Report from Samoa
The devastation of Satitoa
Latest news from Satitoa - 4/12/2009
SITUATION REPORT – SATITOA - SITREP - 4 091204 Satitoa
As at:4 Dec 09 0800
We have a project with buy in and we will make a difference.
Great to be so well supported from home.
All good with minor hiccups. Received Fax on Box content.
3.1 NZ HI COMM/NZAID
Met with Helen Leslie (Dr Leslie, First Secretary) first thing and reaffirmed the priorities. We need to thank her, the Hi Comm and the staff for the support it was invaluable.
The Hi Comm may visit us on site so perhaps some publicity at the national level.
Will talk again today to update.
Many thanks for the support and the quick response to my various requests. I am very satisfied that we have a viable project.
3.3 Satitoa Visit
Travelled out to talk to Te’o and the leaders. Three in all the others choosing to leave the decision to the three, they being the Methodist minister, the LMS Minister and Te’o.
We have agreed that it will not be built in the old village but in an area close to the new area and accessible to all. It will be a temporary church for the Congregational church (LMS), a pre-school for the entire community and later a residence for the LMS Minister and a pre-school. This was what was happening before so we are giving back something they lost – that is good.
The reason for not building in the old area is that the vast majority of the village folk do not want to come back – yet. They are scared and have yet to make the big decisions and I am not sure when they will make those. It maybe years, it maybe months. That is for them but in the mean time Wanganui has made a tangible contribution that will make a difference.
We will make the final decision on Friday at a meeting at 1530.
This will mean I have a problem with the location of the container – a big hand move or I might find a truck. This has to happen at their pace not ours so we will deal with it as and when.
In my travels and discussions yesterday I heard more horror stories.
Apparently the actions of the Tsunami opened both old and new graves and bodies and coffins were strewn about. Some recent ones, you can imagine what people were confronted with.
I also met a lady who was caught in the top level of a house that was surrounded by the water – somehow the house only partially collapsed and all 8 survived. But they watched the whole thing.
All sorted, unloading from the ship today, I will attend that and transport tomorrow or late today.
I will do a recon today and if I need more will get back to you before the end of the day or on Monday NZ time. I don’t think there is an issue just not sure about the phone bill…..
Yet again I am humbled and I continue to feel inadequate with the thanks I get – it’s not me and I am sure the people of Wanganui didn’t do this for the thanks. What these folk went through, this is the least we can do, and let’s see if we can, somehow, continue it.
I have sent the team brief, hope that does the job.
I am having a breather this morning and this afternoon will be working on getting the container up to Satitoa.
By the way I am having a traditional Sunday suit being made, pick up tomorrow!!!