Thursday, June 24, 2010

My wife said, 'You just want to be God.'

Molesie and Silaumea Pritchard with their family.

Molesi Pritchard is a man of many talents. An electrician who has been busy since the tsunami, bringing light for his neighbors in their flimsy huts and tents. He’s a baker who would support his four children with sweet baked treats and hot bread. A musician and composer. Molesi cannot read but his wife Silaumea writes down all his songs. Including the new song he has written about the waves in their villages. Which is playing on the radio the day we come to visit.

After the earthquake ended, Molesi told Silaumea that they should go up the hill because there was going to be a tsunami. “My wife said I just want to be God and know everything all the time. But I replied that God doesn’t put anything bad in peoples hearts, he only sends good things and we should listen.”

Molesi scooped up his youngest daughter and started walking to the mountainside. He was midway up the steep cliff on one of many rough tracks when the waves came. He saw his wife and children washed away. He called the emergency number for help and they told him to get to higher ground, that help was on its way.“ I said, please my wife has died. I couldn’t see her, I couldn’t hear her so I thought she had died. Then I called the Red Cross number and asked them please we need help. My wife is dead and a lot of people in our village are dead. All our houses are gone.”

Molesi left his daughter at the top and came down to look for his wife and children. Thankfully she and the children were alive. Injured, but alive. He took them up to the hill where the rest of the village had gathered. On the fifth day after the tsunami, Molesi wrote the first song – about his wife. When he thought she was dead and when she was found. About his village of Saleapaga and how the sea washed it away.

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