Destruction, Death, and Exile in the Village

Coming over the mountains to the south side of the island is like entering a different world. Whereas the rest of Samoa is waterlogged and covered by five inches of mud, this side looks like an atom bomb has gone off. All the trees have been shredded, and many of them lay uprooted and broken and tangled on the hillsides… but there is an orientation to the mess—you can tell they were all blow down from the same direction… the same relentless wind. They look like palm-tree dominoes. Matafa’a itself was hit hard with many roofs blown off and some houses completely destroyed. The villagers have done a good job of rebuilding some, already, and have taken in those without a home. It seems that


With so much tragedy in the news last week, you may not have seen that a category 3 cyclone (“sustained hurricane winds of 120 mph and extreme destruction”) devastated Samoa—including our little canoe village of Matafa’a. cyclone evan (pacific ocean hurricane) sitting on top of samoa I finally was able to contact them yesterday. Nobody was hurt and the canoes survived, but most of the houses and gardens were destroyed and the villagers lost most of their possessions and clothing. Ten families are living in the church. The entire island will be without electricity for months. I will be going to help in mid-January—bringing a generator, water purification system, building tools, and donated

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