papa!
I miss you.
I really, really miss you. Yes, I know you are with me in spirit and I feel your great presence. But dayum, I miss you in the physical world. I really, really do.
I hold my heart as I write this.
You were such a Great man and Father. I can’t wait to share all that I have learned from you!!! and to tell your story in my Art!!!
‘Ofa lahi atu.

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Year 2012 Completion

Created a special year end 2012 altar: filled with stones from the Irish Sea, and from the Pacific Ocean from Tonga and Fiji.

Sun 12.30.2012 I created a special year end 2012 altar: filled with stones from the Irish Sea, and from the Pacific Ocean from Tonga and Fiji.

YEAR 2012 Completion: My review of my year, my adventures, my prayers, my lessons and acknowledgements. Thank you to YOU ALL for making this year so freakin’ AMAAAZING! You truly give me my life. punto. I know this. I am here because of you. I would not have had this amazing year without you!

Dear Beautiful Peeeeeeppps, I LOVE Completion. Like for real. I LOVE 100 percent completion (That is one of the lessons I got this year, you can read more in MY LESSONS) because it feels soooo good. Lord knows, there are still so many things on my INCOMPLETION list to complete (Dang, can’t wait to complete them but for now, I can say that I am complete with them being incomplete) However, I can directly say out loud, “This is officially complete.” Like, declaring, this year is 2012 100 PERCENT COMPLETE! Here we go!
***2012 was the the year I pushed myself past my fears, past my comfort zone, past my physical limits, waaaaaaaay past where I would usually say, “I can’t do anymore”—ANNNND I did more. (i.e. when I worked on the murals in LA, I got up at 5 am and worked until 10 pm for 3 weeks. My physical body was waay past tired and my mind was in high gear everyday. During the fundraising for the Souljourney Truth Tour 2012- 2013, the schedule was similar. I have not worked so hard in my life than this year AND I LOVED IT!) Not only did I do more, but I gave more heart & soul. I shared like waaaaaay past how I thought I could ever fully express myself. I stepped into the unknown, dark, ugly and uncomfortable places of myself. I did not step over anything–I did not NOT say anything, or hide anything. I put everything in the LIGHT to truly get FREE.  2012 was a year where I met and made new BEST FRIENDS & Familia: Lah Tere (Teresita Ayala), Binni (Robin Fifita) and Carol (Carolina Bonilla). These amazing sisters who have come in my life, like they were always there. I absolutely love these sisters and I thank them for all they have given me and taught me. 2012 was also the year to truly let go of people in my life that did not serve me. I let go of 3 people in my life that I considered “family.” Because I was not stepping over anything in my life and not “tolerating” the smallness in my life, I had to let these people go. 2 of these people were friends that I have known for more than 12 years and this year, 2012, was the year for me to say, “No, this is not what I want. This is not making me grow. Why am I settling in these friendships?” I didn’t just walk away from these relationships but I completed them powerfully. I had closing conversations with them and told them why I am ending this. I gave them a chance to share what was there for them. I listened. No drama. No yelling or fights. Just completion conversations. 2012 is the year where I truly owned my voice. I shared my feelings. I confronted confrontations. I asked non-stop for what I wanted. I did not stop at a NO–not even when I when I was the one who was saying NO. I took myself ON like nothing else before. I went deep into my fears and I am so happy I did 🙂 Now I can fully own all those dark places of my self cuz I really get that I can only be a light worker–and my light can only be seen–in the dark. 2012 where I experienced myself as the artist that I say I am: a poet, a painter and an actor. 2012 is the year my favorite uncle died, Saia and when my father started chemo. My birthday this year was so amazing because I got to go to sleep and wake up to my dad and mum’s voices 🙂

MY ADVENTURES: 1-(Jan – May 2012) I was a part of the most amazing team I have ever worked with in my life, like no kidding, this team was freakin’ incredible! I was hired by CUNY’s (City University of New York) ASAP Program Headquarters to be a part of a team of 17. It was truly fulfilling and one of the most amazing teaching experiences I have had in my life. The ASAP Program is only offered in any of the 2 year colleges in CUNY (Hostos, Brooklyn College, Laguardia, I’m missing 2 others). It’s an incredible program which offers ANYONE (you can be 17 or 77 years old) free tuition, a free metro card all year long, a career specialist and a counselor to make sure you graduate and received your associates degree. More than 80 percent of the students from the ASAP program move on to get their Bachelors degree. Out of the 17 of us, 4 were Leaders, including myself, who partnered with 1-2 Student Leaders (Alumni of ASAP) per workshop. We traveled all over NYC. I went to high schools all over NYC I never knew existed. I saw for myself, the education system in NYC. I went to places in the Bronx I have never been to, I absolutely LOVE the Bronx. I was the leader who focused on leading in the Bronx and Harlem (Uptown, baby, we gets down, baby) but I also did workshops in Queens and Brooklyn too. My Student Leader Team was the best! Their stories, which were shared everyday at the workshops, were not only an inspiration to all the students but to me. Ohhh, I can share on and on about them. The high school students we met thought they never were gonna go to College, or ever leave there hood. By the time, our workshops were done, they were like, I’m going to College, where do I sign up?! They got to see that nothing could stop them–if they were undocumented, if they were failing classes, if a parent was incarcerated, if they were currently homeless, nothing was going to stop them, absolutely nothing. With my Student Leader team, we led workshops to 1,200 students and altogether as a team of 17, we led workshops to over 5,000 students in NYC!!! At our closing event, our team was recognized to accomplish the most in a short amount of time, in the history of CUNY in general. We not only met our goals but we surpassed them. We got national attention in The New York Times and Harvard University gave us shout out’s for bringing EDUCATION to ALLLLLLLL. I give major props to Melissa Fernandez and Patricia Hicks who were the head honchos in leading our team of 17. If it was not for your leadership, we would not have accomplished so much–and have the most Fun and Best time while doing it!
2-My paintings were in 7 exhibits this year in NYC, San Francisco and Florida. (Broadway Housing Gallery in Harlem, State Capital Building in Harlem, The Central Park gallery and the Steve Kirsh Gallery). I got to exhibit with amazing artists like Leon Golub and Kiki Smith. I got to talk to Felipe Luciano about my paintings on the radio. I sold a painting for $3,000.00!!! ( At the beginning of 2012, I said, I’m going to sell my paintings for $3,000.00 or more. Even more importantly, I know how I did it, so I can do it again and again in 2013! I started owning the value of my artwork and myself.)
3-2012 was the birth of my first international art project “WORLD LEADERSHIP: Women, Presence & Power.” I absolutely love this project–it’s so amazing. 2013, is the year when she starts to walk. 2-I did 6 solo performances of my poetry & monologues: in NYC (Mama Tingo Closing event), Chicago (National Writers Conference), Washington DC (Busboys and Poets), Arlington, Virginia (twice! for SULU DC and SULU DC’s collaborative event with the National Asian Conferrence) and Dublin, Ireland (For the Adult writers group, Write On).
4-I was in the VAGINA MONOLOGUES!!! This for me, was really a dream come true. I absolutely love Eve Ensler and her work. I was in 2 performances in the Vagina Monologues in Harlem (That monologue I performed, I really got to have a blast with it and share my acting skills.) Also, this year, Eve Ensler publicly became one of our Supporters of Mahina Movement’s Souljourney Truth Tour.
5-I went to LA twice to be with my family and to create the “Raices Murales.” I worked with over 160 students and adults in Bell, California. It was my very 1st mural project.
6-I lived in Manassas, Virginia from July 2012 to today and I’m moving back to NYC in 2013. (THIS is alllll For LOVE, FOR LOVE). I have traveled from VA to NYC more than 20 times this year (by bus, by car). I HAVE MY OWN CAR and you can witness me zooooommming! (Yup, he gave it to me for my Birthday!) I got to do a road trip with my BFF, Gabby to New Paltz from New York and then drive back to Virginia. I have been and seen places in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia for the 1st time. I have never witnessed the U.S.ofA like this before.
7-Mahina Movement did 27 performances and led 7 workshops in 2012. We performed with Angela Davis for the 3rd time and we also had the amazing honor to perform with Alice Walker, Russell Simmons, and Tibetan monks. I got to meet Cynthia McKinney and Majora Carter! 8-The Soul Journey Truth Tour jumped off and we performed in our 1st International Country! We raised $15,000!!! $822.00 went to Hurricane Sandy relief communities! We had 5 people travel to Ireland to perform and do workshops in Dublin, Bray and Arklow, Ireland. We created over 190 LOVE FLAGS representing NYC, Ireland and Indigenous people of North America.
9-I had my 1st photo shoot for re:spect! I actually had 2 photo shoots for re:spect! Thank you to the most amazing photographer, William Orellana and all my models who made these events so great.
10-I led 3 Silk Screen workshops including 1 at the United Nations and 2 at The Brecht Forum. I also got to lead a workshop with Ping Chong and Jesca about the Undesirable Element curriculum that I have been a part of for 13 years.
11-LEADERSHIP in the house!!!! Self Expression Leadership Program in the hizhows! I coached (I had 5 participants that completed their program successfully! from Jan – March) and am now head coaching the Self Expression Leadership Progam at Landmark Education (I have 4 coaches and 13 participants). Our SELP ends on Feb. 28, 2013. I absolutely LOVE the SELP. I can’t wait to lead the SELP in 2013!

MY (s0-called) FAILURES:
1-I was a finalist for this mural in Harlem. I didn’t get that mural but I know why. The waitress I spoke to on the phone. Now I am the lead artist for this mural in South Bronx about Mothers and their children from West Africa. Meet the Artist and workshops start in March 2013! 2-I applied to 5 fellowships/projects and I did not get any of them. But I still went 100 percent out for them!!!! And that gave me one of the best experiences/lessons of my life: I can give 100 percent of my best self to something or someone and if I don’t “win” it doesn’t matter because I am not stopped. This is what it means to be truly unstoppable. 3-SULU DC’s Artist of the year. I did not get it but I was so happy to be recognized by the community! 4-I set out to go to other countries in Europe for our Souljourney Truth Tour: Italy, Spain, England and Portugal and to do a mural in Ireland. None of this happened and I’m okay with it. It didn’t happen but now I can see clearly what I have to do to make it happen! 5-Pay back all my DEBT–no I still have mad debt like alllll my Student Loans for Columbia University and New York University. Instead of avoiding and hiding in my student loan debt (I got no credit card debt, that’s right) I am OPEN and OUT about it. I’m truly FREEEEEEEEEEE! And I am handling my business!

1-Be what you want. Like for real real. You want Love then you got to be love. You want Inspiration, then you gotta be Inspiring. The same goes for this: You are bored, that means you are boring. You are not having fun because you are not fun. BE IT and then GET IT.
2-There is no where to go. Yup, there is absolutely no where to go. You think that one day, it’s going to be Ding, Ding, Ding, I got it! Um, No. Not True at all. The time is now. There is no prize to get. Every day, breath is it. There is no where to go.
3-This is it. That’s right, this your ONE life. We got what we got and we don’t got what we got. What you gonna do?
4-Wine is good (And this is coming from a Mormon raised gurl). Yo, wine is really good. Meaning that Fun times must happen. I learned to really relax and have fun with my friends and celebrate. I’m such a workaholic, that many times, I would not want any time for leisure. I would just burn out and sleep for days. Instead of burning out, I really got to play and have fun this year! Like go to Sephora and get make-up done, eat lots of ice cream, pie and pastries, watch lots of good movies, and take long drives while following the moonlight. 5-Request galore. Ask away. Why wait? I ask for what I want. You should too.
6-100 percent completion. I love being 100 percent complete. Also, I know that I can be complete with being incomplete. And when I am incomplete, I’m getting complete, when? NOW. 7-People Matter. Friends Matter. Everything  do and am, I get because I have really good friends and people around me. I can show up because they listen to me as my TRUE ME. 8-Your Mind is not a terrible thing to waste. Your mind is terrible. period. I 9-Cheer Leading Squad in Full Effect. I have a whole cheer leading squad around me because I cheer and support people in their dreams and make sure they accomplish them. This entourage is the new black. You should get one too. 10-I have the SOUL of the Artist. I truly 100 percent know that my soul is that of an ARTIST. There is no turning back now. Only forward. 11-Being Unstoppable! Nothing and no one can stop me. Not even my own dang self.MY PRAYERS for 2013!
FREEDOM FOR ALL! Freedom for Palestine, Freedom for the DRC! Everyone eats gooood, healthy food! All the abundance in the world to you and your family! Blessings to everyone to really getting we are already enough. Sending you the most delicious juicy love and brilliant light!!! ‘Ofa lahi atuuuu!
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Shout outs to all ye amazing, beautiful peeps in mi vida! I’m so THANKFUL for you! MALO ‘AUPITO! Mi hermanas: Lah Tere, Robin “Binni” Fifita, Carolina Bonilla, AJ, Melissa, Trish, Charles Browning, Marie Varghese, Iman Khan, Re Perez, Bethany, Karen, Donte, Summer Sheridan, Tiffany Kapri Johnson, Melissa Corbett, Kambale, Omar and Janvieve, Regie Cabico, Kazembe and The Brecht Forum, Jamie Campbell and David, William Orellana and his family, Maria Marisigan, Aurora, all 300 people that funded our Souljourney Truth Tour, alllll the amazing youth and families that I met this year from LA to NYC to Ireland!!!!!!! ahhhhh yeahhhh! Mi brothers: Frank Lopez and Luke from The Peace Poets,  JL Umipig, My IRELAND gente: Niamh, Frannie, Mermaid Theater, Axis and Ballymun, Jamie for being “Amazeballs,” My SELP Crew: Ernest Biscardi who is simply the best leader, Nikki Brown, Olga, Vonda Roney, Ahimsa, My BFF, familia: Gabby “Gab*Star” My Mum and Dad, and to MSQP, te amo baby. ‘Ofa lahi atuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!
okay, I gotta do now, MSQP is calling me, we got a Polynesian celebration to go to in Maryland and we got some vision boards to make tonight. 2012 you are officially complete. 2013, here we are!!! Let’s goooooo! Let’s get it! HAPPPPPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!
‘ofa lahi atu,


It has taken us 12 years to do this. We are going on tour…hold up. We want you to know that we are not just

going on tour, we are creating this tour.
We are making this happen for ourselves. No, no one has asked us to create this tour or is paying us millions of dollars to do this. Nope. We doing it ourselves–WITH YOU!

Ever have a DREAM you want so bad, ever want PEACE sooo much in the world, that you can no longer stuff it in, shut it up, settle and go on with your life?

We ask you to come on this SOUL-JOURNEY-TRUTH-TOUR with us…For the past 2 years, we have been in preparation for this tour–cleaning up all the areas in our lives; telling ourselves the truth & accepting it even if it doesn’t feel so good; facing our fears and STILL being in action when we are afraid and nervous–and we ask you to join us!

Our Indiegogo Campaign:

We have 30 days to raise $15,000.00! We ask you to donate $7.00 or more. We want everyone to be a part of this with us, we don’t want to leave anyone out. Every dollar counts and we thank you for supporting us. Please share far and wide–facebook, twitter, smart phone, iPhone, rotary phone, your phone, your Mama’s phone. We would love for you to share and spread the word.

Here is our video:

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