Samoan Women Writers Inspire, Motivate, Educate Americans

Feature

By Blue Chen-Fruean

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, May 17, 2016) – Published Samoan author Sia Figiel is currently in cheese country, on her way to Washington DC to advocate for “Walk the Talk” which raises much needed awareness for two problems that greatly affect the global population, especially Samoans: obesity and diabetes.

Sia is being hosted in Wisconsin by fellow female Samoan writer Lynn Pulou Alaimalo, whose husband SFC Christopher Uperesa Alaimalo of Vatia and Auasi is stationed at Fort McCoy.

Among other things, Sia is also promoting the release of her newest book “Free Love”. Yesterday, she was invited to be a guest speaker at Tomah High School. Afterwards, she attended a ‘Meet and Greet’ with members of the HoChunk Nation Native Tribe of Wisconsin. Sia and Lynn are having a blast.

The two women come from different backgrounds but the goal is ultimately the same: to use the written word to inspire, reach, motivate, and educate others.

Sia has written popular novels including the award winning “Where We Once Belonged” and “They Who Do Not Grieve”. She also has a collection of poetic works entitled: “The Girl in the Moon Circle”.

Lynn is much younger than Sia and looks up to the older writer for inspiration. On her Facebook page, Lynn did not contain her feelings about having Sia stop by for a visit. In the days leading up to the two authors' meeting, Lynn happily expressed her excitement about Sia's visit.

She also posted about going to the airport and seeing a Samoan woman with a malu (traditional Samoan tattoo for women), and a walking stick, waiting to get picked up.

Lynn is a 2000 graduate of Faasao High School who served in the US Army.

Following high school, Lynn dabbled in courses involving literature and English at the City College of Chicago -Europe (Harold Washington College, Kosovo).

She eventually enrolled with the University of Phoenix where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Service, with a concentration in Psychology in 2014.

Just this past December, Lynn earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration, also from the University of Phoenix. She is now a first year law student at Concord Law School, pursuing her Juris Doctor degree.

“My plans are to continue to work and set an example, especially among flourishing generations moving off island,” Lynn said in response to Samoa News inquiries over the weekend.

“There is a misconception of living the mainland life or life off-island. Many see it as a vacation or land of opportunity, which it is; however, settling longer in a vacation mode in the US without working doesn't accomplish anything. I think that everyone deserves greater things in life and I also think that in order to see fruition or greater things, one must endure through a longevity of pursuits and determination to work hard.”

Lynn continued, “Time should be invested in pursuing a job to help Mom and Dad, or a college degree to gain insightful experience to benefit our people when we return home.”

The “Lovefolds of Our Upbringing” author says she wants to move back to the territory and “serve in good faith in the future.” She explained, “I carry my homeland with me knowing that no matter where I am, I’ll never forget my family, my church, my village, my archipelago.”

She explained that during her service in the United States Army, she worked as a small arms and towed artillery repairer.

“When I got out, I knew there were no gunsmith stores in American Samoa. Secondly, police officers don't holster guns. I knew then that my former job wouldn't in any way benefit our territory. So I went back to college.”

She said, “There's always compassion in helping and supporting people. Drawn from personal values and experiences of working with clients, I enjoy working in hands-on areas where I get to see, greet, help and laugh with clients. In life, when you choose something you love to do, ‘you will not work a day in your life’. That is what I want to do.”

Lynn concluded, “I also value advocacy. Many women and children are undergoing physical abuse, sexual harassment, and neglect in our territory. They are shushed by a fear for their lives and the fear of being shamed by their very own, or in other basis of cultural values. I want to assist, empower, and advocate for this clientele.”

In an initial interview with Samoa News last year, Lynn said her sole inspiration was to obtain the knowledge and seek the gateway to share with younger generations back home.

“I remember there were so many students in American Samoa who wrote beautiful essays during Young Writer's Essay Competition Island-wide in my elementary years. They have so much potential and talent, which inspired me to keep attending workshops to pursue lifelong learning for writing. I always held an intense yearning to learn more, which I am now using to pinpoint friends and relatives to the direction most states and countries have taken to publish a book. I also saw the opportunity as a great way to promote more writers for American Samoa and for the world to see our home, our unique culture, our people.”

Lynn works as an Army Education Counselor and resides in Tomah, Wisconsin. She and her husband have one daughter, Cyncere, and a heeler mix puppy named Molioleava Glenn. Lynn is the daughter of Leaana Tavita and Nuuuli Pulou and she is one of twelve children.

“Love to my beautiful village of Lauli'i, my parents, and my home sweet home: Amerika Samoa,” she said. “Fa'afetai tele Samoa News. Alofa tele atu. ‘Through it all, praise Him’.”

She reminded all aspiring writers, “If anyone wants to publish a book, I am open to help.”

The Samoa News
Copyright © 2016. The Samoa News. All Rights Reserved

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