25/04/2014 10:33

Reflections of a flood affected Couple

"I have made many new friends, here at Don Bosco.  They will be there
to help us in time of difficulty.  I enjoyed the educational movies
screened every night, took part in all the activities and the children
have been happy to play on the swing and the little house," said a
smiling Suzie.

"Watching the students at Don Bosco, I admired their punctuality and
discipline and recalled my years at Bishop Epalle Catholic Secondary
School and our revered Vice-principal Sr. Margaret Trish", said Godwin.

On Wednesday 9th April, there were rumors that there could be a
possible burst of the tailings dam.  "Frightened and afraid, we climbed
into a 3 ton truck sent to rescue us from Tumurora Primary School, and
take us to the Don Bosco Technical Institute, Henderson evacuation
center" recalled Godwin Meti, one of the flood-affected victims
presently at the Institute.

Godwin and Suzie Meti stand out as a young couple that radiates joy and
happiness despite having to face this tragedy.

Here is their story:

Godwin comes from a family of 7 siblings, is part Malaita and Part
Guale and did his secondary education at Bishop Epalle Catholic School
Rove.

Suzie comes from a family of 6 siblings, hails from Poro village,
Isabel and did her Secondary education at Guguha Community High School.

The two came to know each other in 2008 while studying at the then
SICHE and doing their certificate in Primary Teaching.

On 21st June 2011 they sealed their love with the Sacrament of Marriage
at the Anglican Church, Poro.  The couple cares lovingly for their two
children Zinnethon and Zima.  "As a couple and do our best to make each
other happy", said Suzie.

Both are primary school teachers and teach at Tumurora Primary School,
located in the Ghaobata Ward, North Guadalcanal.  The school is managed
by 7 teachers and attended by 140 students.  Godwin teaches in Year 6,
while Suzie teaches in Year 1.  Half the school is semi-permanent while
the rest of the school is built of bush material.

"The flood waters have taken away books, tables and chairs.  It could
be about a week or two before we are able to begin class," said Godwin.
"Community support is poor and the community lacks unity.  There is the
need for the children to be educated so that they can ensure development
in the land in the years ahead.  It is sad to see the people smoking and
drinking and just sitting around", he continued.

Returning home from Honiara on 3rd April they were caught up in the
floods at Tenaru.  They had to walk through chest high water carrying
the items purchased on their heads.  "My only thought was our children
back home", said Suzie.  Once home they were told that they would all
come together at the house of head teachers Hugo Bugoro.

As the waters continued to rise they requested SIBC to get the police
to rescue them, but being cut off, they stayed where they were.  As the
water receded on Saturday they cleaned up and settled down.  When rumors
of the tailing dam reached them, they were nervous and afraid.  That
night they were transported to the Don Bosco Technical Institute to join
the other 194 disaster victims already housed there.

It has been over two weeks since Don Bosco hall has been their home.
Making friends they have blended into the group.

"Food supplies and the facilities have been excellent and we have all
had a good nights sleep.  However, conflicts and lack of cooperation are
evident in the group.  Education can play its part to give the youth a
direction and put their energy and talents to good use," said Godwin.

Together with his wife and little family, they now prepare to return
back to continue their task of educating their young students of North
Guadalcanal.

NB: High Resolution photos can be sent. If you do not wish to receive
these articles, please inform me.  Thank you.  Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb

Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb
ambrose.pereirasdb@gmail.com
http://www.dbti-si.com

 

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