Thursday, October 1, 2009


Ok everyone here's an update. I went back today but so much damage I'm going to need some help as will the village because no aid organizations have come (they are focusing on Poutasi and Lalomanu who were hit hardest). So the Peace Corps Office has organized a work day in my village with the volunteers. We are going clean up the remnants of my house and see what we can do to help the village clean up. We are also going to donate what we can to the family who lost everything. I have some pics to show you courtesy of Casey letting me borrow his camera.

First, this is my house before:


You can see a bit of the foundation next to the open fale which is still standing. The tsunami basically picked my house up and deposited it 10-15 feet in front. My toilet however was about 50 feet from where it should have been. No more papaya tree or garden of course. Below is next to my house. There used to be an open fale which looked like the one in the picture above except raised off the ground a few feet. As you can see, it is no longer there. The rubble in front used to be signs which told of our marine protected area. Looking today, the buoys are gone marking the boundaries and the men were trying to find our giant clams. We had over 300 clams we were raising to repopulate the reef. I'm curious to see the condition of the MPA when I go back.

This is leading into the mouth of the river. Trees are down and mud everywhere. I was just past this as the water came.

This river forms the eastern boundary of my village. The road into my village parallels this river. I was a few hundred feed from this river as the water rushed up it. You can see the damage done by the wave. The bridge this picture was taken on was wet after the tsunami from water rushing over it.
This is what is left of the Salani Surf Resort. Salani is the village to the east of my village. The resort was destroyed but most of the village has survived. Some houses have collapsed, but the damage is not as extensive as other villages. No one in Salani died from what I have heard. I guess the rumor of a boy dying was false, thank goodness.

This was a damaged house in Salani. Most the village is ok, a few collapsed houses like this one.

This is Poutasi. There used to be a school building running perpendicular to the building you see on the left. As you can see, the area is basically one big clearing now. Poutasi got hit hardest in the district.

Poutasi is now a giant clearing. It is like after a tornado...not much left.

Better news is I now have a place to live. After the tsunami a family was already tidying up a room for me when the Peace Corps Office came to get me. They offered to house me for the rest of my service. I really like this family so I'm happy I'll be able to live with them. The mother of this family happens to be the daughter of the family who's house was near mine and destroyed. So we are all pretty close. I went out with the office today and we talked with a family. All that needs to be done is to fix the locks and windows and I'm ready to go. Hopefully by Monday or Tuesday next week I'll be back home.

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