Thursday, March 25, 2010
March 24 2010
I am sitting on the beach , it is Saturday afternoon, we have just finished working on building the latest Fale’ (house) It is 34 degrees Centigrade and I am all hot and sweaty and very dirty from the cement dust and the mud, the mosquito bites and a sore back where I am sunburned. The water is all turquoise and clear out as far as the reef where the coral had built up and the waves are high and crashing into each other. Inside the reef is all quiet and placid. The sky is blue with just a few clouds in the distance, all white and billowing like great towers surging upwards on the horizon. Along the coast, I can see the white sand and coconut palms bending over towards the water. It is so peaceful and serene.
Who would have thought just a few months ago there had been an earthquake and a 20 foot tidal wave that had devastated the lives of all those that used to live along this same coast. Many had survived but many had died too, families torn apart. Homes pulled apart possessions pulled into the sea. Vehicles turned upside down slammed against trees. I saw a boat about 200 yards inland wedged among trees that would have to be cut down to get it out.
How frail we are when pitched against the power of nature unharnessed. How weak we seem when placed in the situation of facing such unequal forces, and when it is all over, we pick up the pieces and start over, putting our lives back together, burying our loved ones saying good bye to past friends and looking forward to a yet uncertain future. These folks, ‘The Happy People’ are rebuilding their lives with smiles on their faces working towards a new future re-sowing their plantations (Gardens), on higher ground, with tara and bread fruit and Banana and coconut trees and pineapple plants and flowering bushes, Lychees , papayas, mangos, so life goes on and they still smile and wave when we pass by.
These people are deeply religious, forty percent are Latter-day Saints They have a deep faith that gives them courage to overcome adversity. It really does open your eyes to what is important in life. How important is the ‘stuff’ that we collect around us and sometimes feel we can’t do without. The big houses, big televisions and all the other toys we cling to. What really is important other than our kids, our family and our beliefs?
Well I am about to empty my pockets and walk straight into the sweet silky waves in front of me fully clothed and clean off. Luckily my sweet wife packed a clean set of clothes for me to change into for the drive home. Take good care of yourselves and remember those that are worse off than ourselves and do something to lighten their load. That’s the Lord program I hope it is yours.
Love and Best wishes to all
(Pat & Barb) Elder & Sister Kelly xxx
Posted by Elder and Sister Kelly at 3:31 PM