THIS IS MY STORY OF RESILIENCE
I am 28 years old from Vaini. My mother passed way seven years ago and so I live with my 65 year old widowed father. I am the only child and ever since my mother passed away I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my father to live on his own. People tell me to get married but I tell them to stay out of my business. My father is my first priority right now.
When I got there, reality hit me right in the heart, our house was smashed to the ground.
My father called me straight away when the cyclone had calmed down to check on me. He told me to stay put in the house with my aunty and told me not to go back to our house because it would be too dangerous. He told me to stay with my aunty until he came back and assessed our home and then he would come and get me.
After the phone call with my father, I couldn’t just sit in my aunty’s house. My mind was wandering all the time about the damage made to our little home. So I decided to walk over to our house because I wanted to see for myself how much had been destroyed.
When I got there, reality hit me right in the heart, our house was smashed to the ground. Everything was wet and some of our belongings were lost.
I start cleaning up right away. I didn’t even walk back to my aunty’s house. I just started clearing up the road and the footpath to our house; the fallen trees, branches and coconuts were all blocking our footpath.
I put away stuff that was in still good condition to one side. I collected aluminium and timber on the road and footpath put it away for later use. I also pulled out big pieces of furniture like my bed and other things and put it to the side. But I needed some kind of shelter to put our things under.
I decided to put up a little temporary aluminium-shelter. I put up four coconut poles and nailed it onto of a few pieces of timber and then I banged on some aluminium as roofing - this was from all the stuff I put away while clearing.
I then put all our stuff I managed to save, including my bed, under the aluminium-shelter. I then finished off my work that day by clearing the rest of the rubbish and debris from my neighbours. I walked back to my aunty’s house satisfied that I had done some work to lessen the work that my father would have to do.
Everything is back to normal now. What we really need now is clean drinking water because we don’t own a water tank. That was going to be one of my mum’s next project for our family. Food, beddings, and clothes would also help because most of our things especially our beddings were all destroyed by the cyclone.
My dad has returned to his job. He works as a security and does both day and night shifts.
I have thought about what it would be like if I were to leave home. But then I think about my father and how I don’t want him to be lonely especially because my mother has passed away. If I had siblings it would be a different story. For now, we are absolutely fine!