To the people who have passed on from this life to the next, Ia manuia lo outou malaga ile lagi.
To those who have lost loved ones, my sincerest and heartfelt condolences. To those of us who are left behind, be strong, have faith and live with hope. -
5 oct. 2009
Column by Grace Lefu
September 30, 2009, I was sitting on the train on my way to work when at 7:45am AEST my cell phone started ringing while the train was idle at Glenfield. I recognised the number as being from Samoa and wondered why anyone would be calling me this early.
When the caller on the other end told me there had been an earthquake which was followed by a tsunami, I thought he was joking.
If only it was a joke. The first images to filter through showed Fagatogo in American Samoa submerged under water. I wonâ€™t bother rehashing, because you all know this story.
Living outside, itâ€™s hard to fathom and imagine the complete and utter devastation that is being felt in Samoa right now. My heart bleeds and I ache with a longing for my Motherland. I have not stopped crying and Iâ€™m sure the same can be said for all of you.
I find myself scouring the internet and hanging onto the edge of my seat when a news bulletin flashes up on the TV screen.
Seeing body after body being carried out, parents burying children...itâ€™s all too much to bear.
I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s anything in this world that I could say, that hasnâ€™t already been said, or if thereâ€™s any way of putting down in words the deep sadness, sorrow and loss that I feel, because the heaviness in my heart is the same that is within yours.
The one upside in all of this is seeing Samoans from all over the world come together, in a show of solidarity and rallying people up and setting up aid drop offs and relief efforts. But thatâ€™s just how we do, right?
My cousin Sam has been organising a mini army of people to collect donations in Auckland and another cousin Tatianna is rallying people in Honolulu to gather food, water, medical supplies and clothing to send over to both Samoaâ€™s.
I am once again reminded of that great poem, The Call of the Conch Shell â€“ bringing together villagers shoulder locked in projects. We are blessed that our village is not confined to signs and borders, but our village is global. We are more than a community, we are aiga.
If you are able to donate then please do so. Every little bit helps, no matter the size of your donation, e talia lava ma le faâ€™afetai.
You can donate to any of the following charities: The Red Cross, Oxfam and Caritas. Check out the Ausaid website for more outlets. www.ausaid.gov.au
To the people who have passed on from this life to the next, Ia manuia lo outou malaga ile lagi. To those who have lost loved ones, my sincerest and heartfelt condolences. To those of us who are left behind, be strong, have faith and live with hope.
Ia faâ€™atasi pea Iesu ma tatou uma.
Alofa and Blessings, Grace.http://www.wsamoa.ws/index.php?m=25&s=&i=8064