One of our dearest friends died of a heart attack last night. Vovo was a man of few words (unlike most islanders!) but those he spoke were always wise, funny or both. Just yesterday he greeted me on the path to the maneapa and said how glad he was that I was home from Suva. I thought how wonderful to be missed but then he said, "Every night I pass by your fale and hear Mataio crying. He missed his avaga and I had to hold him." But most of all, he was our biggest supporter on the island. No matter what Mataio invented, whether it was a rocket stove made in a cracker bucket or a Fijian Flip Flopper upside down planter made of an old bag. Vovo always said he thought it would work. I can't imagine going to the Council office on Monday knowing he won't be there, but I do know he will always be a part of our Kioa.
Samalu and Vovo inspecting the rocket stove.
Tupata and Vovo, referees spectacular, at the last Te Ano games.
This makes me so sad. I’m praying for all of you.