Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A few bad apples don’t ruin the bushel

Despite the fact people looted the few things I had left after a tsunami destroyed my house, the stories of people rising to the occasion out shine the actions of the bad. It isn’t like looting is a Samoan concept; evil people worldwide take advantage of others’ misfortune after disasters. Ever since the tsunami people have rushed to help. As I was coming in on Tuesday a few hours after the disaster, caravans of cars were already headed over to the south side to help. Teams from New Zealand and Australia have come in to help in the relief effort. People are volunteering their time to help distribute food and clothing to the displaced families, while some are given the solemn task of looking for those who did not survive. Since Tuesday, Peace Corps Volunteers have come in from their villages to help out in Aleipata and Falealili, spending long hours in the sun helping those in need. Companies have donated time, food, materials, etc to help out the relief effort. A phone company gave free credit Tuesday and I think Wednesday as well so people could get in contact with friends and family. They also gave generators and cell phone recharging stations to Red Cross relief stations so people can charge phones and continue their hard work. A restaurant shut down to the public and cooked exclusively for relief workers. A telethon raised over $600K tala for the relief effort.

Many of the families do not want to leave their homes, even if all they have left is the foundation. They set up tarps and crowd as many people under it as possible. Efforts are being made to get tents and simple household items they can use to cook. Most of the clean-up is done and soon the painful rebuilding process will begin. Many on the south coast do not have the means to rebuild or are too scared to go down to the sea again. The south side looks like a different world. While driving through Lalomanu, it is hard to see where the beach fale resort was where I had vacationed just 4 months ago. Nothing is left of most of the area. All the way up to the mountain is nothing but destruction. Despite all this, people are going out everyday to help the victims. As much as we as humans can get discouraged by all the bad aspects of human nature, it is encouraging to see the good come out and the true spirit of humanity shine.

No comments:

Post a Comment