“Building a house for rich people back home in New Zealand – they’re only showing off to their friends, they don’t need it. You build homes here in Samoa for the people of the tsunami – you’re not only building homes, but lives as well.” Jared Suisted, ‘Habitat for Humanity’ volunteer, Cambridge, New Zealand. ‘Waikato Times’ New Zealand.
“It’s been really good. It’s very different; hot, sweaty. Man, I’ve never sweated so much in my life! The work is slow. We’re working with wet timber, limited gear. We’ve got two hammers for four guys, one bench saw. We’re doing our best with what we’ve got.” Glen Cane, Habitat for Humanity Volunteer builder, Matamata, New Zealand. ‘Waikato Times’ New Zealand.
“I seriously believe there was a reason for this tsunami, it was a warning. These are signs of Biblical times. The flood occurred in the Bible and fires and major things occurred. This has to be a sign. We can talk scientific and say the plates shifted here and there and the heat has to come up through some volcano, well whatever, so be it, but it’s a miraculous thing. It’s a miraculous thing that we are all alive and we’re born in this world and we live in paradise, maybe we’ve abused it a little too much and taken it for granted. We need to go back and look at how and where we live and how not to abuse it.” Letiu Lee Palupe, Saleaumua, Samoa. Beside the tree that saved her life.
“The most important lesson for me from this tsunami – is that I never took such things seriously. When they were going through the tsunami drills and educating us about what to do, it wasn’t a big thing to me. It was only now that its happened, that we’ve learnt our lesson. We must learn, listen well to the warnings and the education that is provided by those groups who teach us about galu afi and other natural disasters…but for now, we just have to thank God for being alive.”
Vaelupe Olosepu, Malaela, Samoa.
, “I used to keep things for years, unwilling to let my kids use them. Nice sheets, towels, even clothes. I told my family we needed to save them for a special day. A special visitor. But then the tsunami came and took it all! Now I will teach my children and grandchildren not to keep things for years. They don’t matter. They wont last. Worry instead about being kind and share with everyone because things of this world wont last.”
Amy Purcell, Malaela, Samoa. Grt-grandmother of 3 yr old tsunami victim, Joseph Purcell.
“This is my only child left. I just thank God that one of my children survived...There has been so much kindness. Everything our family needed has been provided. After the [tsunami] we had nothing but we have been given so many things – a fridge, pots, plates and so much clothing and other things all the kindness and love of people. I just thank the goodness of people from our own country and all those from outside too.”
Tofilau Afatasi, Poutasi, Samoa. Father of two children killed in the tsunami.