Haere ra Josie!
By Maniue Vilsoni (written on 19-6-10 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)

L-R (Back) Steyn de Klerk (S. Africa) (2nd row) Eoin Cunniffe (Ireland), Cosimo Khairy (UK), Josephine Messam (NZ), Ashley Dusting (Aust), Zachary Saunders (Aust), Mohammed Al Khumairi (UAE) (Front) Cindy Aboud (Syria), Sylvia Vilsoni (Rotuma, Fiji), Henny Hougaard (Sweden), Elea Combreau (France). Photo: Desert Rangers 2009 in Al Dhaid, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.


 Muwaiji crickets in the date trees crick-cricked in unison
the nite Brit 'n' Syl whispered haere-ra
to Josie.

Tearful moanas from Aotearoa, Niue 'n' Rotuma
engaged in a heart rendering Polynesian goodbye
under a moonless Al Ain sky.

Three sinas so, so far from the marae in Cambridge,
the resounding crash of the surf in Savage Island,
'n' the sweet fragrance of the tieri in Granville.

Inseparable Pacific Island sisters
bred on tasty shawarma, chunky subways
finger-licking barbecues 'n' Middle Eastern cuisine.  

Unbreakable sisterly bonds forged at AAESS,
Amblers' club 'n' Bawadi Mall forays
 'n' crazy football celebrations on the Dubai highway.

Haere ra Jo-se-phine Mes-sam!
It was just today on tee-vee your uncle Liam 'n' the Maoris
pipped the Irish in haka-ville Rotorua.

Haere ra Josie! Be strong like your whanau!
Shukran for the me-mo-ries!
Masalaam till we meet again!


Muwaiji is the school district in Al Ain.
Niue was called Savage Island by Captain James Cook.
Rotuma was named Grenville Island by Captain Edward Edwards.
Haere ra is goodbye in Maori.
Whanau is family in Maori.
Shukran is thank you in Arabic.
Masalaam is also farewell in Arabic.
Josephine Messam is from Cambridge, Waikato in New Zealand.
Brittany Kalauni is from Niue.
Sylvia Vilsoni is from Rotuma.
The New Zealand Maoris (led by Josie's uncle Liam Messam) beat Ireland 31-28 on 18th June, 2010.